Ahead of the 2020 NFL season getting underway, many analysts picked out a handful of potential breakout stars, with the likes of Marquise Blair and Marcus Davenport both widely tipped to become household names in the months ahead of us. However, very few football fans could have predicted Tershawn Wharton’s rapid rise, with the undrafted rookie having stepped up superbly in recent weeks.
Tershawn Wharton gets the sack! 👊 pic.twitter.com/LpAcF9wTFJ
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 1, 2020
Eyebrows were raised when an undrafted rookie out of Division II’s Missouri S&T was included in the Chief’s 53-man roster, with many fans wrongly assuming that he was simply there to make up the numbers. However, at the half-way stage of the season, Wharton’s surprise inclusion looks wholly justified, with the 22-year old having been featured in all eight games so far. His numbers have been impressively consistent, and he has become one of the league’s top defensive rookies.
Hard work and determination have been key to his improvement over the last few months, however, the defensive tackle has also spoken of the ‘sense of belonging’ in the locker room, and credits his teammates for his unlikely NFL success. The likes of Mike Pennel, Derrick Nnadi, and Frank Clark have clearly spotted enormous potential in Wharton, and they are just three of the Chief’s defensive line who have taken him under their wing.
He’s recorded 19 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, and he has certainly not looked out of place so far. He’s played a key role in the Chief’s defense this season, and the defending champions have made an impressive start to the 2020 campaign. They currently hold an 8-1 record and sit top of the AFC West. Wharton will be hoping to help guide his side to their second successive Super Bowl this season, and they have already been chalked up as favorites to retain their crown in February 2021.
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Highest-graded defensive rookies in Week 8:
1. Trevon Diggs – 90.4
2. Alex Highsmith – 88.7
3. Jeremy Chinn – 80.3
4. Michael Jacquet III – 75.6
5. Tershawn Wharton – 69.4 pic.twitter.com/K70CbGKK6m
— PFF (@PFF) November 2, 2020
Super Bowl LV is likely to provoke another surge in online wagering activity at the beginning of 2021, and although it’s still extremely early days, the Chiefs will be confident of booking their place in the season finale for the second successive season. The emergence of Tershawn Wharton has been one of the feel-good stories of the season, and he could play a significant role in helping the Chiefs to negotiate their way through the end of season play-offs.