Cleveland Browns left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. was named the NFL’s Rookie of the Week on Friday.
Wills was honored for his role in helping the team rush for 231 yards in the Week 10 win over the Houston Texans.
The honor makes Wills just the fourth offensive lineman to earn the honor since the award was established in 2002, according to clevelandbrowns.com. He joins Ryan Clady of the Denver Broncos (2008), Stefen Wisniewski of the then-Oakland Raiders (2011) and D.J. Fluker of the then-San Diego Chargers (2013) as the only offensive linemen to win the award.
The award continues a solid rookie season for Wills as he makes the transition from playing right tackle in college at Alabama to left tackle with the Browns.
Over his last two games (WKs 8-10) #Browns Jedrick Wills’s 90.5 pass block grade ranks 3rd among all qualifying tackles.— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) November 19, 2020
He is now 12th in pass block grade on the year (82.0). pic.twitter.com/VibXGE2PiT
Jedrick Wills Jr. continued his run of strong pass-blocking for a rookie left tackle — he didn’t allow a single pressure and lost just one rep in total on 22 pass-block snaps for the game. Granted, he was helped out some by the offense, as he saw just five true pass sets all game long. It was still an impressive performance nonetheless.
The real good news with Wills’ performance is that he wasn’t a poor performer in the run game. He had entered this one with five straight run-blocking game grades below 60.0, and it looks like he will end that streak here. It still wasn’t spectacular by any means, but Wills wasn’t hindering the team’s rushing success like he had been in recent weeks.
The improvement in Wills’ play has not been lost on offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, who looks for Wills to continue to grow comfortable on the left side, according to cleveland.com:
“He has been playing well. He is still a rookie so there is still a lot of room for improvement, but he has come in and he has played well. He has been available. He has done a nice job. We have to keep him onside. He has a little streak there of jumping offside with the false starts. Overall, he is going to continue to improve each week.”
Wills has had a few rough spots this season, most notably during the loss to the Las Vegas Raiders when he had two false starts and a holding penalty. But overall he has lived up to his status as a No. 1 draft pick, making it likely that this is not the last award he will be picking up for his play.