football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft

NFL Rookies Of The Month – October: Powered by Panini

  • The Draft Network
  • October 29, 2020
  • Share

Life in the NFL is hard, as rookies everywhere are finding out after their first taste of action. While in your typical year rookies have the preseason to be phased into the realm of professional football, the rookie class of 2020 has to endure a baptism by fire. We're playing for keeps right out of the gate.

Which rookie performers were able to make the most of the pro action throughout the month of October? We, along with our partners at Panini, are recognizing the best of the best. Here are the AFC and NFC Rookies of the Month of October from each conference.

AFC Offensive Rookie Of The Month

QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

There was a whole lot of speculation in the spring about how good of an NFL quarterback Justin Herbert had the ability to be coming out of the University of Oregon. As it turns out, Herbert can be pretty damn good. Herbert logged his first career win as an NFL starter in Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but his entire month of October provided eye-popping throws and tremendous production. Herbert, in three October contests, logged 10 passing touchdowns (11 total) to go along with 901 passing yards and a 122.1 quarterback rating.

Yes, he played a soft Week 7 opponent in Jacksonville, but his prior two games came against NFC contenders in New Orleans and Tampa Bay—both on the road. Herbert has successfully turned the narrative around his play upside down since stepping into the starting lineup and with a November schedule that features the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets as his next four opponents, Herbert probably isn't even close to finished.

AFC Defensive Rookie Of The Month

SAF Julian Blackmon, Indianapolis Colts

Blackmon has been terrific for the Colts in coverage as of late. The rookie safety out of Utah, who was a third-round pick by Indianapolis in April's 2020 draft, has logged two interceptions in his last three games. And his most recent turnover was a game-clinching play inside the red zone in the final minute of play against another rookie: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Blackmon plucked Burrow's chance to manufacture a come-from-behind win in Week 6 with just 0:46 as the Colts held a 31-27 lead.

Add in some strong tackling and overall terrific coverage numbers throughout the course of the month and Blackmon may be the best dark horse contender for the Rookie of the Year honors. There were bigger individual performances in the month from other rookies in the AFC, but Blackmon's consistency and ability to show up in crunch time is hard to ignore when looking over the credentials of AFC rookies this past month.

NFC Offensive Rookie Of The Month

WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

What a stretch of play for Jefferson. Yes, his monster 175-yard performance against Tennessee came in September, but Jefferson has still managed to log 16 receptions for 292 yards and two touchdowns in three October contests. In short, he's good for about five catches, 100 yards, and a touchdown every game. If that isn't going to warrant Rookie of the Month honors, what will?

You certainly wish that Jefferson, who is averaging 19.2 yards per catch on the season, wasn't getting so much action due to his team getting slammed by opposing offenses each week. The Vikings have conceded an average of 30 points per game over the month of October, so Minnesota needs every yard and point they can get. The good news is that Jefferson has been happy to oblige and is coming into his own as a featured threat in this Vikings offense.

Minnesota may be facing a changing of the guard in the offseason, but there's no question that no matter what changes are going to be made, Jefferson has secured himself a seat at the table. If he repeats his October performance again in November, we'll need to start looking at if Jefferson can threaten the yardage output put together by another Vikings rookie receiver: the 1,313 posted by Randy Moss back in 1998.

NFC Defensive Rookie Of The Month

SAF Jeremy Chinn, Carolina Panthers

Chinn has become a vacuum cleaner on defense for the Panthers. A small-school prospect who was drafted to thrive on his athleticism early and grow into a more disciplined role, Chinn is holding up his end of the bargain. The Panthers have to be thrilled with the range he shows on defense. He logged 30 tackles in four games throughout the month of October and also logged an interception and four passes defensed along the way.

Chinn has played like what we expected from Isaiah Simmons in Arizona. And while Simmons did log a critical interception in Arizona's upset win over Seattle in Week 7, he's had a hard time consistently finding the field. The same can't be said for Chinn, who after being drafted 64th overall by Carolina is starting to look like a thrifty alternative that the Panthers will continue to develop and build around.

Filed In

Related Articles

Written By

The Draft Network