Late Round Instant Impact NFL Rookies
Going from college standout to NFL rookie is not easy. The 2020 NFL Draft class will be starting further behind than usual, considering a lack of rookie mini camps thanks to COVID-19. Through video conferencing and virtual workouts, these NFL rookies are relocating across the country and trying to transition to the professional ranks amid a pandemic.
While some of these selections might have been head-scratchers back in April, there’s clear opportunity for success for some. General managers envision how these players fit, while coaches and coordinators adjust game plans and scheme fits to maximize this new asset.
Late round draft picks can be hit-or-miss. They often fill out the depth chart while vying for on-field snaps through their first contract. There have been some huge stars that have emerged from what’s now Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Historically, hall of fame players and Super Bowl champions have emerged from the late rounds. See Tom Brady, Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent and Terrell Davis.
Most recently, the Kansas City Chiefs found Tyreek Hill from West Alabama back in 2016. He was a fifth-round selection, No. 165 overall. The New York Jets selected Chris Herndon from the University of Miami in the fourth round with the 107th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Las Vegas Raiders drafted the Clemson product with the 149th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
While sometimes it’ll take a year or two for late round rookies to make an impact, that’s not always the case. Here’s a look at 10 late round rookies who could have an instant impact.