- The No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks have seen successful rookie seasons.
- The third and fourth overall selections have been hit-or-miss in their first season.
- The No. 5 pick has seen some of the most impactful players come out of recent drafts.
LAS VEGAS – Situations are obviously different each year but the trends are more or less consistent for players drafted in certain positions. These can be used to project the upcoming rookie performances for the 2021-2022 NFL season.
The No. 1 Picks
The first pick in the draft is always going to have the added pressure of being the first name selected. Over the last couple of seasons, the top picks have done relatively well.
Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow
Baker Mayfield, the first pick in 2018, tallied 3725 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He did so in 13 games and compiled a 6-7 record. Kyler Murray fared a little better as he recorded 3722 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 picks while adding 544 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Regulated sports betting sites saw Murray cash in as the (+260) Rookie of the Year favorite.
In 2020, Joe Burrow was on pace to have a record-breaking rookie season. He was averaging 268.8 yards per game and combined for 13 touchdowns and five interceptions prior to his injury.
Trevor Lawrence’s Projections
Trevor Lawrence is the (+275) betting favorite on sportsbooks to win Rookie of the Year and considering his season totals, it’s not surprising.
Trevor Lawrence Passing Yards Totals
- OVER 4050.5 -115
- UNDER 4050.5 -115
Trevor Lawrence Passing Touchdowns
- OVER 25.5 -115
- UNDER 25.5 -115
The No. 2 Picks
The second overall picks, historically, might not have the same star power as the first pick but have arguably had better rookie seasons.
Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa, Chase Young
The last three years have seen each No. 2 pick make it to a Pro Bowl, the only draft position to do so in the top five selections. Saquon Barkley ran for 1307 yards and 11 touchdowns and won Rookie of the Year. He also added 91 receptions, 721 yards, and four touchdowns in the receiving game.
Nick Bosa and Chase Young were both defensive ends taken second in the draft. Bosa recorded 9.0 sacks and 47 tackles, while Young had 7.5 sacks and 44 combined tackles. Both won Defensive Rookie of the Year in their first NFL season.
Zach Wilson Projections
Zach Wilson is second in the Rookie of the Year odds and has totals just a bit less than Lawrence’s numbers.
Zach Wilson Passing Yards Totals
- OVER 3800.5 -115
- UNDER 3800.5 -115
Zach Wilson Touchdown Totals
- OVER 21.5 -115
- UNDER 21.5 -115
If history were to repeat itself, Wilson may in line to overachieve and go OVER both of his passing totals.
The No. 3 Picks
While the top two picks in the draft have had pretty successful rookie campaigns, the third pick hasn’t had the same consistency.
Sam Darnold, Quinnen Williams, Jeff Okudah
Sam Darnold struggled mightily in his first year having totaled just 2865 yards with 17 TDs and 15 INTs. Quinnen Williams only recorded 2.5 sacks and 28 combined tackles while Jeff Okudah had just one interception and two passes defended. None of the three made an all-rookie team.
Trey Lance Projections
Trey Lance is in a tough spot as he isn’t in line to start at the beginning of the season. NFL betting sites don’t have season totals available as there’s no telling how many games he’ll play in. It seems as if there may be another year where the No. 3 pick has a lackluster season in comparison to the previous picks.
The No. 4 Picks
The fourth pick has been a hit-or-miss spot over the past three seasons. With a Pro-Bowler, mid-level starter, and low-end potential bust, there are a lot of variances.
Denzel Ward, Clelin Ferrell, Andrew Thomas
Denzel Ward is the best of the bunch, as he had three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble while adding 53 tackles, all of which are career-bests. Clelin Ferell has a solid rookie year with 4.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 38 combined tackles.
Andrew Thomas allowed 10 sacks in his rookie year and was among the worst offensive lineman in the NFL.
Kyle Pitts Projections
Kyle Pitts is expected to have one of the greatest seasons from a rookie tight end of all time.
Kyle Pitts Receiving Yards Total
- OVER 800.5 -115
- UNDER 800.5 -115
Kyle Pitts Receiving TDs Total
- OVER 7.0 -120
- UNDER 7.0 EVEN
The No. 5 Picks
The fifth pick in the last three drafts has been arguably better than both the third and fourth overall picks. This season Ja’Marr Chase was the No. 5 overall selection.
Bradley Chubb, Devin White, Tua Tagovailoa
Bradley Chubb had a 12.0-sack season in his rookie season and added 60 tackles. Devin White secured 91 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns. The weakest of the bunch is Tua Tagovailoa who had just 1814 yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions in his 10 games. However, he did have a 6-3 record as a starter.
Ja’Marr Chase Projections
Chase is reuniting with his former college quarterback in Joe Burrow and has season totals that immediately slot him as one of the top receiving options in the NFL.
Ja’Marr Chase Receiving Yards Totals
- OVER 1025.5 -120
- UNDER 1025.5 -110
Ja’Marr Chase Receiving TDs Totals
- OVER 7 -120
- UNDER -110
Chase is in what seems to be a good spot to make a real run at the Rookie of the Year award as the fifth overall pick.
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News tags: football | Ja’Marr Chase | Kyle Pitts | NFL | NFL Draft | Trevor Lawrence | Trey Lance | Zach Wilson
Nick is a sports writer and die-hard sports fan. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast/Journalism. In his free time, he enjoys kicking back and relaxing with a good video game.