Top 10 NFL Rookies 2021 – 2022 Rankings
Ranking the best NFL Rookies of the 2021-2022 NFL season with names such as Micah Parsons, Kyle Pitts and more as they battle for second as Ja’Marr Chase is your NFL Rookie of the Year
The NFL rookie class year in and year out is one of the most exciting aspects of the NFL Schedule. That same thing was true during the 2021 NFL Schedule as the 2021 NFL Draft class did not disappoint from top to bottom while the league was able to see some of the future stars contribute in big performances.
This includes big time performances on both sides of the ball including NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year winner Ja’Marr Chase on the offensive side of the ball and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year winner Micah Parsons. In addition to the stellar seasons these two stars put up, the 2021 NFL Rookie class included the likes of Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence, Najee Harris, Elijah Mitchell, DeVonta Smith, Patrick Surtain and Odafe Oweh.
With that said, here is our list of the Top 10 NFL Rookie Rankings in the 2021 – 2022 season.
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Season Stats: 3641 Yds, 12 TD, 17 Int, 59.6 Cmp%
After being selected as the top pick the hype and expectations built around Trevor Lawrence was through the roof as he entered his first NFL season. While the former Clemson Tigers star struggled at times, the truth is he was selected to possibly the worst team in the NFL.
Add in the fact the team had coaching issues that may have slowed his progress as a rookie. Lawrence showed his potential in the team’s upset win during week 18 to knock out the Indianapolis Colts throwing for 223 yards while completing 71.9% of his passes with two touchdown passes.
Team: New York Jets
Season Stats: 538 Yds, 43 Rec, 5 TD
The former Ole Miss standout Elijah Moore didn’t slack in his rookie season after being drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Moore, who appeared in just 11 games this year, was a true threat catching 43 passes for 538 yards to go along with five touchdown receptions. Despite playing on a struggling Jets team, Moore was solid while on the field and showed promise despite missing six games.
Top 10 NFL Rookies
10. Odafe Oweh
Team: Baltimore Ravens
Season Stats: 5 Sacks, 23 Solo, 3 FF
In search of a true pass rusher, the Baltimore Ravens took a deep flier on the former Penn State star despite his lack of sacks at the college level. While the book is just being written on Odafe Oweh in Baltimore, he did not disappoint in his rookie season while being considered at times for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Oweh finished the season with 33 tackles to go along with five sacks and three forced fumbles. If the former Penn State star can build on this start, a solid career could be in the making on a team that has been known for their defensive stars.
9. Pat Surtain II
Team: Denver Broncos
Season Stats: 4 Int, 70 Yds, 1 TD
While defensive players tend to often get overlooked, it’s hard to look past the solid rookie season that Pat Surtain II put together for the Denver Broncos. In all the defensive back position is hard to grade players and hard to rank with very few statistics that show up outside of interceptions.
Nonetheless, Surtain was great on film and finished the season with 58 tackles to go along with four interceptions, one defensive touchdown and 14 pass deflected. Surtain finished 12th in the NFL in interceptions and 11th in pass deflections.
8. DeVonta Smith
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Season Stats: 916 Yds, 64 Rec, 5 TD
After being selected with the 10th overall pick, DeVonta Smith put together a solid rookie season much like a few of his other fellow rookies from Alabama. Smith finished the season with 916 yards on 64 catches while also catching five touchdown passes.
The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver finished the season ranked 23rd overall averaging 14.3 yards per catch while seeing 104 targets on the year. While the Eagles offense lacked consistency at times, Smith found a way to be a big threat as the team’s top passing catching option.
7. Jaylen Waddle
Team: Miami Dolphins
Season Stats: 1015 Yds, 104 Rec, 6 TD
Coming in just in front of his former Alabama Crimson Tide teammate is the Miami Dolphins rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. The 6th overall pick during the 2021 NFL draft, Waddle put together a solid campaign as a rookie pulling in 104 catches to go along with 1,015 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
His performance on the field landed him ranked 8th in the NFL in receptions, 25th in receiving yards and 25th in touchdown receptions. Waddle’s top performance came back in the team’s 33-10 win against the Carolina Panthers as he finished with 137 yards and one touchdown.
6. Kyle Pitts
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Season Stats: 1026 Yds, 68 Rec, 1 TD
A future star in the making and possibly the top offensive weapon on the Atlanta Falcons roster, Kyle Pitts did not disappoint in his rookie season. Pitts finished the season ranked 3rd among all tight ends in receiving yards with 1,026 while leading all tight ends in yards per catch average with 15.1 per catch.
However, the only thing holding Pitts back from a higher ranking is his lack of touchdowns finishing the season with just one. Nonetheless the former Florida Gators tight end ranked as one of the top pass catching options out of the 2021 NFL Draft.
5. Elijah Mitchell
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Season Stats: 207 Rush, 963 Yds, 5 TD
When you think of players coming out of nowhere one name that comes to the top of the list is Elijah Mitchell from the San Francisco 49ers. Entering the season, the 49ers were expecting Raheem Mostert to be the top back as well as Trey Sermon.
After losing both, Elijah Mitchell stepped in and filled the role finishing the season just missing 1,000 yards rushing. Mitchell, who the team drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL draft rushed for 963 yards to go along with 5 rushing touchdowns and 137 receiving yards.
4. Najee Harris
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Season Stats: 307 Rush, 1200 Yds, 7 TD
For a team that was in need of a big time running back the Pittsburgh Steelers found the future after selecting Najee Harris with the 24th pick out of Alabama. Harris finished the season as the only rookie running back to top the 1,000 yards rushing mark.
Harris finished the season ranked 4th in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,200 while also rushing for seven touchdowns. In addition, Harris led all rookie running backs in receptions with 74 while also adding 467 receiving yards to go along with three touchdown receptions.
3. Mac Jones
Team: New England Patriots
Season Stats: 3801 Yds, 22 TD, 13 Int, 67.7 Cmp%
After being selected by the New England Patriots with their first pick during the 2021 NFL Draft, not much was expected out of the former Alabama Crimson Tide star with many expecting him to be the backup to Cam Newton. That all changed quickly after the Patriots let Newton walk and Mac Jones took over starting duties.
The success helped the Patriots make a trip to the postseason while Jones put together solid numbers. Jones finished the season ranked 13th in passing yards (3,801) and 22nd in passing touchdowns (22) on a team that lacked a true number one pass catcher at wide receiver.
2. Micah Parsons
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Season Stats: 13 Sacks, 64 Solo, 3 FF
While Ja’Marr Chase took home the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, the Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive standout Micah Parsons took home the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
While defensive players lack the type of numbers fans like to see out of offensive players, Parsons made it count in the categories that fans like on the defensive side. Parsons finished ranked 6th in the NFL with 13 sacks in his rookie season to go along with 84 tackles, two pass defended and three forced fumbles.
1. Ja’Marr Chase
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Season Stats: 1455 Yds, 81 Rec, 13 TD
In the end it is hard to debate if the NFL got it right by handing the 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award to the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Chase finished with a single season rookie record 1,455 receiving yards to go along with 13 touchdown receptions.
In addition to ranking in the top five in both of those statistics, Chase finished 4th in the NFL in receptions of at least 20 yards, 3rd in the NFL in yards after contact with 651 and only trailed Deebo Samuel in catch average (18 ypc).
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