Ranking the Top Ten Rookie Wide Receiversby Kyle O'Connell November 29, 2020 0 comments
The 2020 NFL Draft was loaded with talent at the receiver position, leading to a record 13 wideouts taken in the first two rounds of the draft. Unlike years prior, most of these rookies were thrust into starting roles and given opportunities to produce in only their first year in the league.
Here are my top ten rookie receivers through week 11 of the 2020-2021 season.
10. Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo took Davis in the fourth round of the draft. Although he hasn’t seen the field much this season, Davis has shown flashes as a dominant deep-ball receiver. He has 19 catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns through 10 games.
9. Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles
Reagor was the fourth receiver off the board on draft night, so expectations were high for the rookie out of Texas Christian. Unfortunately, several injuries have limited Reagor to only five games in which he’s produced 211 yards and one touchdown.
8. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis selected Pittman in the second round of the draft. After overcoming an injury early in the season, Pittman has led the Colts in targets since week 8. His quickness in the open field has resulted in 302 yards on 24 catches.
7. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
Chicago got a steal after taking Mooney in the fifth round of the draft. One of the biggest surprises with Mooney is how well he runs routes, specifically when he torched Pro-Bowler Jalen Ramsey on a double move. He has 331 yards and two touchdowns on 33 receptions so far this season.
Darnell Mooney stutters and jabs towards a square-in route to get Jalen Ramsey biting downhill. Easily could have been a 96 yard TD reception for Mooney (4.38s) with better protection up front. pic.twitter.com/Qr4tIjIa72
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) October 27, 2020
6. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
The 15th overall pick and second receiver off the board, Jeudy has underwhelmed this season mostly due to bad quarterback play. Setting aside his expectations, Jeudy has had a decent start to his NFL career, catching 37 passes for 589 yards and two touchdowns.
5. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Aiyuk was taken by San Francisco with the 25th overall pick. His athleticism and large frame is not only useful as a receiver but also as a runner. Aiyuk has 34 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also carried the ball five times for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
OMG. That hurdle 😱
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 5, 2020
4. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
The first pick off the board in the second round, Higgins has paired well with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow this season. He ranks third among rookies with 43 receptions and 629 yards while also adding four touchdowns.
3. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
The 17th overall pick and third receiver taken in the draft, Lamb was immediately thrown into the starting lineup for the Cowboys. As a result, he’s off to a great rookie season and is leading all rookies with 53 receptions. With those, Lamb has produced 650 yards and four touchdowns.
CeeDee Lamb’s UNREAL TD catch 🤯
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 22, 2020
2. Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
Claypool fell to the Steelers in the second round of the draft. His size and speed have drawn comparisons to Calvin Johnson and have called for a quick splash in the league. His breakout performance came in week 5 when he had 10 touches for 116 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns. On the season, Claypool has totaled 581 yards and leads all rookies with 10 touchdowns.
YOU CANNOT STOP CHASE CLAYPOOL. FOUR TOUCHDOWNS.
— NFL (@NFL) October 11, 2020
1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota selected Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick in the draft. The combination of elite route running and blazing speed has allowed for an amazing start to his rookie season. Through 11 games this season, Jefferson has 848 receiving yards (seventh best of all receivers), four touchdowns, and four 100+ yard games. He’s one of the main candidates for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
See you later ✌️@JJettas2
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 27, 2020