NFL Rookies: 2021 Week 2 NFL Rookie Standouts

Jayson Oweh, Micah Parson, Patrick Surtain - Rookies are making their name in the NFL already.
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After a wild opening week in the NFL, week 2 had a lot to live up to, and it did not disappoint. We saw more teams start to find their identities and a few who are still looking to find direction. There were exciting outcomes, and it seems that a few teams no one believed in aren’t as bad as we thought. There were a lot more rookies making impacts, too, especially on the defensive side of the ball. It seems that there was a lot more comfort for the defensive rookies as they become acclimated to the pro game. That being said, week 2 had the opposite effect on rookie quarterbacks because it was not a good performance for any of them. Seeing as the offensive rookies took a little step backward, let’s focus on defense and see who made their team’s scouting department very happy.

Pass Rushers: 

Rookie pass rushers had the best days in week 2, with several of them making major impacts, and one single-handedly won his team the game.

Gregory Rousseau, Buffalo Bills

Gregory Rousseau has played well early in his NFL career. He had a great week two.

Gregory Rousseau has played well early in his NFL career. He had a great week two.

Rousseau felt at home, being back in his college stadium in Miami and made a massive imprint on the game. He abused the Miami offensive line and seemed to be in the backfield more times than not. He finished the game with five tackles and two sacks, but his impact was felt much more. It’s very exciting to see Rousseau hit the ground running because using a first-round pick on a player who hasn’t played in a year - you don’t know what you’re going to get.


Odafe Oweh, Baltimore Ravens

Odafe Oweh is showing why he should be considered the defensive rookie of the year.

Odafe Oweh is showing why he should be considered the defensive rookie of the year.

If you didn’t think Oweh would be a big-time player as a rookie, don’t worry - you aren’t alone. Many people had him pegged as a combine star and not so much of a star player. Oweh didn’t have many great statistics at Penn St, but his measurables were off the charts, and because of that, he was a first-round pick. Sunday night, however, he let the doubters know he could play ball too. His stats won’t jump out and say there was a dominant performance with only three tackles and one for a loss, but he dominated the Kansas City offensive line. Oh yeah, he also single-handedly won Baltimore the game. With one minute left and the Chiefs marching towards victory, Oweh was able to poke the ball right out of Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s grasp and recover the fumble himself. In a game with not much defense, this single play ended the Chief’s hopes for a win.


Linebackers: 

This week saw rookie linebackers showing more of their skill sets because they are becoming more confident in their respective defenses and can start playing more like themselves.

Nick Bolton, Kansas City Chiefs

Nick Bolton is playing like a top-tier rookie linebacker.

Nick Bolton is playing like a top-tier rookie linebacker.

The Chiefs did not have a good night on defense Sunday, but they should at least be happy with the performance of Bolton. Playing that Baltimore offense is difficult for veteran players, so having a rookie being one of your team’s leaders in tackles is impressive. Bolton showed he is a force to be reckoned with in run defense, as he understands run concepts and has great field vision. There were several plays where he beat the blocker to his spot and blew up what could have been a big gain for Baltimore. Again with all the good Bolton did, that was a shockingly bad defensive performance by the Chiefs, and they have a lot to clean up.


Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons is proving how versatile he is to the Cowboys defense.

Micah Parsons is proving how versatile he is to the Cowboys defense.

This wasn’t a huge performance for Parsons, but it should make the organization happy. He flashed a ton of talent by always being around the ball and just putting pressure on the offense. He only had two tackles and a sack, but his relentless motor got him four extra hits on Justin Herbert.


Secondary: 

This position group was about legacies this week, as the top rookies added their section to the family name.

Asante Samuel Jr., Los Angeles Chargers

Asante Samuel Jr has been a tremendous addition to the Chargers.

Asante Samuel Jr has been a tremendous addition to the Chargers.

There is a very good chance that Asante Jr’s performance will get him, Defensive Rookie of the Week recognition because he had a phenomenal game against the Cowboys. He had four tackles, one interception, and three pass deflections. Even though the Chargers lost, this stat sheet is too hard to ignore, and he did it against an excellent receiving core.


Patrick Surtain II, Denver Broncos

Patrick Surtain has made his case for the best rookie cornerback from last year's draft.

Patrick Surtain has made his case for the best rookie cornerback from last year's draft.

Once again, Patrick Surtain II is following in his father’s footsteps as an NFL cornerback and a good one at that. Patrick II had four tackles, one interception, and one pass deflection, but his impact on the game was much bigger. Just like when he was playing at Alabama, Surtain can shut down an entire side of the field, giving the rest of the defense the ability to play much more aggressively and with confidence. It will be very interesting when Denver gets into division play, and we see what he can do against elite talent at wide receiver.


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