The first week of the 2021 NFL season brought us some great action. Incoming rookies made their impact felt early on, as we go over the top first-year players from this past weekend.
Honorable Mentions: New England Patriots QB Mac Jones (281 passing yards, 1 TD, 74.4% comp. %), Baltimore Ravens LB Odafe Oweh (2 tackles, 1 sack), Miami Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle (4 receptions, 61 receiving yards,1 TD)
3. RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers made Trey Sermon a healthy scratch before the game, which meant the offense was going into the game with Raheem Mostert, Elijah Mitchell, and Jamycal Hasty on the depth chart. Mostert suffered a season-ending knee injury, leaving Mitchell to step up in his absence. Mitchell finished the game with 104 yards on 19 attempts with a touchdown in a win over the Detroit Lions. Moving forward, Mitchell is likely to split time with Sermon in the backfield.
2. WR DeVonta Smith Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles went into Atlanta in a lopsided victory in which Smith put together an impressive NFL debut. In the team’s 32-6 win, Smith compiled six receptions to go with 71 receiving yards and a touchdown. There was a lot of doubt surrounding Philadelphia’s receiving corps, but Smith is off to a strong start.
1. WR Ja’Marr Chase Cincinnati Bengals
Chase didn’t have the best preseason, which included a few dropped passes. In his first piece of regular season action, however, he finished with five receptions, 101 receiving yards and a touchdown. Chase averaged 20.2 yards per catch on Sunday during the team’s 27-24 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings.