As we get ready for the playoff push in the 2020 NFL season, it is hard not to notice the impact that certain rookies have made on the field thus far this season. I'm here to tell you who these rising stars remind me of when in comparison to some of the NFL's greatest of all time.
*Before anyone freaks out, keep in mind that this is purely a comparison of play style and skill sets; I am not saying the rookies are as good as their comparisons.*
WR Justin Jefferson - Minnesota Vikings (R1, pick 22)
Justin Jefferson has burst onto the scene as a key playmaker for the Vikings with 52 receptions for 918 yards and 6 touchdowns at this point. Coming out of LSU, he was a top route runner in his class and has impressed many across the league. For me, he reminds me of NFL Hall of Famer, Marvin Harrison. Harrison did nothing but show up on gameday and absolutely route people up. Both Jefferson and Harrison are excellent route runners and also are not the biggest, fastest players. Hopefully Justin Jefferson can find a better quarterback than Kirk Cousins, because his potential has no ceiling.
QB Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers (R1, pick 6)
Justin Herbert came in for an unhealthy Tyrod Taylor earlier in the season, and has been all fireworks since then. The Chargers as a whole have been under-achieving this season as they continue to lose close games week in and week out, which would result in their 3-8 record. However, their rookie quarterback Herbert has been phenomenal. Herbert has thrown for 3,015 yards, 23 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions through 10 games. He has found success with his legs in the pocket and his strong arm. He is simply a gunslinger, so who else but Hall of Famer Brett Favre for his comparison? Favre is one of the all-time greats at the position and was known for extending the play and throwing an absolute piss missle down the field, which is simply what Herbert has done.
Also, Head Coach Anthony Lynn is a fraud.
FS Jeremy Chinn - Carolina Panthers (R2, pick 32)
Arguably the steal of the 2020 NFL Draft so far, Chinn has been a playmaker all over the field for this Carolina defense. Through 11 games, Chinn has 87 tackles, 6 pass breakups, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns. He has presented the Panthers with a much needed versatile playmaker that plays sideline to sideline. He reminds me of Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu. The Tasmanian Devil was ALL over the field every game he played. He found a way to impact the game regardless of the situation, and that is all Jeremy Chinn has done this season for Carolina. Chinn is the front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year so far, and the sky is the limit for the young star.
RB James Robinson - Jacksonville Jaguars (Undrafted)
It still blows my mind that James Robinson went undrafted. He has exploded onto the scene as a physical runner that has made a very big impact through the passing game, as well. If it weren't for the Jaguars' atrocious record, Robinson would potentially have even better numbers, which is insane. Thus far, Robinson has 1,070 all-purpose yards, and 8 touchdowns on a 1 win team. My player comparison for Robinson is Hall of Fame RB Marcus Allen. Allen dominated in the late 1980s as a key part of the Raiders' offense. He is in elite company as one of the very few players to rush for 10,000 yards and also have 5,000 receiving yards. Robinson isn't known yet completely for his pass-catching abilities, but both he and Marcus Allen were shifty runners that had some underrated power and strength. Hopefully, Robinson gets rewarded with a better Jaguars squad in 2021.
DE Chase Young - Washington Football Team (R1, pick 2)
Everyone who knew the name Chase Young going into the NFL Draft knew that this man was going to be a stud. The Washington defense has been a huge surprise so far in 2020, and largely due to Chase Young and that young defensive line. Young uses a perfectly matched skillset with incredible power and speed that you don't see too often. Usually, there are pure speed rushers, or pure power rushers. But when you get a guy that can excel at both, it's fun to watch. Young's player comparison is the Minister of Defense, Reggie White. One of the top 3 pass rushers of all time, Reggie White used his insane combo of strength and speed to unleash terror upon NFL offenses. Both Young and White have the ability to power through the line and get to the quarterback, yet also the ability to chase down a runner downfield. Washington, you got a good one.