Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins are in the top 10 rookie rankings by ESPN.
The Bengals‘ future is bright with the play of their rookies. No one has personified that more than quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins. The play of Burrow and Higgins in the first nine games of their rookie seasons has been recognized by ESPN being ranked the second and seventh-best rookies in 2020.
Burrow is the only rookie QB in the class of 2020 who has played every game. Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers has started since their second game of the year. The Bengals and Chargers opened the season against each other. Tua Tagovailoa has won all three of his starts for the Miami Dolphins.
All of Tagovailoa’s starts have been over the past three games. Herbert leads Burrow in nearly every stat in a race for the first-team All-Rookie QB. Herbert is ahead of Burrow in passing yards per game averaging 291.6 YPG to 276.1 YPG. Hebert also has a 19 to 12 lead over Burrow in TD passes.
Herbert has a substantial 102.8 to 89.8 in passer rating and 73 to 57.5 advantage in QBR. Burrow and Higgins were praised in the ESPN article that is subtitled “Why the Joe Burrow-Tee Higgins connection is off to a hot start.” Burrow is ranked second in the ESPN rookie rankings and Higgins seventh. ESPN profiled Burrow and Higgins.
2. Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Stats: 2,485 yards, 65.4% completion rate, 12 TDs, 5 INTs (130 rushing yards, 3 TDs)
Drafted: No. 1 overall
In the first month of the season, Burrow became the first rookie to have three consecutive 300-yard passing games — and he added another 300-yard passing game in Week 6 and a 406-yard, three-touchdown effort in Week 7 to the list. Only Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady has thrown more times this season than Burrow.
Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow sit atop our latest NFL Rookie Rankings 💪 @ESPNNFL
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 18, 2020
Higgins, a second-round pick out of Clemson, began the season playing only 22 percent of the offensive snaps against the Chargers. Week two against Cleveland, Higgins played 65 percent of the snaps in the first game against Cleveland. Higgins has played at least 78 percent of the snaps in all but one games.
Higgins has been one of the best WRs in the NFL since. Against Pittsburgh, Higgins set a career high with seven receptions and had his second best performance with 115 receiving yards. Higgins has at least 60 yards receiving in the last seven games and at 70 in six of the last seven games.
7. Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Stats: 40 receptions, 603 yards, 4 TDs
Drafted: No. 33 overall
After he finished the season opener without a catch in his 15 snaps, Higgins has 40 catches in the eight games since, including two 100-yard games in his past four starts. Higgins is second among rookies in receiving yards this season. The Burrow-Higgins connection is looking promising for the Bengals.
The Bengals, Buccaneers and Washington football team are the only three with two players on the ESPN rookie top 10. Burrow and Higgins are the only teammates on offense in the top 10 rookies according to the ESPN list. The rookie duo has a chance to be among the best ever draft class teammates in NFL History.
Burrow and Higgins have a chance to surpass the last great Bengals draft classmates, QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green. Chargers 2000 draftees running abck LaDainian Tomlinson and QB Drew Brees should be the standard Burrow and Higgins judge themselves by. Tomlinson is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Brees will be.