In most seasons, the NFL watches as rookie quarterbacks grab headlines. 2021 was different in the sense that save for Mac Jones in New England, rookie QBs struggled. Trey Lance rarely got onto the field for the San Francisco 49ers and neither Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence nor the Chicago Bears’ Justin Fields played well. Because rookie quarterbacks struggled, it was easy to come up with a non-QB rookie’s top five list for the 2021 NFL Season. Let’s jump right into action so you can place your bets against the NFL Rookie Odds.
Top 5 Non-QB Rookies From the 2021 NFL Season
2021-2022 NFL Regular Season
- When: Thursday, Sep. 9. 2021 – Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022
1. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
The in-your-face stats are impressive: 81 catches for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdown grabs. But the not in your face stat is ridiculous. Chase averages 18 yards per catch. What? Like we wrote, ridiculous.
2. LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
The preseason NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite is a lock to win the award. Because DeMarcus Lawrence plays on the other side, opponents couldn’t double-team Parsons, Dallas’ first-round pick from Penn State.
Micah produced 64 solo tackles, 13 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. He and Lawrence should be more effective next season, which is why once the Super Bowl 56 winner lifts the trophy on February 13, oddsmakers will install the Cowboys one of the chalks to win Super Bowl 57.
3. T Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers
Offensive linemen don’t get a lot of press. But every football fan agrees the offensive line is the most important unit in the league. The O-line protects your quarterback.
Last season, Justin Herbert threw for 4,336 yards and threw 31 TDs. This season, with Slater playing left tackle, Herbert threw for 5,014 yards and 38 TDs.
4. TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons didn’t have a great season. But before talking about how awful it was, realize that up until NFL Week 17, the ATL remained alive for the NFC’s final playoff spot.
So it wasn’t as bad as many might believe. One of the reasons Atlanta fans should feel good about 2022 is because rookie Kyle Pitts is one of the best tight-ends in football. Pitts had 86 catches for 1,026 yards.
The stats are fantastic for a tight-end. One thing Atlanta must do, though, is throw the ball to Pitts in the red zone. Kyle had just a single TD catch.
5. WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Philadelphia’s DeVonta Smith had a great season as a rookie wide receiver. So there’s no qualms with giving DeVonta his due.
For our money, though, Waddle, Smith’s teammate at Alabama, had the better rookie season. Jaylen caught 104 passes for 1,015 yards and 6 TDs.
Former head coach Brian Flores and his staff knew had to use Waddle’s abilities. Hopefully, the next coaching staff won’t screw up the rapport QB Tua Tagovailoa and Waddle has developed.
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