With the 2021 NFL season just weeks away, we’ve taken a look at five players to watch.
Chase Claypool (Wide Receiver)
Chase Claypool was selected by the Steelers with the 49th pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft.
He played in all 16 games in his rookie season, starting in six of them.
Off 109 targets, Claypool made 62 catches for 873 yards with nine touchdowns at a yards per reception rate of 14.1.
With his average yards per reception up at 14.1, this puts Claypool as a valuable deep threat that the Steelers could do with.
As the third choice wide receiver going into his second season, Claypool will be looking to get closer, if not break, that 1,000 receiving yard milestone.
Mike Gesicki (Tight End)
Mike Gesicki is entering his fourth season in the NFL.
He has played in 47 out of the possible 48 and started in 21 of them.
Each season has seen an increase in Gesicki’s receptions, yards, touchdowns and yards per reception while climbing all the way up to number one on the depth chart.
Gesicki will be looking to prove that he is the Dolphins’ Tight End going forward since he is currently number one on the depth chart at Tight End.
If his production keeps going up, there is no doubt that he will keep that number one spot on the Dolphins depth chart.
Cameron McGrone (Linebacker)
Cameron McGrone was selected in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL draft, going 177th overall to the New England Patriots.
He played at Michigan in college but only started 15 games and played in 19.
However, McGrone is a talented young prospect, and the Patriots need some talent on defence after they were 7th in rushing yards allowed with 2,103 and 12th in rushing touchdowns allowed with 17.
Across the 16 games he started for Michigan, McGrone had 91 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss and three sacks.
Elijah Molden (Cornerback)
Elijah Molden was drafted in the third round, going 100th overall in the 2021 NFL draft to the Tennessee Titans.
Molden played at Washington for four years, playing in 36 games.
The Titans struggled against the pass in 2020, ranking 29th against the pass. They conceded 4,439 passing yards.
In college, Molden had five interceptions, four of these being in 2019 and a total of 19 pass deflections with 12 of these also coming in 2019.
He will be a good piece to add against the pass, showing in college that he can make plays on the ball in the air.
Rashan Gary (Defensive Lineman)
Rashan Gary was drafted in the first round by the Green Bay Packers back in 2019 with the 12th pick.
From his rookie season to his second season, Gary made some big jumps in his game statistically.
In his rookie season, Gary had two sacks, 21 combined tackles, three tackles for loss and three Quarterback hits.
In his second season, Gary got five sacks, 35 combined tackles, five tackles for loss and 11 Quarterback hits.
Going into his third season, Gary will be looking to take another step up and rush the Quarterback even more.