There are virtually as many opinions about Pro Football Focus (PFF) scores as there are posters on SBNation blogs. But, for one glorious day, Washington Football Team fans can agree that the analytics geeks at PFF are geniuses. Today, PFF announced its 2020 All-Rookie Team, and two of Washington’s outstanding rookies made the grade: Chase Young and Kamren Curl.
Tristan Wirfs: Highest-graded rookie pass-blocker (81.0)— PFF (@PFF) January 4, 2021
Chase Young: Highest-graded rookie defender (87.2)
Who wins this matchup of talented rookies on Saturday night? pic.twitter.com/VsAZCDdUYI
Washington’s first round pick (#2 overall), and destroyer of worlds, Chase Young, not only made the grade, he got PFF’s endorsement for Defensive Rookie of the Year:
Young’s overall pass-rushing numbers aren’t going to jump off the page at you, but it’s impossible to deny the high-end plays he has put on tape against both the run and as a pass-rusher in his first year. He leads all rookies in sacks (7.5), forced fumbles (five) and tackles for loss or no gain against the run (11). His 87.2 overall grade on the season sits behind only 2011 Aldon Smith, 2011 Von Miller and 2019 Nick Bosa when looking at every rookie edge defender seasons over the past decade.
He is likely the most talented defensive lineman on what has emerged as one of the best defensive lines in the NFL this season. If Young does walk away with the defensive rookie of the year award, it will be well deserved.
Curl, the 7th round pick out of Arkansas, has been an amazing surprise this year, filling in at safety better than just about anyone could have anticipated for the injured Landon Collins:
After finding himself on this team, it’s safe to say that Curl exceeded expectations in his rookie season as a seventh-round pick out of Arkansas. Curl will actually finish the 2020 regular season as PFF’s highest-graded rookie safety at 68.0 overall across 763 defensive snaps after starting every game at safety for Washington since Week 9.
Curl played at least 150 snaps in the box, in the slot and at free safety for the Football Team as a rookie, and he made key tackles throughout the season for Washington. His 19 run stops were more than any other rookie safety this season, as were his 16 stops in coverage.
The defensive line gets all the headlines in Washington, but Curl is part of a back seven that has quietly played very well for much of the season.
They weren’t the only Washington rookies to get PFF love during the season though. Third round pick, RB Antonio Gibson, was a PFF favorite as well, but unfortunately his late season bout with turf toe likely hampered his overall season grade.
Highest-graded offensive rookies:— PFF (@PFF) December 12, 2020
1. Justin Jefferson - 90.0
2. Michael Onwenu - 84.4
T-3. Antonio Gibson - 79.1
T-3. Tristan Wirfs - 79.1 pic.twitter.com/dP0Wf7g8f0
For a team with no second round pick in the 2020 draft, I’d say that’s a pretty damn impressive haul. Let’s do it again in 2021! The future looks bright!
Who is your favorite WFT rookie?
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