Tee Higgins, the talented wide receiver from the Clemson Tigers, had an impressive start to his NFL career in the 2020 season. With 67 receptions for 908 yards and 6 touchdowns, Higgins quickly established himself as a key player for the Cincinnati Bengals. In this article, we will delve into the details of his rookie year and discuss what makes him such a promising prospect for the future.
The Road to the NFL: Tee Higgins’ Journey
College Career at Clemson University
Higgins’ journey to the NFL began at Clemson University, where he played for three seasons. As a freshman in 2017, he recorded 17 receptions for 345 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, it was in his sophomore and junior years that he truly made a name for himself. In 2018, he had 59 receptions for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns, and in 2019, he had 59 receptions for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns. These impressive numbers caught the attention of NFL scouts, and he was projected to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Selected by the Cincinnati Bengals
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Higgins with the 33rd overall pick in the second round. He was the sixth wide receiver chosen in the draft, indicating the high expectations placed on him by the team. Higgins was drafted to replace veteran wide receiver A.J. Green, who left the Bengals after 10 seasons. This put a lot of pressure on the rookie, but he proved to be up for the challenge.
How to Utilize Tee Higgins’ Talent on the Field
Strengths and Playing Style
One of the main reasons for Higgins’ success in his rookie season is his combination of size and speed. Standing at 6’4″ and weighing 215 pounds, he has an imposing presence on the field. He also possesses impressive speed, with a 40-yard dash time of 4.54 seconds. This allows him to make big plays downfield and outrun defenders.
Higgins is also known for his excellent hands and body control, making him a reliable target for quarterback Joe Burrow. He has the ability to make contested catches and is not afraid to go up against defenders to secure the ball. His physicality and aggressive playing style make him a threat in the red zone, where he can use his size advantage to come down with touchdowns.
Role in the Bengals Offense
In the Bengals’ offense, Higgins played primarily as the team’s “X” receiver, lining up on the outside and using his physicality to beat defenders. He also saw time in the slot, showcasing his versatility as a receiver. The team utilized him in a variety of ways, from deep routes to short screens, highlighting his ability to make plays at all levels of the field.
Furthermore, Higgins’ presence on the field opened up opportunities for other receivers, such as Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green, as defenses had to pay extra attention to the rookie playmaker. This allowed the Bengals to have a more balanced and dynamic passing attack, which was crucial for the team’s success.
Examples of Tee Higgins’ Impact on the Bengals Offense
Week 3 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
One of the most notable games for Higgins in his rookie season was in week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. In this game, he had 5 receptions for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game-winning score in overtime. Higgins showed off his route-running abilities and caught both of his touchdowns in the red zone, further solidifying his role as a go-to receiver in key situations.
Week 13 vs. Miami Dolphins
In week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, Higgins had his best game of the season, with 6 receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. He made an impressive catch in the end zone over tight coverage, showcasing his body control and hands. This game also marked the first time he surpassed 100 receiving yards in a game, a milestone that would become more common for him in the latter half of the season.
Comparing Tee Higgins to Other Rookie Receivers
Higgins’ rookie season was nothing short of impressive, but how does he compare to other rookie wide receivers in the league? Let’s take a look at some key statistics from the 2020 season:
- Higgins had the second-highest receiving yards among rookie receivers, behind only Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings.
- He tied for the most receiving touchdowns among rookie receivers with 6, along with Chase Claypool of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Higgins had the third-most receptions among rookie receivers, behind Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys.
- He was one of only two rookie receivers to have multiple games with 100+ receiving yards, the other being Justin Jefferson.
These numbers show that Higgins was one of the top rookie receivers in the league and has the potential to be a standout player in the future.
Tips for Fantasy Football Players: How to Draft Tee Higgins
For fantasy football players looking to draft Tee Higgins for their team, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, Higgins will likely see an increased role in the Bengals’ offense next season, as A.J. Green is no longer with the team. This means more targets and opportunities to produce on the field.
Second, with Joe Burrow returning from injury, the Bengals’ offense is expected to improve overall. This could result in more scoring opportunities for Higgins and the rest of the receivers. And finally, his chemistry with Burrow will only continue to develop, making him an even more valuable asset for fantasy teams.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tee Higgins
Q1: How did Tee Higgins perform in his rookie season?
A: In his rookie season, Higgins had 67 receptions for 908 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Q2: What role did Tee Higgins play in the Bengals’ offense?
A: Higgins primarily played as the team’s “X” receiver on the outside, but he also saw time in the slot.
Q3: How did Tee Higgins compare to other rookie receivers in the league?
A: In terms of receiving yards, touchdowns, and receptions, Higgins was one of the top rookie receivers in the league.
Q4: Who was Tee Higgins’ quarterback in his rookie season?
A: Higgins’ quarterback in his rookie season was Joe Burrow.
Q5: Will Tee Higgins have a larger role in the Bengals’ offense next season?
A: With A.J. Green no longer with the team, it is expected that Higgins will see an increased role in the Bengals’ offense next season.
Conclusion: The Future is Bright for Tee Higgins
In his rookie season, Tee Higgins showed great promise and potential as a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. With impressive stats and impactful performances, he quickly became a key player on the team and a fan favorite. As he continues to develop and build chemistry with his quarterback, the future looks bright for Higgins and his role in the Bengals’ offense. Keep an eye out for this talented rookie in the upcoming seasons, as he has the potential to become a top receiver in the NFL.
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