Pro Football Focus’ Highest Graded Rookie May Surprise You

David Kaestle
Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow at the NFL Combine - Day 3.
Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow at the NFL Combine - Day 3. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2020 rookie class in the NFL was a great one and was filled with players that had impressive rookie seasons. Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert look like franchise cornerstones for years to come. Chase Young was one of the league's best pass rushers, and Jonathan Taylor finished third in rushing yards.

However, despite all of their impressive seasons, none of them were the highest-graded rookie by Pro Football Focus. That distinction belongs to Minnesota Vikings' wide receiver Justin Jefferson. The No. 22 overall pick put together a really impressive rookie season.

Herbert set a rookie record for passing touchdowns in a season, Young had 7.5 sacks (26th in the NFL), 4 forced fumbles (T-3 in the NFL) and was a crucial part of one of the NFL's most impressive defensive lines, but none of those numbers earned them a higher grade than Jefferson.

Jefferson hauled in 88 catches for 1,400 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was drafted as a replacement for Stefon Diggs, and he instantly became that, and then some. In fact, in his five seasons with the Vikings, Diggs only topped that catch total once, never reached close to 1,400 yards (1,130 was his best) and had 8 or more TDs in two of the five seasons.

Not many rookie wideouts, if any, have put together a more complete season. So while there were plenty of rookie standouts and records broken, Jefferson put together the most complete season and he was graded as such.

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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.