Throughout this past week of the NFL season, we saw a number of dominant rookie performances, and it’s led to some major shakeups in this edition of the NFL Rookie Rankings for Week 6. A pair of receivers were downright dominant, and the rookie QB1 race got a lot closer. Where does this rookie class sit now after five weeks of action, and how do they project to rise up the list as the season progresses?
NFL Rookie Rankings Week 6 | 1-10
1. Chase Young, EDGE, Washington Football Team
Chase Young returned from injury this week and continued to prove why he was considered the consensus top player in the 2020 NFL Draft. While he didn’t register a sack against the Rams, he forced a number of pressures, one of which directly led to an interception. He also registered a tackle for loss and was a force against the Los Angeles run game.
This week he faces a Giants offensive line that has not been great this year, and a strong game from him would help cement his position as the NFL’s top rookie, but that could be in danger soon with strong performances around the league from other NFL rookies who are getting more and more impressive.
Pre-draft ranking: Top player, EDGE1
2. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Throughout five games, CeeDee Lamb is sixth among all wide receivers in terms of receiving yards and has been the best player on one of the best WR units in the NFL. Lamb has validated my opinion of putting him up as the top offensive player in the 2020 Draft, and another performance like he had in Week 5 could rise him to the apex of NFL rookies: the number one spot on the NFL rookie rankings list.
Pre-draft ranking: Fourth overall, WR1
3. Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Antoine Winfield Jr. had a strong bounce-back game after being exposed a bit in his Week 4 match-up. He’s been one of the top safeties in football, succeeding both in coverage over the top and as a box safety. Despite this being the first year of his career in the NFL, the Buccaneers have asked him to be flexible playing multiple positions, and he’s taken that challenge and ran with it. A special performance from Lamb drops Winfield one spot, but he’s still been one of the NFL’s elite rookie performers.
Pre-draft ranking: Top 50, S4
4. Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow had his first bad game of the season, which is pretty remarkable given just how bad the Bengals are as a whole. The offensive line got abused, and he was sacked seven times. Joe Mixon and the rushing attack also didn’t relieve Burrow of any pressure, as the Bengals’ star running back averaged less than 2.5 yards per carry against Baltimore. I imagine games like this will happen throughout Burrow’s career until Cincinnati commits to providing him with a competent offensive front.
Pre-draft ranking: Top 10, QB1
5. Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert continues to impress and played arguably the most impressive game of his young career. He threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns in primetime against the New Orleans Saints.
Herbert, in my opinion, has the most impressive physical skill-set of any quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, and it was on display against New Orleans. There’s a very real argument that Herbert has been the best rookie quarterback in the NFL. We should see him rise from his current NFL rookie rankings placement in Week 6.
Pre-draft ranking: Top 15, QB3
6. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the best first two picks in the 2020 Draft. They drafted a superstar safety and also took the best tackle in the class with the 13th overall selection. Tristan Wirfs has been arguably the best right tackle in the NFL to this point, and he looks like a future star. If you have to pick a single tackle to build your team around, there’s a very strong argument that it should be Wirfs.
Pre-draft ranking: Fifth overall, OT1
7. Jedrick Wills, OT, Cleveland Browns
It feels almost unfair that the Browns were able to go from Joe Thomas to Jedrick Wills with only two seasons between them. The Browns took Wills with the 10th overall selection two seasons after Thomas retired, and he looks like the successor they so desperately needed. Wills dominated the Dallas defensive line last week, and this week had another strong outing against a quality Indianapolis unit.
Pre-draft ranking: Top 10, OT2
8. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Chicago Bears
If you had told me during the draft process that Jaylon Johnson was going to be the top-performing rookie cornerback, I would have laughed in your face. However, we’re now onto Week 6 of the season, and there’s no question he’s been the top performer at his position. Johnson and Kyle Fuller have combined to make one of the top cornerback duos in the NFL this season, and the defense in Chicago is as talented as ever.
Pre-draft ranking: Top 75, CB12
9. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
After previously posting back to back 100-yard games, Justin Jefferson had his least productive game of the season, despite facing the worst pass defense in the NFL. I had mentioned earlier this season that I wanted to see sustained success from Jefferson, and that just hasn’t been evident yet.
Nearly half of his receiving yards came in one game this season, and 75% of his production this season came during a two-week span. Jefferson must string together multiple quality outings to move up in the NFL rookie rankings.
Pre-draft ranking: Top 50, WR5
10. Mekhi Becton, OT, New York Jets
Mekhi Becton didn’t play this week after the Jets chose to activate him for Thursday Night Football last week despite him already being too injured to start. The Jets have been an absolute dumpster fire of an organization this season. However, they’ve found a potential star in Becton. Hopefully, he can return from injury playing at the level he was prior to getting hurt.
Pre-draft ranking: Top 25, OT4
Continue for the rest of the top 25 rookie rankings.