TC56 ALL-ROOKIE TEAM:
QB – Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
STATS: Passing yards: 4336 / TD Passes: 31 / Rushing TDs: 5
Comment: Herbert showed the consistency and decision making necessary to be a great NFL quarterback. Got better every week, showed his toughness, and is primed for a great career. I hope to see more Burrow vs. Herbert down the line in the AFC playoffs. Hopefully the Chargers build an offensive line around him to max out his potential.
RB – James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
STATS: Rushing yards: 1070 / Rushing TDs: 7 / Receiving TDs: 3
Comment: The undrafted rookie was one of the few bright spots for the Jags. Triple threat in running, receiving, and pass protection. He will shine in Urban Meyer’s system in 2021.
RB – Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
STATS: Rushing yards: 1169 / Rushing TDs: 11 / Receiving TDs: 1
Comment: Taylor came on late in the season to help with the Colts playoff push with 8 touchdowns in the final 5 games. Whoever the quarterback is next season will benefit from Taylor becoming the feature back.
WR – Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings – Pro Bowl Selection
STATS: Receptions: 88 /Receiving yards: 1400 / Receiving TDs: 7
Comment: Jefferson was dynamic all season, breaking Hall of Famer Randy Moss’s franchise record for receiving yards in a season. Jefferson had 7 100 yard games and averaged 15 yards a catch. Despite being the fifth receiver taken in the first round, Jefferson proved to be the best out of the group this season.
WR – Chase Claypool – Pittsburgh Steelers
STATS: Receptions: 62 /Receiving yards: 873 / Receiving TDs: 9 / Total TDs: 11
Comment: The Steelers are famous for developing excellent receivers for decades now. Chase Claypool is no exception with 11 touchdowns this year and making tough catches all season long.
WR – Tee Higgins – Cincinnati Bengals
STATS: Receptions: 67 /Receiving yards: 908 / Receiving TDs: 6
Comment: The second round pick of the Bengals was very productive this season, despite losing #1 pick Joe Burrow to injury. In a very talented rookie receiver class, Higgins finished 3rd in catches, 3rd in receiving yards, and 4th in touchdown receptions.
OT – Jedrick Wills – Cleveland Browns
STATS: Games Started: 15 / Team rushing rankings: 12th (118.8) / Qb Sacked ranking: 6th (1.5)
Comment: The most steady among all the tackles drafted in 2020. Wills played with solid footwork against tough divisional pass rushers.
OG – Ezra Cleveland – Minnesota Vikings
STATS: Games Started: 9 / Team rushing rankings: 6th (133.3) / Qb Sacked ranking: 20th (2.4)
Comment: Drafted out of Boise as a tackle but filled in at right guard for the Vikings because of injury and by seasons end was playing excellent football. Minnesota will have to make a decision to keep him at guard or move him to the coveted left tackle position.
C – Lloyd Cushenberry III – Denver Broncos
STATS: Games Started: 16 / Team rushing rankings: 20th (103.9) / Qb Sacked ranking: 13th (2.0)
Comment: Cushenberry was a day one starter for the struggling Denver Broncos. He is the kind of player you will look up in 15 years and he will still be playing consistent football.
OG – Caesar Ruiz – New Orleans Saints
STATS: Games Started: 9 / Team rushing rankings: 16th (108.6) / Qb Sacked ranking: 8th (1.7)
Comment: Ruiz is a versatile center out of Michigan who provided the Saints with help at the guard position this season. He impressed his teammates with his work ethic and football IQ.
OT – Tristen Wirfs – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
STATS: Games Started: 15 / Team rushing rankings: 24th (95.1) / Qb Sacked ranking: 3rd (1.4)
Comments: Wirfs like Wills was steady all year. He more of a power offensive tackle than a finesse one but got the job done at right tackle this season. He will get a chance on the big stage tonight to prove his Wirf……I mean worth.
