It seems that each NFL draft class is packed with more talent every year, and this year’s rookies have not disappointed. With generational talents on both sides of the ball, the 2021 NFL draft class is already breaking records and shocking fans across the country.
Let’s start with the offensive rookie who everyone is talking about. Despite playing against the most elite defenses in football for the first time, this player showed no signs of slowing down. The most likely candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year is undoubtedly Ja’Marr Chase. At only 21 years old Chase is averaging 19 yards per reception, which is third in the NFL, fifth in receiving yards with 835 and is tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns with seven. Chase has already broken an NFL record (not a rookie record) for receiving yards through seven games after he racked up 754 yards in his first seven outings. I don’t see a scenario where Ja’Marr Chase doesn’t secure the OROY trophy at the end of the season.
As for the defensive rookie that has made the most impact, it has to be Micah Parsons. Some fans might discredit Parsons’ stats because the Cowboys chose to utilize his versatility and have him take snaps as a linebacker and a defensive end. He currently has 44 solo tackles and six sacks, but he also has 10 quarterback hits proving his effectiveness at the defensive end position. Parsons also ranks first among rookies in pass rush win percentage rate at 26.2% according to ESPN. The Cowboys’ defense isn’t quite top-tier, but they playing really well, partially thanks to Parsons’ determination to be great.
There are other great defensive rookies this season like Pat Surtain II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but neither of them have been playing at the same level as Micah Parsons. I won’t say Parsons is a guaranteed Rookie of the Year winner like Ja’Marr Chase, but if he continues to play at a high level, Parsons can easily win the Defensive Rookie of the Years.