Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert having Rookie of the Year seasons in 2020

Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert having Rookie of the Year seasons in 2020

Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert having Rookie of the Year seasons in 2020

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The NFL’s 2020 Rookie of the Year race looks like it’s going to come down to Joe Burrow versus Justin Herbert. Both first-year quarterbacks are putting up monster numbers and proving why their respective teams — Bengals and Chargers — selected them with the first and sixth overall picks last April.

Burrow’s yardage total is more impressive than Herbert’s, but he does have two more starts than the former Oregon Duck.

Neither rookie has led their team to many wins yet — the Chargers are 2-4 while the Bengals are 1-7 — but they’re far from the main reason for those losses.

Burrow is playing like a savvy veteran. He’s the same guy he was at LSU. He’s making good reads, throwing accurate passes, and keeping his team in games for four quarters. The Bengals will win a lot of games with him behind center.

Herbert has arguably been more impressive. At least, his throws have more pop. He’s threading the needle on passes that even the strongest-armed quarterbacks would struggle with and has flashed the ability to make plays with his legs too. In Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, Herbert became the only player since at least 1970 with more than 1,500 passing yards and a passer rating of over 100 over his first five career games.

And just think: the other top-10 quarterback from the 2020 NFL draft — Tua Tagovailoa — is set to make his first career start on Sunday against the Rams.

Last year’s draft gifted the NFL with potentially three franchise quarterbacks in the first 10 selections. Jordan Love (Packers) was a first-rounder too, but he’ll be waiting a while before he gets on the field.

The 2021 NFL draft is a good one for quarterbacks as well. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance are first-round players who will continue the league’s youth movement at its most important position.

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