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Five Offensive Non-QB Preseason NFL Standouts To Look Out For in 2021

I want to preface my writing by saying there are more than five, but I decided to narrow it down to five players, primarily due to time constraints and other obligations. You can get a more in-depth analysis of players to look out for by listening to the 5 Tool Sports podcast below this; we discuss several preseason NFL standouts in the show's last segment.

Corey Davis WR New York Jets

The rapport between Corey Davis and Zach Wilson in the preseason is evidence that Davis might be on the cusp of his best season yet.

According to Sports Info Solutions, the former top-five NFL draft pick hit hi

s stride in 2020, snagging 65 catches on 92 targets (70%) for 984 yards and 5 TD's. Davis recorded career highs in yards (984), TD's (5), yards per reception (15.1) In 2020 with the Titans. His role with the Jets is to be "the guy." Davis is in a favorable position to surpass all of his career highs in 2021 with the Jets.

Rhamondre Stevenson RB New England Patriots (Rookie)

So the Patriots traded Sony Michel to the Rams. The Rookie RB from Oklahoma made that decision easier for the Patriots after putting together a highlight reel of a preseason. Stevenson ranked 7th on our 2021 NFL Draft Big Board among all RB's. Stevenson displayed a lot of what is on film from his time at Oklahoma; he is powerful with good feet, he is patient behind the line allowing blocks to take shape. His speed allowed doubt to creep in when he ran a 4.6 in the forty at his pro day. He has erased those doubts in the preseason, where he rushed 30 times, for 216 yds, and 5 TD's with a 7.16 yards per rush attempt average. The Patriots are still loaded with a three-headed backfield but do not be surprised if Stevenson takes on a more significant role than expected in 2021.

Byron Pringle WR Kansas City Chiefs

Byron Pringle and Mecole Hardman are battling the number two WR role in the Chiefs offense in training camp. Pringle is the least notable of the players on my list, but he resides in the high power Chiefs offense, and if he were to take control of the number two WR spot at any point in the season, he is a legitimate player; keep an eye on. Pringle snagged 6 out of 7 catches for 73 yards and a score in his first two preseason games. His rapport with Mahomes is apparent on tape. According to Sports Info Solutions, Pringle boasts a 90% career catch rate on catchable targets. It is a small sample size, and Pringle has appeared in 29 games since 2019; he has only been targeted 33 times in that same span.

Pat Freiermuth TE Pittsburgh Steelers (Rookie)

Pat Freiermuth is a RedZone machine, a player who never dropped a catchable throw in the RedZone while at Penn State proved just that a few weeks ago in a preseason game vs. the Lions, where he scored two TD's. Freiermuth displayed why many had him as their top-ranked TE before the 2020 CFB season until Kyle Pitts emerged. We ranked Freiermuth below Pitts and Former Miami Hurricane TE Brevin Jordan leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft. I must note, Freiermuth is in a better situation than Brevin Jordan, drafted by the Texans, but Freiermuth reminded everyone why he was considered the top TE prospect in college at one point. His body control and ability to box out defenders in the RedZone were on full display in the preseason, and he can play inline, in the slot, or out wide. He is pushing Eric Ebron for TE1 in Pittsburgh.

Terry McLaurin WR Washington Football Team

Terry Mclaurin is not a sleeper, and it is obvious he is the number one WR in the Washington offense, but he is still underrated. For starters, Mclaurin is a technician, and he is a strong route runner; he is a willing run blocker. He does everything well. He is also very fast; he has a 4.3 forty-yard dash. Why is this relevant? He is now with a QB (Ryan Fitzpatrick) who wants to push the football vertical. According to Sports Info Solutions, in 2019 (rookie year), Mclaurin posted a 13.8-yard average depth per target; in 2020, that number fell to 9.3. In 2020 with the Dolphins, Ryan Fitzpatrick averaged 7.4 air yards per attempt; he ranked at the bottom of the middle third among all QB's with at least 200 pass attempts according to SIS, which does not help my argument. Still, in 2019, Fitzpatrick ranked 6th in average throw depth among all QB's with at least 200 pass attempts. So the evidence is valid, and Fitzpatrick has not had a WR the caliber of Terry Mclaurin at his disposal in Miami.


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