DE – Chase Young – Washington – Pro Bowl Selection
STATS: Tackles: 44 / Sacks: 7.5 / TFL: 10 / Fumble recovered: 3 / return yards: 57 / TD: 1
Comment: Chase Young, in the second half of the season, showed the league why he was the number two pick overall. His combination of speed and power were impressive. He at times took over games and was a huge factor in Washington making it to the playoffs. Just stop talking trash to Tom Brady.
DT – Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers
STATS: Tackles: 34 / Sacks: 2.0 / TFL: 8 / Pass Break ups: 4
Comment: Brown flew under the radar this season. Playing defensive tackle in the NFL is certainly not easy. He took on double teams and did a lot of the grunt work. As with Young he came on late in the season and had a solid rookie campaign.
DE – DJ Wonnum – Minnesota Vikings
STATS: Tackles: 24 / Sacks: 3.0 / TFL: 5
Comments: Wonnum was not an every down player for Minnesota but became a pass rush specialist for them. The highlight of his season came against Green Bay, were he sacked Aaron Rodgers to close the game out a win at Lambeau Field. Wonnum has a ton of talent and should take on a bigger role next season for the Vikings.
LB – Kenneth Murray – Los Angeles Chargers
STATS: Tackles: 107 / Sacks: 1.0 / TFL: 5
Comments: Murray put together a solid season at linebacker. He played in all 16 games, 3 of which he had double digit tackles. The Chargers have brought in Brandon Staley, former Rams defensive coordinator, as there head coach. Look for Murray to be more involved in the pressure packages and be more of a play maker. I mean plus he wears 56 so that helps.
LB – Patrick Queen – Baltimore Ravens
STATS: Tackles: 106 / Sacks: 3.0 / TFL: 9 / Fumbles recovered: 2 / return yards: 53 / TD: 1
Comments: The speedy linebacker out of LSU could have asked for more being drafted by the Ravens. Queen is a big play middle backer who has a good nose of the football and is an excellent blitzer. Started all 16 games for the Ravens and is a future pro bowler.
LB – Tae Crowder – New York Giants
STATS: Tackles: 57 / Sacks: 1/ TFL: 3 / Fumbles recovered: 1 / return yards: 43 / TD: 1
Comments: Despite only starting 6 games this season and missing 5 others, Crowder made an impact in big games for the Giants. Against Washington he had the game winning score, in an upset win over Seattle he had 7 tackles and a sack, and closed the season against Dallas with a career high 11 tackles.
CB – Trevon Diggs – Dallas Cowboys
Stats: Tackles: 58 / Interceptions: 3 / Pass brake ups: 14
Comments: Diggs missed 4 games because of injury and if he didn’t could have made a case for being a pro bowler this season. The physical corner was an excellent pick in the second round for the Cowboys. He very well could be paired with his college teammates, Patrick Surtain, next season if the Cowboys take him in the first round.
CB – Cameron Dantzler – Minnesota Vikings
STATS: Tackles: 46 / Interceptions: 2 / Pass brake ups: 4
Comments: Long armed corner who can handle today’s big receivers and make tackles consistently. Dantzler along with fellow rookie Jeff Gladney should be an excellent tandem in the NFL for years to come.
Nickel Corner – L’Jarius Sneed – Kansas City Chiefs
STATS: Tackles: 41 / Interceptions: 3 / Pass brake ups: 7 / Sacks: 2 / TFL: 2
Comments: Anybody who has consistently read these articles (all 8 of you) knows I am a huge fan of L’Jarius Sneed. We are in an era of football were the offense is at a major advantage. You have to be able to take the ball away and make big plays to be successful. Unfortunately, the days of the 1985 Bears, 1986 Giants, or even the 2000 Ravens are a memory. The momentum turning defense is vital to team success. Sneed is this type of player. I have a good feeling he will make an impact tonight in the game.
