gettyimages-1288471143-1.jpg
Getty's Stephen Maturen

The NFL season is often reflective of the conversations heard during the pre-draft process. Some players are in a position to contribute early; the learning curve is not as steep. For others, it takes a bit of time for the lights to flicker on and the game to slow down. As the season has drawn on, fans have seen examples of the former (Chase Young) and the latter (Jonathan Taylor). A player can not be defined by his rookie season, especially during a year unlike any previously seen. Nonetheless, the 2020 NFL Draft rookie class has stepped up and given their respective franchises some reason for hope.

At this stage in the season, teams out of the playoff conversation start to turn over more repetitions to younger players. Some of those younger players are making the most of those opportunities. Dolphins wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. had a big outing against the Chiefs. Patriots linebacker Josh Uche has flashed his potential. Unfortunately, those players did not make our list this week but it is about stacking positive performances each week to sustain a long, fruitful career. 

Without further ado, the cumulative rookie power rankings.

Week 15 Rookie Rankings
1
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Justin Herbert had an efficient outing in a win over Atlanta. He had just eight incompletions on 44 attempts. Herbert continues to impress with his play as a rookie.
2
Justin Jefferson Minnesota Vikings WR
Justin Jefferson had a lackluster performance against Tampa Bay but has built up enough equity over the course of the season to retain his spot at No. 2 on this list.
3
Chase Young Washington Football Team DE
Chase Young was destructive against San Francisco on Sunday. He hit the quarterback twice and recorded one sack. He had a swagger to his walk as time expired.
4
Mike Onwenu New England Patriots OT
Michael Onwenu has been a consistent and effective performer for the Patriots this season. One benefit to an otherwise frustrating season for Patriots fans has been the involvement of rookies during the second half of the season. A handful are getting meaningful reps, which will benefit the team as a whole when several opt-outs return next season.
5
Tristan Wirfs Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT
Tristan Wirfs was fantastic once again against the Vikings. The rookie from Iowa has few deficiencies in his game.
6
Jeremy Chinn Carolina Panthers OLB
Jeremy Chinn plays a unique role for Carolina but it comes so naturally to him. Chinn has made big plays in recent weeks by being in the right position at the right time. He led the team with eight tackles and recorded the only sack after returning two fumbles for touchdowns the previous game.
7
Julian Blackmon Indianapolis Colts FS
The Indianapolis defense is so reliant on the presence of DeForest Buckner, Denico Autry and Darius Leonard. If any are absent, the team seems to struggle. When all three are healthy, they boast one of the best defenses in the league. Julian Blackmon has been a beneficiary of the chaos created by that front seven.
8
Antoine Winfield Jr. Tampa Bay Buccaneers SS
Tampa Bay had a representative in top rookie conversations a year ago with Sean Murphy-Bunting and now Antoine Winfield Jr. is performing at a high level. Winfield is just a smart player that always finds himself around the football.
9
James Robinson Jacksonville Jaguars RB
Game script called for Jacksonville to move away from the run game pretty quickly in this game. Derrick Henry was bulldozing Jaguars en route to a 24-3 lead shortly after halftime. To James Robinson's credit, he has found a way to stay involved in the game even when the situation no longer dictates running the ball. He finished with four receptions in this one.
10
Mekhi Becton New York Jets OT
Mekhi Becton has his areas of weakness. He made no effort to involve himself in a screen play but he continues to look like one of the best young pass protectors in the game.
11
Tee Higgins Cincinnati Bengals WR
Big games are likely a thing of the past with Tee Higgins this season. The Bengals are not capable of pushing the ball downfield with Brandon Allen, Ryan Finley at the helm and ultimately that is going to impact those around them.
12
Jonah Jackson Detroit Lions OG
Jonah Jackson continues to be one of my favorite interior offensive linemen in this class. He has just been very solid in his role despite the skill talent not being able to stay healthy around him. Others might prefer Seattle's Damien Lewis, who is also a great young player, but Jackson has had the better season.
13
Raekwon Davis Miami Dolphins NT
Despite the effort coming in a loss, Miami's defense has earned a lot of respect for its consistency and commitment to the fundamentals. Patrick Mahomes threw more interceptions over the weekend than he had the rest of the season combined. It all started up front with the likes of Raekwon Davis.
14
A.J. Terrell Atlanta Falcons CB
Justin Herbert completed 36 passes for only 243 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Atlanta did a great job of minimizing the big plays but the Falcons' offense was not able to do enough to get the victory. A.J. Terrell led the team in tackles, which is often not a good thing but he was making a lot of tackles near the line of scrimmage.
15
Jonathan Taylor Indianapolis Colts RB
Jonathan Taylor has topped 90 rushing yards each of the past three games. Indianapolis has been slow to give him the bulk of the carries but it appears that he is the bell cow moving forward. He now has the second most rushing yards by a rookie this season (759) and a reasonable chance to break 1,000.