Anthony Bondi ’25
As the NFL season progresses, we see new action every week from each team. We can see how good or bad each player is doing throughout the season and see some noticeable changes within teams. Some rising stars that we have seen in the 2021 NFL season are Najee Harris, Ja’Marr Chase, and Cordarrelle Patterson. On the flip side, some falling stars are Patrick Mahomes and Christain McCaffrey.
Najee Harris is one of the most noticeable rising stars. Being the first running back taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, he has lived up to expectations. With 632 yards and 4 tds gained through rushing and receiving, Harris is on pace for 1,397 total yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie season. With these stats, he has lived up to expectations and has done even more. Like Najee Harris, Ja’Marr Chase is also another noticeable rookie of the season. As a wide receiver, he has 553 receiving yards and five touchdowns and is on pace for 1,344 receiving yards and ten touchdowns in his rookie season. He is expected to shatter wide receiver rookie records for the Cincinnati Bengals. He is also the front-runner for the offensive rookie of the year award this season.
Another rising star is Cordarrelle Patterson. Unlike Najee Harris and Ja’Marr Chase, he is not a rookie this year. However, this is not stopping him from having a breakout year. He has 468 total yards and five touchdowns and is expected to finish the season off with almost 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. What makes Cordarrelle Patterson so unique is his dual-threat ability to be able to play both the positions of wide receiver and running back. With his great production of yards and being able to play both wide receiver and running back, his value is skyrocketing.
Patrick Mahomes was not expected to fall. After two incredible seasons in his first couple of years in the NFL, he was expected to keep it going. However, this season is not looking good for him. He currently has nine interceptions and two fumble losses going into Week 8. This is very unlike how he has been playing in the past years. Although he still has time to turn things around, he is not having a great season this year. Another falling star is Christain McCaffrey. In the 2019-2020 season, he looked incredible. However, last season he suffered a bad injury that ended his season. Expecting to have a great comeback season, he was projected to be the best running back of this season. This all ended when he suffered another injury to his leg in week 3. This injury is not as bad as last season’s, and he is expected to return in the upcoming weeks. However, due to all the injuries he has suffered, his value has dropped and is now listed as a high injury-prone player. We still have several weeks left in regular-season play. There is still plenty of time for players to make a comeback and more. Let’s hope it is entertaining.