It’s time to get excited again as the start of the NFL 2021 season gets closer. With incredible new, young talent on show such as Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, plus veteran rising stars like Jalen Hurts, Justin Jefferson and Aaron Jones, this promises to be a great year.
We’ve taken a look at the team rosters and picked out the players you need to watch this season. The NFL odds suggest the Chiefs are once again favourites for Super Bowl LVI.
Adam Trautman – New Orleans Saints
Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third-round last year, Trautman is a 6’5″, 253-pound Tight End that we predict will make a huge impact this season.
Admittedly, Trautman didn’t have a stellar season last year, but the rookie finished with 15 catches, 171 yards and one touchdown. He also impressed as a blocker with 86.9 run-blocking grade, the highest for a tight end.
While he only played 37% of snaps last season, Trautman will get more chances as a pass-catcher. With the departure of Jared Cook and Emmanuel Sanders, Trautman is now New Orleans top tight end on the roster.
Ceedee Lamb – Dallas Cowboys
The wide receiver spent the majority of his rookie year in the slot with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in the outside spots, but Lamb still racked up 935 yards and five touchdowns on 74 receptions, with a passer rating of 102.0 when targeted.
Even more impressive is that Lamb made two touchdowns and 433 of those yards, in the first five weeks of the season, after which starting QB Prescott broke his ankle. With Prescott now back in the team, Lamb is definitely one to watch.
The Cowboys Quarterback himself said of Lamb. “He’s a special playmaker that we’re privileged to have and he’ll be big-time and definitely have a breakout season.”
Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals
Okay he was sacked 32 times last season, but the number one draft pick of 2020 was failed by the terrible defensive line in front of him. That lack of protection saw his season end on his 10th appearance for the Bengals, with a torn ACL.
Despite all that, Burrow passed for 2,688 yards, completing 65.3 percent of his passes, including 13 touchdowns. He also rushed for 142 yards, scoring three touchdowns of his own.
With Cincinnati replacing Jim Turner and hiring offensive line coach Frank Pollack in January, Burrow should be rewarded with some better protection. If he can stay healthy, Burrow has the chance to show people why he was last years No. 1 pick.
J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore running back had a good season last year with nine touchdowns in total, including two in week one, in a 38-6 win against the Browns. But perhaps the most important statistic is that 651 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns and a very impressive 5.97 average yards per carry were achieved in the last nine games of the season.
Dobbins split time with veterans Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards last year, but with Ingram now released he should be the Ravens leading ball carrier.
A top-60 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, this former Ohio State star is a special talent and one of the most popular NFL breakout candidates.
Jeremy Chinn – Carolina Panthers
The 2020 second round pick had a history making rookie season last year, becoming the first player in the Super Bowl era to score two fumble recovery touchdowns in the same game. Chinn was also responsible for the fastest two defensive touchdowns (In just 10 seconds of game time) in the Super Bowl era.
Chinn finished the season with 116 tackles, the third highest tackles by a rookie in franchise history and the highest by a rookie in 2020.
The Panthers safety also racked up five passes defended, one sack, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, one interception and two defensive touchdowns. Unsurprisingly he was named on the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
With starting safety Tre Boston cut by Carolina, Chinn should play his normal position, allowing him to truly showcase his talents.
Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings
Destined for first round draft selection in 2020, Vikings wide receiver ended up in Minnesota as a 22nd pick. Now 2021 sees ‘Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) ranking Jefferson as the ninth-best football player under the age of 25.
A look at last year’s stats explains why people are so excited to see what the talented Jefferson can produce this season. Collecting a franchise rookie record of 88 receptions, the wide receiver also smashed the NFL rookie mark with 1,400 receiving yards, with only Davante Adams scoring a higher PFF grade last term. Jefferson also scored seven touchdowns and generated an impressive 2.66 yards per route run.
The 2021 season will be very different one for the Vikings man. Expectations will be higher and opposing defenses will be giving him a lot more attention, but expect this guy to prove that his impressive rookie year was just the beginning.
With so much exciting new talent around, this is going to be an incredible season, but when it comes to deciding who’ll be lifting the Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of it, it’s hard to look beyond today’s superstars Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.