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Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins make PFF’s Midseason All-Rookie Team

Worthy honors for Cincinnati’s best two rookies this season.

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Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

When the Cincinnati Bengals go quarterback and wide receiver to start a draft class, things tend to work out.

Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins have both become rookie sensations as the NFL season starts its second half. They’ve been so impressive that Pro Football Focus had both of them on their Midseason All-Rookie Team, with Burrow being the lone quarterback and Higgins as one of two receivers.

PFF highlights Burrow’s play-for-play production behind a shoddy offensive line and Higgins’ reliable hands as reasons for them making it over a few of their peers.


Justin Herbert has put the heat on of late, but Burrow’s body of work still takes the cake. The No. 1 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft has really only had one dud of a game, and that was against the blitz-heavy Baltimore Ravens. Even with that, he still ranks 13th in passing grade among all starters in the NFL and has done it behind the 26th-ranked pass protection in the league. That’s no small feat.


This spot was another hotly contested one, but Higgins’ more reliable hands give him the nod. He’s dropped only one pass on the season compared to five for both CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy. After a slow start, Higgins has been Joe Burrow’s go-to guy, with four or more catches in each of the Bengals’ last six games. Cincinnati can’t ask for much more from its first two picks.

Burrow and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers will be battling for Offensive Rookie of the Year for the rest of the season, but if you trust PFF’s process, Burrow should be the slight favorite right now. Burrow’s consistency throughout the season gives him a slightly better case even though Herbert’s traditional stats are more pleasing to the eyes.

Higgins has been right there with the rest of this impressive rookie receiver class. Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings can obviously be placed in front of Higgins, but Higgins has lived up to his draft slot very nicely thus far.

A few more wins should be in store for the Bengals with their rookie QB-WR duo playing this well.