Analysis

NFL rookie rankings at Q1 of 2021 season: Mac Jones only QB in top 10

With the 2021 NFL regular season at the quarter mark, former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah has reviewed his notes from the first four weeks to rank the top 25 rookies in the league today.

Rank
1
Micah Parsons
Dallas Cowboys · LB

His pass-rush ability has been a huge lift for the Cowboys. I love his combination of speed and range against the run, too.

Rank
2
Rashawn Slater
Los Angeles Chargers · OT

Slater is playing at a Pro Bowl level. His pass protection gets all of the buzz, but I've been equally impressed by his work in the run game.

Rank
3
Ja'Marr Chase
Cincinnati Bengals · WR

Chase has shown a different gear when the ball is in the air. He quickly alleviated any concerns about his drops in the preseason.

Rank
4
Asante Samuel Jr.
Los Angeles Chargers · CB

Samuel's been the league's most consistent rookie cornerback. He has made several plays on the ball (two INTs, five passes defensed) and his tackling has been exceptional.

Rank
5
Creed Humphrey
Kansas City Chiefs · C

The Chiefs are starting three first-year players on the offensive line and Humphrey has been the most consistent of the group. He plays with outstanding balance.

Rank
6
Mac Jones
New England Patriots · QB

The Patriots are the perfect fit for Jones. He is a rhythm and timing passer, which is what is required in this New England system.

Rank
7
DeVonta Smith
Philadelphia Eagles · WR

Smith is silky smooth and polished. He's on his way to developing into a true No. 1 wideout.

Rank
8
Patrick Surtain II
Denver Broncos · CB

Surtain has been as advertised. He's long and rangy with plenty of make-up speed and ball awareness. It was good to hear he's expected to be OK after leaving last week's game with a chest injury. 

Rank
9
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Cleveland Browns · LB

Owusu-Koramoah, a late second-round pick (52nd overall), will end up being one of the biggest steals of the 2021 NFL Draft. He's flying around the field on defense and special teams. I love his energy.

Rank
10
Javonte Williams
Denver Broncos · RB

Williams is running with the same violence and physicality he displayed at North Carolina, as Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey discovered last Sunday.

Rank
11
Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars · QB

He continues to improve every week and his skill set is allowing the Jaguars to expand the playbook.

Rank
12
Najee Harris
Pittsburgh Steelers · RB

There hasn't been much room to run in the ground game, but Harris has been very productive out of the backfield in the passing game (26 catches for 178 yards, one TD).

Rank
13
Kyle Pitts
Atlanta Falcons · TE

The numbers aren't where I expected them to be (15 catches for 189 yards through Week 4) but after watching the tape, it's clear that Pitts is playing at a high level. He needs more opportunities.

Rank
14
Odafe Oweh
Baltimore Ravens · LB

Speed and effort are the two things that jump off the tape. Oweh made the game-saving play in the Ravens' big Week 2 win over the Chiefs.

Rank
15
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · LB

Sunday night's win in Foxborough was his introduction to the football world. He had two crucial sacks and his athleticism was on full display.

Rank
16
Jaylen Waddle
Miami Dolphins · WR

Waddle has elite speed. He's given his quarterbacks a bunch of easy completions because the defense must honor his big-play ability.

Rank
17
Rondale Moore
Arizona Cardinals · WR

Moore is a fun player to study because of his versatility and explosiveness. He's a perfect match for the Cardinals' Air Raid offense.

Rank
18
Jaelan Phillips
Miami Dolphins · LB

Don't worry about the stats right now. When you pop on the video, Phillips shows up. His first step is dynamic and he folded up Colts OT Eric Fisher last week.

Rank
19
Osa Odighizuwa
Dallas Cowboys · DT

The Cowboys' defense is much better this season and Odighizuwa has provided some much-needed interior pressure. He excels on pass-rush games (stunts).

Rank
20
Christian Barmore
New England Patriots · DT

Barmore has shown the strength to hold the point of attack and he can collapse the pocket against the pass.

Rank
21
Greg Newsome II
Cleveland Browns · CB

I love Newsome's size, fluidity and ball awareness. He missed last week's game with a calf injury, but he's made plays when on the field.

Rank
22
Zach Wilson
New York Jets · QB

There have been some rough games -- Wilson threw six total INTs in the blowout losses to the Patriots and Broncos -- but the Jets' rookie QB showed what he's capable of last Sunday against the Titans. His off-schedule creativity and play-making ability are special.

Rank
23
Nate Hobbs
Las Vegas Raiders · CB

Hobbs has already established himself as the best player in the Raiders' secondary. He's tough, competitive and instinctive as the starting nickel back.

Rank
24
Michael Carter II
New York Jets · CB

The Jets found a steal in Carter, a fifth-round pick. He can easily mirror and match in the slot, and he's rarely out of position.

Rank
25
Michael Carter
New York Jets · RB

That's right. The Jets hit on two prospects with the same name in the 2021 draft. And they both played their college ball in the same state (North Carolina)! Carter is quick and powerful, and he's been productive in the passing game. He's their best running back.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter.

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