S – Antoine Winfield Jr. – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
STATS: Tackles: 94 / Interceptions: 1 / Pass brake ups: 6 / forced fumbles: 2
Comments: Winfield, like Wirfs and Sneed, will get a chance to shine in the big game tonight. The new era defensive backs have to be versatile and play anywhere defensively. Winfield fits this bill. He made a huge play in the Divisional round stripping the ball from a New Orleans receiver and changing the momentum of the game (see comment above).
S – Jeremy Chinn – Carolina Panthers
STATS: Tackles: 117 / Interceptions: 1 / Pass brake ups: 5 / fumbles recovered: 2 / return yards: 45 / TDs: 2
Comments: Chinnsanity, Sweet Chinn Music, or Jeremy spoken. Whatever nickname you want to give him he had an excellent year for a young Panthers defense. He is probably a linebacker in a safeties jersey but to go along with the defensive back theme he is extremely versatile. Chinn had one of the most incredible sequences for a defender in NFL history against the Vikings. He took two fumble recoveries in a matter of seconds to the house for touchdowns.
K – Rodrigo Blankenship – Indianapolis Colts
STATS: XP: 43/45 / FG: 32/37 / Points: 139
Comments: My favorite position rivalry this year was kicker Tyler Bass vs. Rodrigo Blankenship. They both went back and forth this year but Blankenship was the more accurate kicker but not by much. This has a 20 year feud written all over it.
P – Branden Mann – New York Jets
STATS: Punt Avg: 43.9 / Punts: 82 Yards: 3,598 / Inside the 20: 19
Comments: Well when your team has the worst offense in football you get a lot of chances to practice punting. The End!
KR – Isaiah Rodgers – Indianapolis Colts
STATS: Yards: 692 / Avg: 28.8 / TD: 1
Comments: Rodgers is a dynamic play maker who changes field position for the Colts offense. An undervalued position, Rodgers took one 101 yards to the end zone against Cleveland in week 5.
PR – CeeDee Lamb – Dallas Cowboys
STATS: Yards: 172 / Avg: 7.2 / TD: 0
Comments: CeeDee was a reliable punt returner all year. He caught the football and almost always made the first guy miss. Lamb is a talented receiver, so who knows how much longer they will ask him to take on this role.
TC 56 ROOKIE AWARDS:
TC 56 Offensive Rookie of the Year – Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
TC 56 Defense Rookie of the Year – Jeremy Chinn – Carolina Panthers
TC 56 Sleeper Offense Rookie of the Year – James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
TC 56 Sleeper Defensive Rookie of the Year – Kamren Curl – Washington
Super Bowl Predictions:
The game will start slow, as most Super Bowls do. There will be an offensive explosion in the second quarter. The game will ultimately come down to a defensive turnover that changes momentum. Brady will throw 4 touchdowns and him a Mahomes will go back and forth. Expect a big play from L’Jarius Sneed either a strip sack or a pick. Edwards-Helaire scores 3 touchdowns and wins MVP. Chiefs win and ill scream about a defensive player not winning MVP. Ahhh Super Bowl tradition.
Kansas City Chiefs – 35 Tampa Buccaneers – 32
MVP: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Final Rookie League Leaders:
TD Passes: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 31
Passing Yards: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 4,336
Rushing TD: Washington – Antonio Gibson & Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 11
Rushing Yards: Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 1169
Receiving TD: Steelers – Chase Claypool: 9
Receiving Yards: Vikings – Justin Jefferson: 1400
Receptions: Vikings – Justin Jefferson: – 88
Total Touchdowns: Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 12
Total Points: Bills –Tyler Bass – 141
Total Tackles: Panthers – Jeremy Chinn – 117
Tackles for a Loss: Washington – Chase Young – 10
Sacks: Washington – Chase Young – 7.5
Interceptions: Rams – Jordan Fuller, Chiefs – L’Jarius Sneed, Cowboys – Trevon Diggs, & Washington – Kamren Curl – tied w/ 3