Best/worst-case projections for notable offensive NFL rookies

As training camps swing into gear around the league, analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah projects the best- and worst-case scenarios for 12 intriguing offensive rookies.

Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

Drafted: Round 1, No. 1 overall, out of LSU.

Best-case scenario: He's the unquestioned Day 1 starter and hits the ground running. The Bengals incorporate key elements of the LSU offense and Burrow flourishes. The offensive line is able to hold up in five-man protections and A.J. Green returns from injury to have a huge year.

Worst-case scenario: The Bengals struggle to protect Burrow and he takes a beating in the pocket. Green fails to recapture his Pro Bowl form and they are forced to play from behind on a weekly basis. The rookie QB gets shut down late in the season to protect his body and confidence.

Projected stats: 3,500 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins

Drafted: Round 1, No. 5 overall, out of Alabama.

Best-case scenario: Tua becomes the starter about four weeks into the season, replacing veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins' defense keeps the team in every game and Tua excels in run-pass options. He does a better job of protecting himself than he did at Alabama (throwing the ball away more frequently instead of taking a hit) and shows no signs of the hip injury he suffered last fall.

Worst-case scenario: Tua is in and out of the lineup due to nagging injuries. He has a difficult time adjusting to throwing into tighter windows at the NFL level. The former Tide star has a couple big games, but the inconsistency is an issue.

Projected stats: 2,250 passing yards, 14 TDs and 7 INTs.

Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

Drafted: Round 1, No. 6 overall, out of Oregon.

Best-case scenario: He's not rushed into the lineup. Tyrod Taylor starts the first half of the season before the rookie takes over. Herbert has immediate success, his confidence grows and his athleticism fits beautifully into this new version of the Chargers' offense.

Worst-case scenario: He doesn't play a snap the entire season. I think this outcome is a possibility and I actually don't think it's a bad idea for Year 1. The Chargers are very high on Taylor and that might allow Herbert to sit and learn during his rookie season.

Projected stats: 1,600 passing yards, 12 TDs, 5 INTs; 200 rushing yards, three rushing TDs.

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Drafted: Round 1, No. 12 overall, out of Alabama.

Best-case scenario: Ruggs emerges as a deep threat for Derek Carr and also provides big plays in the return game. The Raiders find creative ways to get the ball in his hands (fly sweeps, reverses, etc.) and his presence creates more space for Josh Jacobs to run the ball.

Worst-case scenario: He has his share of splash plays, but the volume of touches is very limited. His speed benefits the offense, but his stats don't jump off the page.

Projected stats: 44 catches, 800 yards, 6 TDs.

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos

Drafted: Round 1, No. 15 overall, out of Alabama.

Best-case scenario: Jeudy benefits from the presence of Courtland Sutton and dominates his one-on-one matchups. His quickness causes fits in the slot and he quickly emerges as Drew Lock's favorite third-down target.

Worst-case scenario: The Broncos lean on the running game and that limits Jeudy's production. Lock spreads the ball around to Denver's talented array of young skill-position players. The offense has success as a group, but there aren't any eye-popping individual numbers.

Projected stats: 58 catches, 900 yards, 7 TDs.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Drafted: Round 1, No. 17 overall, out of Oklahoma.

Best-case scenario: The former Sooner's route-running polish and reliable hands win over Dak Prescott's confidence. He has success both outside and in the slot. The Cowboys have the league's best offense and Lamb teams up with Amari Cooper to give Dallas the top WR duo in the NFL.

Worst-case scenario: I have a hard time coming up with a scenario in which Lamb isn't immediately successful. As long as he stays healthy, he will produce right away, although Cooper and Michael Gallup are going to get their share of targets, too.

Projected stats: 65 catches, 780 yards, 6 TDs.

Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Drafted: Round 1, No. 21 overall, out of TCU.

Best-case scenario: Reagor teams up with DeSean Jackson to form a dynamic downfield duo for Carson Wentz. He also makes an impact in the return game.

Worst-case scenario: He struggles to consistently catch the ball. The Eagles make heavy use of 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR), limiting his opportunities.

Projected stats: 40 catches, 600 yards, 4 TDs.

Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Drafted: Round 1, No. 22 overall, out of LSU.

Best-case scenario: Jefferson exceeds the production that Stefon Diggs provided last season (63 catches for 1,130 yards and 6 TDs). He becomes a reliable third-down target for Kirk Cousins, just as he was for Joe Burrow at LSU.

Worst-case scenario: Dalvin Cook has an MVP-caliber year and the Vikings lean on the running game more than they have in the past. And if Adam Thielen suffers another injury after missing six games last season, his absence would allow defenses to focus on Jefferson.

Projected stats: 70 catches, 1,050 yards, 7 TDs.

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Drafted: Round 1, No. 25 overall, out of Arizona State.

Best-case scenario: Aiyuk fills the Deebo Samuel role until Samuel's healthy enough to return from his foot injury. His wide-ranging skill set and Kyle Shanahan's system are an ideal pairing.

Worst-case scenario: Samuel comes back sooner than expected and there's just not enough footballs to go around for Aiyuk to light up the stat sheet. His primary impact comes in the return game and he provides a few highlight-reel plays throughout the season.

Projected stats: 50 catches, 700 yards, 5 TDs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Drafted: Round 1, No. 32 overall, out of LSU.

Best-case scenario: He fills the role that Brian Westbrook played in Andy Reid's offense back in their days with the Eagles. Edwards-Helaire not only has an impact running the football but collects a lot of easy receptions, too, on an offense with so much speed.

Worst-case scenario: With Patrick Mahomes continuing to improve -- a scary thought, I know -- the prospect of running the football might not be very enticing. Keep in mind that Kansas City didn't have anyone rush for over 500 yards last season. If this scenario plays out, Edwards-Helaire should still see plenty of opportunities to make plays in the passing game.

Projected stats: 800 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs; 50 catches, 600 yards, 5 receiving TDs.

D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions

Drafted: Round 2, No. 35 overall, out of Georgia.

Best-case scenario: Swift becomes an Alvin Kamara-like weapon in the Detroit offense. He immediately beats out Kerryon Johnson for the RB1 job and the Lions finally have a big-time back to complement Matthew Stafford.

Worst-case scenario: No lead back emerges and it's more of a true timeshare between Swift and Johnson. And if Stafford can't stay healthy, the offense will head south, as we witnessed last season.

Projected stats: 1,050 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs; 35 catches, 2 receiving TDs.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Drafted: Round 2, No. 41 overall, out of Wisconsin.

Best-case scenario: His speed and Indianapolis' outstanding offensive line are a perfect combination. He quickly emerges as the Colts' home-run hitter and does a lot of damage.

Worst-case scenario: A lead back doesn't emerge and there's a fairly even split of playing time between Taylor and Marlon Mack. Taylor has little impact in the passing game, limiting his opportunities to stay on the field on third down.

Projected stats: 750 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs; 15 catches, 0 receiving TDs.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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