The 2021 NFL draft has come and gone. Training camp is in session. It’s time to take a look at rookies hoping to light up the new season. We analyse their situations and who we expect to hit the ground running and make immediate impact.
Ja’Marr Chase (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
With a college career of 1780 rec yards and 20 TD at LSU in 2019 (Led FBS), he is a lock for offensive rookie of the year. You can book J. Chase for at least 17 touchdown passes this season. Reuniting with Joe Burrow who threw 20 touchdown passes to him in LSU (2019) with 14 of them being deep throws catches and wild plays. He didn’t even play football last year but he has more receiving touchdowns in the last two seasons than any receiver in the last two years.
Najee Harris (RB, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Coming in with 46 rush TD in his career which is a record at Alabama, Harris will be present to take off some of the pressure from Big Ben, not only as a runner but a receiver catching the ball up the back field. He will be playing the role Le Veon Bell played in the good ol’ days and will bring that run game the Steelers badly need.
Trevor Lawrence (QB, Jackson Jaguars)
There is a reason Trevor Lawrence went number one. The man looks special! With 13 games with w/300+ pass yds at Clemson you just cannot make a list of top 10 rookies to watch without featuring him. The table is set for the QB at Jacksonville as he has a good offensive line to start. He will have the ball in his hands from day one and is expected to pay well. His coach will adapt the offense to fit his skill set. He is as advertised and looking to turn Jacksonville in to a winning program
Jaelen Philips (LB, Miami Dolphins)
He was the first pass rusher taken in the draft falling all the way down to 18. With a great breakout pro-day, and with Brian Flores as his defensive coordinator he is set to make an incredible impact. You could book him for 10 sacks this year and that’s a lot of sacks for a rookie.
Terrace Marshall Jr (WR, Carolina Panthers)
Yes, a second-round pick can bring the juice. With 23 rec TD at LSU since 2019 (3rd in the FBS) you don’t want to sleep on the young man. He is reuniting with his college coordinator Joe Brady who knows how to use him. Not a lot of people are talking about Terrace Marshall but they should be. He operates in the slot even though he is a big outside and physical guy.
Justin Field (QB, Chicago Bears)
He will be looking to shake off Andy Dalton if things don’t go as planned from week one. With multiple college seasons under his belt and rated as one of the MOST ACCURATE college passers of all time (slightly better than Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrows and Mac Jones), you can expect him to light up the NF when he gets his chance.
Mac Jones (QB, New England Patriots)
As the fifth QB selected in the draft, you can say he is a steal. Since Tom Brady left New England, they have been in search for their new franchise QB. Even though Cam Newton is still on the roster he has proven to be unreliable and you can count on Mac Jones to step in and pick up the pieces. He helped lead Alabama to a national Championship in 2020, and will fit well in to Bill Belichick’s system.
Zach Wilson (QB, New York Jets)
Wilson might not pile up a lot of victories this season but you can expect some sustainable and solid completive play. He can handle the pressure that comes with being a franchise quarterback in New York. Especially with the support he will get with the acquisition of Elijah Moore, Micheal Carter, Corey Davis and Alijah Vera Tucker.
Dillon Radunz (OT, Tennessee Titans)
You can expect him to provide an immediate boost to the Titans offensive line. As a versatile player he can play either left or right tackle. He previously did an excellent job protecting Trey Lance’s blind side. A lot is expected from him if the Titans are to be a top 10 offensive line.
Patrick Surtain II (CB, Denver Broncos)
Probably one of the best cornerbacks to come out of Alabama. And considered one of the highest-rated defensive players in the draft. The SEC Defensive player of the year should immediately start making an impact on day one in the NFL. He should have no troubles as he has three other experienced cornerbacks on the team to guide him.