The top rookies of the NFC North

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

The NFC North has pretty much shaped up the way we thought it would preseason, though I’m not sure that people thought the Green Bay Packers would be as impressive as they were.

Instead of breaking down where teams stand as we enter the last two games of the season, this week I’m going to focus on the rookies in the division. They’ve done a good job, and deserve to get a little shine. So let’s help them get their shine on!

We’ll start off in Detroit.  It’s been a rocky 2020 season for the Lions that has seen their GM and coach fired, and most recently their special teams coach fired as well.  But one rookie who is starting to make his mark in all of this has been running back D’Andre Swift.

While he has had to sit out some due to concussion problems, he has been a good addition to the run game in Detroit. This is bringing hope to fans, especially after RB Kerryon Johnson has been plagued by injury. In the game against the Titans, despite the loss, he was able to rush for 2 touchdowns, 67 yards rushing, and 15 receiving.  While these aren’t killer numbers, they’re about what fans in Detroit have come to expect, he is showing promise as a running back. Will he get to 100 yards rushing anytime soon?

Heading westward, we come to the Chicago Bears. Rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson is definitely showing promise as a cornerback of the future. He is starting to make his name known and had a big role in the Bears 5-1 start this season. He’s one of the leaders in forced incompletions and is the only rookie on the PFF List!

He’s been dealing with a shoulder injury and had to miss last week’s game, but here’s hoping it’s nothing too serious and he’ll be back in the lineup soon.  Which would be good for Chicago because he’s going to be trouble out there.

The Minnesota Vikings rookie needs no introduction. In the offseason, the team sent wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills and drafted Justin Jefferson.  Many weren’t expecting him to fill Diggs’s shoes, but has he.

The rookie wideout has broken the Vikings rookie receiving record that was previously held by Hall of Famer Randy Moss. He is also one of 2 rookies that made the Pro Bowl, with the other being Washington Football Team’s defensive end Chase Young.  Jefferson is going to be fun to watch for a long time.

Last but not least are the Green Bay Packers. Their inside linebacker Krys Barnes is emerging and is starting to cause good trouble on their defense. The undrafted free agent is quickly becoming a key piece of the Packers defense of the future. While he too started a bit slow, he’s coming on in a major way for the Packers.  As they make their playoff run, he will be a key component of the linebacking groups.

What other rookies in the NFC North are making names for themselves?

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