Cleveland Browns LT Jedrick Wills Jr. entered the 2020 season with a lot of pressure on his broad shoulders.
He was the first-round draft pick of an organization desperate to return to winning ways.
There was COVID-19 that shortened his preseason preparation.
And the Browns wanted him to switch from his comfort zone of right tackle to left tackle which they planned to enlist Browns legend Joe Thomas to help him with.
This all happened before his 21st birthday.
Yes, there have been growing pains, but Wills has proven to be up to the task and has delivered mightily for the Browns.
Though Wills is not motivated by individual awards, they are starting to come his way.
Week 10 – NFL Rookie Of The Week
Congrats to Jedrick Willis Jr. on being named NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 10! Via Browns pic.twitter.com/aCgmg7b0zp
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) November 21, 2020
Wills was named NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Houston Texans.
He tangled with J.J. Watt on some plays during that game and also did his part to hold the line for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to each earn over 100 yards rushing in the game.
The NFL Rookie of the Week is rarely assigned to an offensive lineman; only three other offensive lineman have earned the award since it was initiated in 2002.
Wills is improving each week so this may not be the last time this season he earns this honor.
Touchdown Wire’s Top 12 Offensive Rookies
Wills was ranked seventh on the list.
It should be noted that the list was released prior to Wills’ Week 10 performance against the Texans.
He has protected Baker Mayfield extremely well, with only three sacks allowed in the first nine games of the season.
Touchdown Wire stated that if the Browns get into the playoffs, Jedrick Wills will be a big reason why.
A lot of analysis goes into the Pro Football Focus grading system.
The bottom line is the top grade is 100.
Wills’ performance in the past three games was third-best among tackles.
Over his last two games (WKs 8-10) #Browns Jedrick Wills’s 90.5 pass block grade ranks 3rd among all qualifying tackles.
He is now 12th in pass block grade on the year (82.0). pic.twitter.com/VibXGE2PiT
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) November 19, 2020
The Joe Thomas Seal Of Approval
In Cleveland, this may be the most important accolade Wills can earn.
And Thomas was sold on Wills back in September.
“For the most part, fans probably are going, ‘Jed who?’ Because he really has done a great job of keeping his name out of everybody’s mouth, right? There’s not really been noticeable mistakes. He’s not getting beat consistently. He’s not having a bunch of penalties.”
“He looks like a veteran starter out there, and that’s a compliment to him, but also a compliment to the coaching staff to be able to bring him along as quickly as he has been. And I think the conversation, the questions and the skepticism about can he change from right tackle to left tackle, especially with a reduced or limited offseason, I think those have all been pretty much put to bed because he looks like a natural out there at left tackle.”
In an extremely competitive AFC North division that only stands to get more competitive in the next few years, LT Jedrick Wills is a huge asset to the Cleveland Browns in 2020 and beyond.