Five early bold predictions for the 2021 NFL season

Note from Matt: Corey Seeley returns with a look at his early bold predictions for the 2021 NFL season. As he has been doing since April, Corey’s work at The Draft Scout will center heavily on NFL coverage as we ramp up our football first strategy of 365 day coverage of the sport you love.

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The 2021 NFL season is right around the corner, and as we wait in excitement we’re always curious what teams or players may surprise us this season.

Could a fourth-round rookie wide receiver lead all rookie receivers in receptions?

Will a 12-win team last season miss the playoffs this season?

Here are five early bold predictions for the upcoming 2021 NFL season.

  1. Dak Prescott leads the NFL in passing yards and total touchdowns.

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t do much to improve their secondary during the offseason, or in the 2021 NFL Draft. I expect the Cowboys defense to be mediocre at their ceiling. If Prescott returns to his normal self early in the season, I expect this offense to look a lot better than it did last season.

But because of their defense, the Cowboys may need Prescott to put up massive numbers if they have any postseason desires.

  1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ends the year as a top-five running back

Andy Reid loves him a three-down back who can run through the middle, be moved around the field a bit, and block when asked of him. Edwards-Helaire was a first-round pick for a reason, and he’s still that guy in Kansas City. Running backs do historically well in an Andy Reid offense and another season of learning the playbook will only help Edwards-Helaire.

Edwards-Helaire is often the forgotten man in this loaded star-studded Kansas City Chiefs offense. After this season, the entire country will know his name as he finishes the season as a top-five running back.

  1. Jerry Jeudy ends the season in the top-five of both receptions and yardage

Jerry Jeudy quietly had a nice rookie season last year in Denver catching 52 balls for 856 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Drew Lock will play a major factor in what type of sophomore season we see from Jeudy. In 2020, NFL fans witnessed what many scouts and draft analysts had preached for years – Jeudy is a route-running technician. Yet, on more than one occasion Jeudy had beaten his coverage, was open, and Lock simply missed him.

If Jeudy can see any type of consistency from his quarterback, expect a huge second-season from the former Alabama wide receiver.

  1. The Seattle Seahawks miss the playoffs

This is probably the boldest prediction you’ll read in a while, but I’m sticking with my gut with it regardless of how wrong I might be. 

I am not high on this Seahawks team, and I haven’t been in quite some time. I think we underestimate just how much Russell Wilson’s greatness covers up for the flaws on this roster. I don’t think their offensive line is good enough to run the ball the way Pete Carroll desires. And I think their defense has a few flashy names but outside of that, I see average. 

Combine all of this alongside Wilson’s reported offseason disgruntlement with the Seattle organization, too. If some of that spills into the locker room, it could certainly disrupt the Seahawks’ 2021 campaign. 

  1. Amon-Ra St. Brown leads all rookie receivers in receptions

Amon-Ra St. Brown was one of my draft sleepers, so naturally he made this list. 

“In year one, St. Brown could eventually become the lead dog for the Lions. St. Brown will immediately fill in as the slot receiver in Detroit, a role in the offense that QB Jared Goff looks at quite often.

My comp for St. Brown is Robert Woods. Athletically speaking, the comparison is on point. St. Brown has great discipline to his route running and tracks the ball very well. He’s a high-floor receiver who does a lot of things well enough to be a very productive player in the NFL.

It’s not often that a fourth-round rookie wide receiver steps into an offense as a potential focal point, yet St. Brown could see that opportunity in Detroit.”

St. Brown recently said that quarterback Jared Goff has been working with him and teaching him some things Cooper Kupp did with the Rams. 

“He’s taught me some things about certain routes and things Cooper Kupp did with him back with the Rams that he loved.”

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