NFL Rookie Rankings: Micah Parsons Unstoppable, Miami Dolphins Rise

Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Dolphins, Jaylen Waddle
Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle, NFL Rookie Rankings.Carolina Panthers V Miami Dolphins 25 /

Micah Parsons headlines the NFL Rookie Rankings, but some players are on the rise, including a few Miami Dolphins.

There are five weeks left in the 2021 NFL season, which means awards season isn’t too far down the road. So far in 2021, the rookie class has been nothing short of exceptional. From fabulous performances to steady growth, momentum down the stretch to promising flashes, this class has given us a lot to talk about this season.

It feels pretty obvious with who tops the NFL Rookie Rankings at this point. Micah Parsons has been downright dominant down the stretch for the Cowboys, affecting the game in multiple ways. He’s become nearly unstoppable on the edge, and it’s going to be fun to watch him down the stretch. Can anyone catch him in the rookie rankings before the season wraps up?

A few teams have had several players in the 2021 class make an impact this season, with most of them residing in the AFC. They will be highlighted in something at the end of the season, but why rush to get there?

Instead, let’s dive in to see who makes the top 25 in the latest edition of the NFL Rookie Rankings.

NFL Rookie Rankings, 1-10

1. Micah Parsons, LB, Cowboys

Parsons has already “won” the defensive rookie of the year award at this point, and now it’s just a race to see if he can contend for DPOY. He’s been dynamite as an edge rusher, using that rare athleticism and explosion to blow by offensive tackles via the outside and inside. The more he grows at linebacker, the more dangerous he becomes.

2. Rashawn Slater, OT, Chargers

There were a couple reps where Slater lost to Trey Hendrickson Sunday, but overall, another steady, strong performance from him. Slater continues to play like a top 10 tackle in the league as a rookie with strong technique, balance, and recovery skills. He should be looking at the OROY award, but I’m sure they’ll roll with the lazy “give it to a QB” route.

3. Creed Humphrey, C, Chiefs

Yes, the Chiefs are still an offense finding itself, but they found a stud in the 2021 NFL Draft in Creed Humphrey. He’s strong, stout, and has been a force in both facets of the game. If the Chiefs can unlock the run game down the stretch, Humphrey will be a big reason why it happens.

4. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Browns

The Browns are giving Owusu-Koramoah plenty more chances in their defense as the back half of the season has went along, and he hasn’t disappointed. His recognition skills and athleticism have made him dynamite in coverage, and he can skirt around blocks to make plays against the run.

5. Greg Newsome II, CB, Browns

It’s close, but there is no one playing the corner position (in the rookie class) like Greg Newsome is right now. He doesn’t open up his hips too early to give away leverage, and his fluidity and change of direction skills make separating against him very difficult.

6. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins

The Dolphins are starting to unlock a bit more of Waddle’s game from his days at Alabama down the stretch and that’s why he tops the NFL Rookie Rankings at the receiver position. Waddle thrives in the intermediate game where he can use his play speed and acceleration to win through the catch point and after.

7. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Broncos

The wild pick six against the Chargers aside, Patrick Surtain has been a home run selection for the Broncos. He’s consistently physical, stays in phase well, and is a big time nuisance at the catch point.

8. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Bengals

He’s cooled off a bit since his big midseason game against the Ravens, but Ja’Marr Chase is still a big time threat in a loaded Bengals offense. He did have a drop (likely a touchdown) that led to an interception Sunday, but his presence makes the offense better as a whole.

9. Jevon Holland, S, Dolphins

Jevon Holland has played like the best safety in the class by a wide margin, and ends up top 10 in these latest NFL Rookie Rankings. Holland has been excellent in the box, but has also made some plays with recognition and range when lined up as the last line of defense in single high.

10. Mac Jones, QB, Patriots

He’s been the best quarterback to this point, even after a 2/3, 19 yard performance in the harsh winds. Jones’ anticipation, processing, and pocket maneuverability have driven the Patriots passing game.