Neil Reynolds' Countdown to 2020… Top 10 rookies to watch

Every NFL season is blessed with young players who make an immediate impact at the game's highest level. The 2020 campaign will be no different.

Every one of you will be excited about seeing different rookies and for differing reasons, particularly those set to start for your favourite team. This is not a top 10 of the best rookies in the league entering the new season. It is merely the 10 players I am most intrigued to see at the next level.

1.      Joe Burrow  QB  Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are not a terrible two-win team and we now get to see if Joe Burrow can give this franchise a shot in the arm. Cincinnati were decent for many years with Andy Dalton at quarterback, but they never looked or felt particularly special. Burrow has all the physical skills required to succeed, as well as the "it" factor that the position's elite seem to possess.

2.      Jerry Jeudy WR Denver Broncos

Pro ready and polished, Jeudy has everything you need to hit the ground running. He could be entering a very good situation with Drew Lock emerging at quarterback late in 2019 and Courtland Sutton already in place at the other receiver spot. With Denver seemingly on the rise, I cannot wait to see what kind of impact Jeudy can have. He is very good route runner who has drawn comparisons to Antonio Brown.

3.      Chase Young  Edge rusher  Washington Redskins

Edge rusher is one of those positions where you can quickly transition from college to the pros. And I think Young is going to do just that in Washington. He is the complete package as a pass rusher – quick out of the blocks, fast and powerful. Young has a lot to live up to because he was dubbed as the best player in the 2020 NFL Draft, but I think he can back up that talk and make an explosive start to life as a pro.

4.      Tua Tagovailoa QB Miami Dolphins

I actually don't expect to see Miami's rookie passer that early in the 2020 season. I think Miami will rightly give Ryan Fitzpatrick an extended run before eventually turning to their future. And it's that long search for the next Dan Marino that has Miami fans so desperate to see Tua on the field. Miami have suffered through years of sub-par passers and want to come out of 2020 knowing they have their man.

5.      Isaiah Simmons LB Arizona Cardinals

The NFL is fast moving towards an era of position-less defenders. It won't happen across the board at all 11 spots on a defense, but every team will want to a versatile chess piece like Tyrann Mathieu or Derwin James. Simmons could be the next on that list – somebody who can play as a big safety or corner before switching to be an athletic pass rusher or linebacker. How the Cards use Simmons is going to be key.

6.      J.K. Dobbins RB Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have added youth to the NFL's best rushing attack and Dobbins could actually supplant Mark Ingram as the starter in the backfield. Dobbins has a low centre of gravity that makes him hard to knock off his feet – he is elusive and also reliable out of the backfield. Dobbins has been compared to Alvin Kamara due to his all-round game and his debut could be one of the more spectacular in 2020.

7.      CeeDee Lamb WR  Dallas Cowboys

Lamb is a big-play receiver who Dallas simply could not ignore with the 17th overall selection. He brings position versatility with seven touchdowns coming when lined up outside in 2019 and seven coming in the slot. He is electric with the ball in his hands and is going to get opportunities in 2020 as defenses gear up to stop the likes of Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott.

8.      Jedrick Wills OT Cleveland Browns

Offensive tackles don't normally catch our attention as rookies in the same way as quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and pass rushers. But Wills could have a massive impact on a Cleveland team that was crying out for offensive line help. With Jack Conklin on one side and Wills on the other, Baker Mayfield could thrive. Wills was the best-equipped of the offensive tackles to transition to the pros.

9.      Henry Ruggs WR Las Vegas Raiders

The Silver and Black need a number one wide receiver and will hope Ruggs is the answer. Ruggs is a big play waiting to happen. Of his 98 catches at Alabama, 24 went for touchdowns. With 4.27 speed, you might think that Ruggs is all about blazing downfield. But he actually has polish to his game and dropped very few passes in college. He also has courage and toughness and could round into a true number one.

10.  Javon Kinlaw DT San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers rolled through defensive linemen at an impressive rate in last year's Super Bowl season. And following the trading away of DeForest Buckner, they have added another in Kinlaw. He is a physical, three-down defender out of South Carolina who could become a foundational player in San Francisco. Kinlaw is also easy to root for as he grew up homeless on the streets of Washington, D.C.

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