It's hard to expect much from NFL rookies, but most teams do get help from their rookie classes. Halfway into the 2020 season, these rookies have been the most impressive for their respective teams.
Simmons' transition to the NFL hasn't been as smooth as many projected, with only 16 tackles and one interception in eight games on a limited snap count. Still, he's made the most significant contribution of Arizona's 2020 draft class so far.
Terrell has had his share of rookie struggles, with opposing quarterbacks completing nearly 75 percent of their attempts against him. Still, the first-round pick has been an every-down starter for the Falcons, playing a critical role for the defense.
Queen is one of the early favorites for Defensive Rookie of the Year, as the rookie has recorded 52 tackles and two sacks in his first eight games. Baltimore's rookie class looks strong overall, with J.K. Dobbins, Justin Madubuike, Devin Duvernay, Tyre Phillips, and James Proche also making significant contributions.
Carolina drafted seven defensive players with their seven picks in 2020, and they've found some significant immediate contributors. Chinn leads the way as a second-round pick out of Southern Illinois, with 67 tackles and one interception in his first eight games. First-round pick Derrick Brown has also played a large role, with 22 tackles in nine games at defensive tackle.
Johnson has undoubtedly been Chicago's best rookie performer, showing up as a lockdown cornerback and starter in his rookie season. The team has also seen significant contributions from rookies Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney on offense.
Not surprisingly, the first overall pick in the draft has been Cincinnati's best rookie contributor. Burrow has looked the part so far, completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,272 yards and 11 touchdowns in eight games. Cincinnati should also be happy with rookies Tee Higgins, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Khalid Kareem, and Hakeem Adeniji.
Addressing the offensive line was a top priority for Cleveland in the offseason, and they are getting great early return from Wills, their first-round pick. Fifth-round pick Harrison Bryant has also impressed at tight end, with 15 receptions and three touchdowns in eight games.
Lamb has been as advertised, with 44 catches for 595 yard and three touchdowns in his first nine career games. Behind Lamb, Dallas has also gotten big returns from Trevon Diggs, Neville Gallimore, and Tyler Biadasz already.
With a season-ending injury to Courtland Sutton early in the year, Jeudy has needed to shine in his rookie year. The first-round pick has emerged as the Broncos top wideout with 30 catches for 484 yards and two touchdowns in his first eight games. The team has also been impressed by rookies K.J. Hamler, Michael Ojemudia, Lloyd Cushenberry, and Albert Okwuegbunam.
There have been more growing pains than expected for Okudah as the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, but the Ohio State alum has still been productive with 37 tackles and one pick as a rookie starter. Second-round pick D'Andre Swift has also made a major contribution in the team's running back committee, with 457 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in eight games.
Green Bay faced heavily criticism for their 2020 draft, taking several players who seemed unlikely to contribute immediately. First-round pick Jordan Love still hasn't played, and second-round pick Dillon has made a minimal contribution with 24 touches in seven games. Still, Dillon's contribution is the best of the rookie class, aside from some time off the bench from fifth-round pick guard Jon Runyan.
Houston had limited draft picks due to the wheeling and dealing of former czar Bill O'Brien, and only second-round pick Ross Blacklock has seen significant playing time this year. He's yet to even reach 40 percent of defensive snaps in a game, and has only five tackles in seven games.
The Colts desperately needed help at safety going into the offseason, and got it from their third-round pick, Blackmon. He's started seven games and has two interceptions, six passes defensed, and 21 tackles. Second-round picks Michael Pittman and Jonathan Taylor have also seen significant playing time, but Pittman has had injury issues and Taylor has fallen out of favor recently.
The Jaguars found many significant contributors in their deep draft, including C.J. Henderson, K'Lavon Chaisson, Laviska Shenault, Davon Hamilton, and Jake Luton. However, undrafted free agent running back James Robinson has clearly been their best rookie and a legitimate candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Through eight games, he has 805 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per touch.
