There's an indescribable energy that accompanies the NFL draft each year -- even when conducted remotely, as was the case in 2020. The simplest reason for it is the promise and hope that arrives when teams make their respective picks. Perhaps someone has landed their own version of Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson.
Fast-forward to the season ahead and another reality emerges: These players are still rookies! It takes time to acclimate to the speed and rigors of the professional game for most first-year players, save some exceptions that leave us in awe. (We're thinking of you, A.J. Brown and Josh Jacobs, among others.) So a quiet start to an NFL career doesn't foretell failure. Rather, that should be our expectation. We also know that many NFL players experience a substantial growth from their rookie year to their second season, even those that experienced some rookie success (see: Jackson, Lamar).