The NFL Draft is a long-term proposition for the league’s 32 groups, who’re principally trying years down the street once they decide a brand new batch of prospects. But for the NFL rookies themselves, there’s no higher time than the current to begin making an influence. In truth, most good groups depend on rookie contributors throughout their first seasons within the league.
Every workforce hopes their high draft decide makes a mark sooner fairly than later, however leaping into the NFL and contributing from day one isn’t any straightforward feat. Nevertheless, these six rookies appear poised to be actually good, actually shortly within the upcoming 2021 season.
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons tight finish
The No. 4 total decide was one of the dominant faculty tight ends ever. His numbers in 2020––43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns––are spectacular, however they don’t fairly seize how large an issue he may be for an opposing protection.
At 6’5” and 245 pounds, he has a receiver’s ball abilities and a decent finish’s capability to play on the road of scrimmage and create matchup nightmares with linebackers. He’s coming into an offense with a stable quarterback in Matt Ryan, a minimum of one gifted receiver in Calvin Ridley (we’ll see about Julio Jones), and a handful of high quality linemen who can facilitate a very good passing recreation. It wouldn’t be shocking if Pitts begins racking up touchdowns in his first season within the NFL.
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals large receiver
Chase has nearly every little thing he must put up large numbers instantly. His quarterback will probably be Joe Burrow, who’s a yr faraway from being the No. 1 total draft decide. The two have historical past: They final performed collectively throughout the 2019 season at LSU, once they mixed to kind one of many deadliest QB-receiver pairs in faculty soccer historical past. (Something the Bengals considered when drafting Chase fifth total.)
Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions offensive deal with
The Lions are doubtless in for one more season of mediocrity, however Sewell is gifted sufficient to manhandle NFL edge rushers instantly. The seventh total decide opted out of the 2020 season at Oregon, however he didn’t have something to show. He’s extremely athletic, having run the 40-yard dash in 5.09 seconds (at 6’5” and 331 pounds). His spotlight tape from his faculty profession makes clear that he has the bodily abilities to beat up on NFL defenders proper now. He’ll be a welcome presence on The Lions’ offense: Quarterback Jared Goff has struggled, and he’ll want on a regular basis Sewell may give him.
Patrick Surtain II, Denver Broncos cornerback
Surtain has all of the technical abilities wanted to observe within the footsteps of his father, who made an All-Pro workforce and three Pro Bowls in an 11-year profession as an NFL nook. He was one of the hyped cornerback recruits of all time when he arrived at Alabama in 2018, and he kind of validated all of that buzz throughout a dominant three-year profession.
He’s additionally sliding into a very good state of affairs in Denver. According to Pro Football Focus, the Broncos had a top-10 go rush in 2020, they usually achieved that rank regardless of having the most effective participant on the workforce, edge rusher Von Miller, miss your entire yr. Assuming the Broncos can trouble quarterbacks once more, Surtain’s job will probably be loads simpler.
Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys linebacker
Parsons is extremely gifted. In a pre-draft exercise, he ran the 40-yard sprint in a reported 4.39 seconds whereas measuring 6’3” and 246 kilos. He was a productive participant at Penn State regardless of low sack totals (just 6.5 throughout 2018 and 2019 earlier than an opt-out in 2020)—principally due to how the Nittany Lions deployed him. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has a observe document of letting edge rushers roam free and go after opposing QBs. When Quinn coached the Falcons in 2016, Vic Beasley had 15.5 sacks. When Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator earlier than that, his edge rushers generated all types of havoc.
The Cowboys even have plenty of defenders who can deal with protection duties, which ought to unencumber Parsons to do extra pass-rushing than he did in faculty.
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers working again
The Steelers don’t have any alternative however to lean on Harris instantly. The workforce’s former beginning working again, James Conner, left for the Arizona Cardinals in free company, and growing old QB Ben Roethlisberger is just not almost the passer he was once. That means Harris goes to get the ball loads, which can or is probably not nice for his long-term profession development however ought to be superior for his 2021 fantasy soccer numbers.
Of course, fantasy isn’t actual soccer, however Harris ought to play properly IRL, too. He already has the bodily traits of an skilled NFL working again and may be capable of deal with a heavy workload.
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