3 NFL Rookies Ready To Make A Big Impact

ZAGREB , CROATIA - AUGUST 21 , 2014 : NFL logo printed on official NFL ball the Duke ,product shot

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The 2022 crop of NFL rookies is far from the sexiest group you will ever see as there aren’t enough high picks at the skill positions to get the average observer interested in their progress. That doesn’t, however, mean that there are not certain players within the group ready to become instant stars.

The Cincinnati Bengals weren’t anywhere close to being Superbowl Favorites last year according to the Vegas Odds, but the performances of Ja’Marr Chase were a major reason for that. Here’s a look at who could have a big impact this year.

Kenny Pickett – QB – Steelers

Pickett has the inside track to be the most impactful rookie in the league based on his landing spot in Pittsburgh. Pickett didn’t even have to change cities after the draft and as long as he beats out the decidedly average (and Bears fans will tell you that statement is being generous) Mitchell Trubisky then he will be set up for success.

Pickett has a future Hall of Fame head coach to work under in Mike Tomlin, a bell-cow running back in Najee Harris, and a young and exciting group of wide receivers led by Diontae Johnson. Given the tools that most young quarterbacks are given when they enter the league, Pickett can consider himself very fortunate.

Aidan Hutchison – DE – Lions

Defensive ends – highly drafted ones – typically do very well as rookies. This is especially true if the defensive end is a pass-rushing specialist who has racked up sacks consistently in college.

Hutchison fits that ill. In 2021 he has 16.5 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks at Michigan. The reason defensive ends do so well is that generally there isn’t nearly as much transition from the college game to the NFL. Pinning your ears back and getting after the quarterback works well at both levels and Hutchison made his final season with the Wolverines all about doing just that.

Jalen Tolbert – WR – Cowboys

Tolbert is a third-round, small school (South Alabama) wide receiver who has landed in a very interesting spot in Dallas. This is a team without Amari Cooper and with Michael Gallup unlikely to be back in the lineup for Week 1 after his Week 17 ACL tear in 2021.

Tolbert has CeeDee Lamb and James Washington ahead of him on the depth chart, but even the No. 3 wide receiver in Dallas has a history of being productive with Dak Prescott as the quarterback. Cedrick Wilson had 602 yards and six touchdowns last season in that role.

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