The Chiefs have to be thrilled with the production from their rookie class, including Edwards-Helaire, Willie Gay, L'Jarius Sneed, and Mike Danna, along with undrafted free agents Tershawn Wharton and Tommy Townsend. Edwards-Helaire, their first-round pick, still has been the most impressive with 810 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in nine games.
Ruggs has had some injury issues and is still developing his route running, but the first-round pick has been as advertised as an elite speedster. He has only 10 catches in six games, but Ruggs is averaging 22 yards per reception.
The Chargers had high expectations for Herbert as the sixth overall pick in the draft, and he's managed to exceed them. He replaced the injured Tyrod Taylor in Week 2, and has since completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,146 yards and 17 touchdowns in seven games. Unfortunately, team success hasn't followed yet. Fellow first-round pick Kenneth Murray has also played well, with 51 tackles at linebacker.
Akers hasn't been a big part of the Rams running back committee due in part to injuries, but the second-round pick has still contributed with 148 yards rushing in six games. Fellow second-round pick Van Jefferson has also helped occassionally.
Miami has seen varying playing time from their deep rookie class, but first-round pick Tagovailoa jumped to the head of the class with his outstanding Week 9 performance at Arizona. He only has two starts under his belt, but the Dolphins have won both games. Fellow draftees Austin Jackson, Noah Igbinoghene, Robert Hunt, Raekwon Davis, Brandon Jones, and Solomon Kindley have also seen their fair share of playing time.
Jefferson was tasked with replacing Stefon Diggs, and has been great in that endeavor. He's been the NFL's most productive rookie wide receiver with 34 catches for 627 yards and three touchdowns in eight games. Many of Minnesota's other rookies haven't been as effective, though Jeff Gladney, Ezra Cleveland, Cameron Dantzler, and D.J. Wonnum have been on the field regularly.
Onwenu has been quite a find as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan, becoming an every-down lineman since Week 3. New England has seen hardly anything from their earlier round picks, unfortunately.
Ruiz has slowly but surely gained more playing time at guard for the Saints, seeing four starts through Week 9. He's certainly been the most significant rookie of their four draft picks.
It's been a struggle for Thomas at left tackle after Nate Solder opted out. The fourth overall pick in the draft has still done his best and shown some improvement. Fourth-round cornerback Darnay Holmes has also seen the field regularly, while fifth-round guard Shane Lemieux is also getting snaps lately.
For as poorly as the Jets have played this season, their rookie class has been one of the best in football. That's led by Becton, who has shown flashes of dominance at left tackle when healthy. New York has also gotten nice return from Denzel Mims, Ashtyn Davis, and Lamical Perine already.
Philadelphia has been plagued by injuries, including Reager, their first-round pick. He scored a touchdown in Week 8, showing flashes of the ability the team saw when they drafted him. The Eagles have also seen some flashes from Jalen Hurts, K'Von Wallace, Jack Driscoll, and John Hightower in their rookie class.
Pittsburgh is known for developing wideouts, and they've apparently found another in Claypool. The second-round pick has been a difference maker already with 469 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns in eight games. Fellow draftees Alex Highsmith, Anthony McFarland Jr., and Kevin Dotson have also helped out.
The Seahawks started their draft with two linebackers, but third-round pick Lewis has seen the most playing time. He's stepped in as a regular starter for what has become a pass-heavy offense. Fourth-round running back DeeJay Dallas has also been forced into action due to injuries at the top of the depth chart.
Winfield has a strong case for Defensive Rookie of the Year, doing everything in the Bucs secondary with 51 tackles, two sacks, and one interception in nine games. First-round pick Tristan Wirfs has also gone a long way in shoring up the offensive line.
Titans first-round pick Isaiah Wilson has yet to take the field due in part to off-field issues, but Fulton have been a nice value as a late pick in second round. He had 15 tackles and one pick in his first five games before suffering a knee injury.
It comes as no big surprise, but Young has performed well early in his rookie season with 3.5 sacks in seven games. The second overall draft choice looks like another building block for Washington's defense. Third-round pick Antonio Gibson has also been a key part of the offense with 573 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in eight games as the starting running back.
Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan still hoping for a Super Bowl win during his lifetime. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.