We are only about a month away from the 2021 NFL Preseason starting with the Hall of Fame Game kicking things off on August 5. Many NFL rookies are poised to have huge seasons. Here are five NFL rookies that will have the biggest impact in 2021 (Yardbarker).
- Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are in desperate need of help on the defensive side of the ball. The Dallas defense looked clueless the entire 2020 season against both the run and the pass. Jerry Jones normally gets enamored with offensive players on draft day, but he made the smart move by taking Parsons with the 12th overall pick.
Parsons will step in and be a starting linebacker in Week 1 for the Cowboys. The 6-3 246 pounder can rush the passer and stop the run. Parsons is also fast enough to keep up in pass coverage, which is an area Dallas was awful in last season.
- Tutu Atwell, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Rams head coach Sean McVay needed a speed demon at wide receiver to stretch the field for his new QB, Matthew Stafford. The Rams were delighted to take Atwell in the second round of the draft with the 57th overall pick. Atwell runs the 40 in 4.27 seconds and will be fun to watch any time he touches the football.
The former Louisville star should see plenty of playing time this year as the Rams’ number three receiver. The 5-9 155 pounder will also get a chance to return kicks and punts. Atwell is poised to surprise a lot of folks in 2021.
- Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
We had to put the number one overall draft pick on our list. Lawrence has the size, arm, and mental toughness to be a great NFL QB. New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer will have Lawrence ready to go for Week 1.
It’ll be interesting to see how well Lawrence fares this season. The former Clemson standout is supremely talented but Jacksonville is still in rebuilding mode. Nevertheless, Lawrence should still have several highlight-reel plays in 2021.
- Patrick Surtain II, CB, Denver Broncos
Surtain may have been the most NFL-ready player in the 2021 draft. The former Alabama star has good size (6-2, 208 lbs.) and plenty of speed (4.42 in the 40). Surtain is a shutdown type of corner in the mold of Darrelle Revis.
Surtain will help the Broncos become one of the best secondaries in the NFL this season. While at Alabama, Surtain intercepted four passes, took one back for a touchdown, and forced four fumbles. The Broncos will be pleased with Surtain’s professionalism and tenacity.
- Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons
The departure of Julio Jones from Atlanta means that Matt Ryan will rely even more heavily on Pitts in crucial situations. At a massive 6-6 and 245 pounds, Pitts is a matchup nightmare for whoever is trying to defend him.
The fourth overall draft pick scored 18 touchdowns during his three-year tenure with the Florida Gators. Pitts can line up at either tight end or wide receiver for the Falcons. It wouldn’t surprise us if Pitts is named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2021.