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2021 NFL Season Awards: 3 Players who could win the Rookie Player of the Year award

New England Patriots - Mac Jones
New England Patriots - Mac Jones
ANALYST

The 2021 NFL season is less than a week away. Plenty of rookies have been placed in starting roles and are ready to make an immediate impact.

Rookies starring in their debut season is a common occurence. Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers set a new rookie touchdown record in 2020 that was previously held by Cam Newton. Chase Young of the Washington Football Team racked up 15 tackles, four quarterback hits, two sacks, two tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and a touchdown.

With plenty of talented rookies set to embark on their NFL journeys in a week's time, let's look at three players who could win the rookie of the year award.

Potential offensive and defensive rookies of the year

#1 - Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots

Mac Jones is the obvious top choice here.

The former Alabama star was named the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, beating out veteran Cam Newton, who has since been released.

The news didn't come as much of a surprise. Newton has suffered a dip in performances in the past few seasons. Bellichick saw enough in the rookie to give him the starting job. Jones will have plenty of time to prove that he was the correct choice.

Jones will make his NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. Armed with an entirely retooled receiver corps that includes wide receiver Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and tight ends Jonny Smith and Hunter Henry, Jones should feel confident ahead of his first start.

Time will tell if the rookie quarterback can make some noise in the competitive AFC, but the team has the tools to give the Alabama product a great chance to land the offensive rookie of the year award.

#2 - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

There has been plenty of buzz surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence, the #1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The rookie quarterback out of Clemson looks set to follow up on his solid preseason numbers.

Lawrence seems to be ready for a breakout season. However, the Jaguars have a weak wide receiving room. Especially with Tavon Austin heading to IR for at least three weeks.

The AFC South is a stacked division. Both the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are coming off an 11-5 season. Lawrence will have his hands full trying to lead the Jaguars to a successful season.

#3 - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Denver Broncos

Patrick Surtain II is set to command the backfield for the Denver Broncos. The rookie has already shown flashes of brilliance in the preseason.

Alabama is a proven ground for NFL-ready players, and Surtain seems to be the program's latest elite alumnus. Surtain was one of the highest-graded rookies in coverage during the preseason, even coming away with a pick-6 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Defensive rookie of the year honors will belong to Surtain if he continues to play at the level he managed in the preseason during the regular season.


Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar

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