Rising Stars in the NFL


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Rising Stars in the NFL

The NFL has been known for certain players dominating the league for the past two decades. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees are just a few that have very recently decided to hang up the pads and call it a career. These players’ departures have left holes around the league ready to be filled by new, young players.

At the top of this list is Justin Jefferson, who is a wide receiver playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Jefferson entered the league in 2020, drafted 22nd overall from LSU in the first round. The first two games of his career were below expectations but in the 3rd game of the 2020 NFL season, he exploded for 7 catches, 175 yards, and 1 touchdown. There was no slowing down from there as he continued to cement himself as a true wide receiver one.

While most eyes were on the first quarterback taken in the 2020 NFL draft, many overlooked the 2nd quarterback who was the 6th overall pick by the Los Angeles Chargers. Justin Herbert started his rookie season backing up veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Before the 2nd game of the season, Taylor suffered an extreme injury, causing Herbert to start his first NFL game. Herbert took this opportunity and ran with it. After starting the rest of the season he found himself in elite company. He didn’t slow down his sophomore year and is now considered a top 5-7 quarterback in the league.

In 2020, Jonathan Taylor was drafted in the second round as the 41st overall draft pick which was much lower than expected. Taylor eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in his rookie season and 11 touchdowns to go along with it. All eyes were on Taylor to start the 2021 season to see if the star running- back could replicate his stellar rookie season. With 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns, Taylor exceeded all expectations. With this MVP-like season, Jonathan Taylor is now considered one of, if not the best running back in the NFL.

Coming off of arguably the greatest season in college football history, Joe Burrow was unanimously the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. He was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals who at the time were a team struggling to get 4 or 5 wins during the season. In Burrow’s rookie season, he started 10 games in which he had just over 2,600 passing yards and 13 passing touchdowns. There were flashes of a star quarterback before Burrow suffered a torn ACL and was unable to play the rest of the season. There were many questions about whether or not Burrow would be able to come back from this injury. Burrow responded by throwing for over 4,600 yards and 34 touchdowns. These stats were good enough to take his team to the playoffs and make it to the Super Bowl. A Super Bowl in his second year would put Burrow into great company among the league’s best quarterbacks.

In training camp and pre-season, there were many doubts about Ja’Marr Chase’s ability to catch the ball and compete at an NFL level. Chase was selected in the first round of the NFL draft at fifth overall. He was reunited with his college quarterback Joe Burrow on the Cincinatti Bengals. Chase quickly silenced any doubts by having arguably one of the greatest rookie wide receiver seasons of all time. He caught 81 passes for over 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns. He and Burrow seemingly picked up right where they left off in college and now look to cement themselves as an elite duo in the NFL.