Players who will Prove People Wrong in 2021
Odell Beckham Jr. WR Browns
The Browns 2020 season was impeccable, despite getting off to a slow start they were just a few plays away from being in the AFC Championship. There is a sense of excitement in this locker room and that's because most of the Browns success came after Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL. People say that the Browns were a better team when Beckham wasn't on the field, but I disagree. Some teams just aren't as successful out of the jump, it takes a few weeks to get going. Look at the Patriots and the Seahawks as an example, they always drop a few winnable games in the beginning and pull it together towards the end of the year. I look at it as the Browns were successful without OBJ last season, now imagine how much better this team can get with number 13 out wide. Beckham has had some consistency issues in the past few seasons, but he's looked like he's been on a mission this offseason. The league is in a better place when Beckham is thriving and with Baker Mayfield throwing him the rock, I expect him to come back and prove everybody wrong in 2021.
Chase Edmonds RB Cardinals
Chase Edmonds is one of the most under appreciated players in the NFL. He doesn't get a ton of production in the Cardinals offense, but when the ball is in his hands, good things happen. He's dynamic as both a receiver and runner. While he's only 5'9, defenders can't seem to get their hands on him. Slippery like Alvin Kamara, it's as if he rubbed butter all over him. Defenders can't get a grasp on him. With Kenyan Drake departing this offseason and the James Conner signing, people don't expect the Cardinals running attack to be very good this year. All people are talking about is Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and the Cardinals' passing game. I expect Chase Edmunds to not only be better than James Conner this year, but I could see him being a top ten running back this year. While haters aren't necessarily disrespecting Edmonds directly, they are underestimating the Cardinals running game. I expect Edmonds to show out as the lead back in Phoenix this year.
Jalen Hurts QB Eagles
The Jalen Hurts disrespect going around this offseason has been brutal. People are criticizing him for his accuracy issues and rookie mistakes, but aren't taking into account that he was playing with one of the worst receiving cores in the NFL, a toxic locker room, a terrible coaching staff, and he was only a rookie. I thought he flashed signs of greatness as both a runner and passer. He was an unfortunate "Hail Murray" away from beating the Cardinals last year and he also defeated the Saints in his first game as a starter. On top of having an elite arm, he is fantastic at making off-script plays and throws on the move. My favorite thing that Hurts has done this offseason is embracing the leadership role in the Eagles locker room. You can tell Hurts is an alpha, just by looking at him. I expect a heavy usage of RPO's and a downhill rushing attack in Nick Sirianni's offense. With Devonta Smith lined up out wide, Hurts is going to have a monster sophomore year.
Michael Thomas WR Saints
When it comes to football, people have a very short memory. Just over a year ago, Thomas was the best receiver in the NFL. Now people are treating him as a bench warmer. If he can recover from his ankle injury and make it back on the field by October, I expect him to return to greatness. Thomas has some of the best hands in the NFL and is one of the strongest receivers. Right now the Saints receiving room looks bare. Tre'Quan Smith is going to be the number one receiver while Thomas is sidelined. The Saints are going to miss Thomas' presence and as soon as he returns he will make a monster impact. People aren't going to realize just how valuable Thomas is until they see how much the Saints miss him in the beginning of the season. After this year, people will be putting respect on Thomas' name once again.
Tua Tagovailoa QB Dolphins
I'm not sure if it's because the Cardinals were able to have success with Kyler Murray instantly after dumping Josh Rosen, but it seems like everyone has already given up on Tua Tagovailoa after just one year. While it wasn't the sexiest rookie season, Tagovailoa did have some success. It seemed like coach Brian Flores was pulling him whenever something went wrong last year, but without Ryan Fitzpatrick the Dolphins can't do that this year. Not to mention, he went 7-3 as the Dolphins starting quarterback last year which is really good especially for a rookie. Being pulled multiple times has to be motivating. You can tell Tagovailoa used it as motivation this offseason. Tagovailoa has had an extremely impressive training camp and his deep ball has been refined. The Dolphins also added Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller to their receiving core. Those are two major pieces! Expect a rapid increase in vertical, downfield passing from the Dolphins this year. I really expect Tagovailoa to make a major jump in his second year as the Dolphins quarterback.
Jamal Adams SS Seahawks
I have never seen a star player get as much disrespect as Jamal Adams. People call him "Blitz Boy" or "a safety playing defensive end", but he's really good in his role. He rushes the passer, covers receivers, running backs, and tight ends, and is an amazing run defender. Being a leader of grown men is hard, but Adams is the heart and soul of the Seahawks defense. While Bobby Wagner may be the person calling the plays and what not, Adams is the voice of this defense. Constantly bring positive energy, when Adams is playing well, so is this defense. They operate as a whole, the defense's and Adams' success are not independent variables. While Adams does blitz a lot, it's not because he can't cover. He's just really good at getting to the quarterback. He broke the record for most sacks by a defensive back in a single season. Adams thrives in his role and I could see him having an all-pro season in 2021.