The official AP All-Pro teams don’t recognize rookie performance with their own team. Thankfully, here at Pro Football Network, we dedicate a lot of our content toward rookie players. So, we’ve gone one better than the Associated Press and honored them with their own 2020 NFL All-Pro rookie team.
As with our first and second team, we’ll be using PFN’s Offensive Share Metric grades to decide who makes it into the team.
There are minimum requirements for each position as per NFL Next Gen Stats and there is a minimum 10-game requirement too.
So, here is our 2020 NFL All-Pro rookie team.
QB: Daniel Jones – New York Giants – 23.26 OSM grade
The New York Giants were absolutely roasted for taking Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Although it has been an inconsistent season for the young quarterback out of Duke, he is our highest-graded rookie quarterback.
Inconsistency can be expected in your first season in the league, especially when you’re protected by one of the most porous offensive lines in the NFL.
Despite that, Jones has led all rookie QBs in touchdown passes. His completion percentage versus expectation is second amongst rookies and is better than #1 overall pick, Kyler Murray.
When you consider that Jones is also the second-ranked rookie for completion percentage and in getting the ball to the sticks, his season begins to look a little less inconsistent.
The Giants drafted Jones to be their franchise quarterback. Making an impression, and an NFL All-Pro rookie team appearance is a good way to start.
RB1: Benny Snell Jr – Pittsburgh Steelers – 20.32 OSM grade
Benny Snell is our fourth overall graded back but missed out on a second team place due to a lack of overall game time compared to some of the backs who had grades close to his. He is fully deserving of a place on our NFL All-Pro rookie team, however.
It’s been a wretched year for the Pittsburgh Steelers with injuries and suspension marring their season. Feature back James Conner was a particularly big loss.
Snell has made the most of his opportunities in the limited playing time that he has had.
Unlike fellow rookie rusher Josh Jacobs, Snell hasn’t seen the number of carries that thrusts one into the limelight. When he has had the ball in his hand, however, he’s had to run into a wall. Snell has faced the second most eight-man box defenses of any back in the country, but still powered to 426 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie year.
RB2: Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings – 19.73 OSM grade
The performance of the Minnesota Vikings offense in 2019 has been largely attributed to running back Dalvin Cook. However, when you dig a little deeper, Vikings fans have plenty to be excited by in rookie Alexander Mattison.
Cook may have significantly more rushing yards, but Mattison has more yards per carry with an average of 4.6 yards every time he runs the rock. This is down to efficiency on Mattison’s behalf, even though he regularly has to negotiate his way through a stacked box.
Mattison is the sixth overall running back in the NFL by OSM grade and makes it on to the NFL All-rookie team as the second back behind Benny Snell. Not too bad for a pair of mid-round draft picks.
WRs: Hunter Renfrow (Oakland Raiders) and Deebo Samuel (San Francisco 49ers)
Naturally, the two rookies that made our PFN OSM All-Pro first team find themselves as the wide receiver pairing in the NFL All-Pro rookie team.
I will give an honorable mention to another rookie here. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson received an OSM grade of 36.12, despite having to adjust to three different quarterbacks in his rookie season. He was a top 15 wide receiver in the NFL and looks set to be a star in the steel city.
TE: Irv Smith Jr – Minnesota Vikings – 37.55 OSM grade
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski did a good job of getting the most out of his tight ends this season. Kyle Rudolph earned a place in our OSM All-Pro second team, and teammate Irv Smith Jr takes the tight end role on our NFL All-Pro rookie team.
With a 76.6% catch completion percentage, Smith led all rookies. That’s not just tight ends, that’s all rookie receivers. He also led all rookie tight ends in gaining separation.
The former Alabama tight end has outperformed more fancied prospects at the position such as T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. As Rudolph enters the twilight of his career, the Vikings look like they have a ready-made replacement in house already.