Look out NFL, here come the rookies.
There are some bright, young faces entering the NFL this season, though their fates inevitably will vary. And no matter where they were selected in the 2020 NFL Draft (if they even were picked at all), there’s plenty of talent to go around.
But which rookies will sink and which ones will swim this season? Here are five potential rookie stars and busts for 2020:
1. CeeDee Lamb (WR) — Dallas Cowboys
There’s no doubt Lamb will find some sort of success in his first year with the Cowboys. Despite being the No. 17 overall pick in this year’s draft, Lamb was one of the most explosive wideouts in college football last year, racking up 1,327 yards and 15 touchdowns (14 receiving, one rushing) in his junior season with the Oklahoma Sooners.
2. Jerry Jeudy (WR) — Denver Broncos
The Broncos might have plenty to choose from in the receiving department, but Jeudy still potentially could play a key role for the Broncos in 2020. The two-time First-Team All-SEC player spent three seasons with the dangerous Alabama Crimson Tide, racking up 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore and 1,164 yards and 10 touchdowns in two fewer games as a junior.
3. Joe Burrow (QB) — Cincinnati Bengals
With Andy Dalton out of the way, Burrow is poised to take over as the Bengals’ starting quarterback. And while he certainly has lots to learn, there’s a good chance the No. 1 overall pick will have quite the impact on his new team this upcoming season, especially after leading LSU to victory over a dangerous Clemson team in the 2019 CFP national championship. We think his skills will transfer nicely to the NFL.
4. Justin Jefferson (WR) — Minnesota Vikings
This kid could make quite an impact on a Vikings team in need of some assistance in the receiving department. Jefferson exploded for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns for LSU in 2019, a stark contrast to his 901-yard, six-touchdown season in 2018. The sky appears to be the limit for him.
5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) — Kansas City Chiefs
Look, it’s not like the Chiefs need more firepower at running back. But that doesn’t mean Edwards-Helaire won’t see a good amount of touches this season. And based on his electric output for LSU in 2019 (1,867 yards, 17 touchdowns), we think he could dazzle in the NFL this year, and he should get the chance to after Damien Williams opted out.
1. Tua Tagovailoa (QB) — Miami Dolphins
Tagovailoa’s talent is undeniable, but his situation is a bit precarious entering the 2020 season. The 22-year-old is coming off major hip surgery, and while he’s confident he can produce, it’s still quite risky nonetheless. So, fantasy owners beware.
2. Justin Herbert (QB) — Los Angeles Chargers
This one has much less to do with Herbert’s signal-calling abilities and more to do with the current state of the Chargers. LA, after all, recently moved on from Philip Rivers after a disappointing 5-11 season in 2019. It’s unclear if the Chargers will find its groove in 2020, and Herbert could feel the brunt of that.
3. Henry Ruggs III (WR) — Las Vegas Raiders
Ruggs definitely has the talent to succeed with the Raiders, there’s no question about it. The real question, however, is whether he’ll produce the kind of yardage like he did in his junior year at Alabama, or if he’ll be more of a threat in the end zone like he was as a sophomore — and do so consistently.
4. Jalen Reagor (WR) — Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, the Eagles certainly need some help in the receiving department at the moment. But Reagor might not be they help they need. It’s not to say he’s not a talented wideout, but a serious dip in stats between his sophomore and junior years at TCU has us wondering what kind of stuff he’ll have in 2020.
5. Brandon Aiyuk (WR) — San Francisco 49ers
Aiyuk saw some serious improvement between his sophomore and junior season at Arizona State, more than doubling his yardage and touchdown output in 2019. But we’re not entirely sure he’ll see the same exact success in San Fran, especially with so much competition at wideout.