The 2020 rookie class was an impressive collection of high-end skill players and quality defensive standouts, but it wasn’t without its underwhelming performers, too.
Detroit Lions first-round pick Jeff Okudah is an example of highly-graded prospects who failed to deliver in Year 1. He finished his first season with a putrid 48.1 grade from Pro Football Focus and was one of the worst first-round rookies in the league in 2020. Only Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen and Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette graded worse.
But this is a post about the league’s best first-rounders from this season. Here are the five highest-graded first-round rookies, as evaluated by Pro Football Focus, in 2020:
Justin Jefferson (WR, Minnesota Vikings)
2020 pick: 1.22
PFF grade: 90.4
Notes: Jefferson set an NFL record for the most receiving yards by a rookie with 1,400 and instantly became one of the league’s best playmakers. While some box-score numbers are deceptive, Jefferson’s 1,400 yards were legit. He’s a superstar and will go down as a massive steal from 2020’s first round.
Notes: Young is everything the scouting community thought he’d be, even though it took him a little while to get going during his rookie season. Young finished 2020 with 7.5 sacks, including three over his final four games. Washington hit a home run with Young, who will soon be viewed as the most devastating game-wrecker in the NFL.
Tristan Wirfs (OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
2020 pick: 1.13
PFF grade: 82.2
Notes: Wirfs was far and away the best rookie offensive lineman in 2020. He played a critical part in Tom Brady and the Buccaneers’ offensive success after allowing just one sack all season.
Justin Herbert (QB, Los Angeles Chargers)
2020 pick: 1.06
PFF Grade: 80.1
Notes: Herbert is the most impressive rookie quarterback to come around in a long time. His stats are proof of that: he set an NFL record for the most completions and touchdown passes by a first-year passer. The better news for Chargers fans is that Herbert led Los Angeles on a four-game winning streak to end the season. He’s a true franchise quarterback who has a lot of playoff victories in his future.