Who will be the Dan Marino, Randy Moss, or Ndamukong Suh of the 2021 NFL rookie class? A first-year player who makes an instant impression in their debut season?
The 2021 NFL Draft was full of potential game-changers and future Pro Bowl performers. Every franchise hopes they draft a breakout star, but which ones will actually deliver on the gridiron?
Here are five NFL rookies who can make an immediate impact for their franchises.
#1 - Trevor Lawrence - Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars ranked 30th or worse in Total QBR from 2011-2020. The number one pick in this year’s draft is set to blow those woeful statistics away.
Lawrence went 34-2 in his college career at Clemson, and he brings a winning attitude to a franchise that is desperately in need of success. NFL scouts believe he is the greatest QB prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012.
The six-foot-six play-caller is a massive upgrade over the previous Jags quarterbacks and under the guidance of Urban Meyer should quickly transform the Jaguars into a winning team. He also has his Clemson teammate, star running back Travis Etienne, to hand the ball off to which should take some pressure off the rookie QB.
#2 - Ja'Marr Chase - Cincinnati Bengals
The LSU star wideout was reunited with his LSU teammate and quarterback Joe Burrow when he was picked fifth by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Chase caught 20 touchdown passes and had 1,780 receiving yards from Burrow in 2019. This pre-existing chemistry should ensure the Bengals offense is firing on all cylinders in 2021.
NFL pundits believe that Ja’Marr Chase is the greatest wide receiver prospect since Julio Jones. If he can be half the player that Julio Jones is then the Bengals will have an offense to be feared.
Also Read: Who is Joe Burrow's Girlfriend?
#3 - Zach Wilson - New York Jets
The Jets drafted the BYU quarterback with the second pick in the draft, so they have high expectations from the rookie.
With no veteran quarterback currently on the Jets roster, Wilson is expected to start immediately. The rookie QB with a big arm is seen by many NFL scouts as a boom or bust prospect.
The Jets drafted guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and wide receiver Elijah Moore to help Wilson succeed in his rookie season and beyond. Whether good or bad, Zach Wilson will have a big impact on the franchise this season.
#4 - Najee Harris - Pittsburgh Steelers
Alabama running back Najee Harris should help transform the Steelers' running attack. Pittsburgh had the worst running game in the NFL last season, which is why owner Art Rooney II drafted Harris.
The rookie running back is expected to carry a big load and be an every-down player for the Steelers offense. He will also take some pressure off veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Harris averaged 5.8 yards per carry and ran for 1,466 yards last year at Alabama, helping the Crimson Tide win the national championship.
#5 - Jaycee Horn - Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers selected cornerback Jaycee Horn with the eighth overall pick in the draft. Horn was the first defender picked and the physical, aggressive CB should be an instant upgrade to the Panthers’ secondary.
The six-foot-one, 205-pounds corner should immediately be able to cover some of the NFL’s best receivers. The Panthers expect him to start in week one and make game-changing plays on defense.
The son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn, Jaycee will be hoping to emulate his father’s successful NFL career.