There are two memories that NFL rookies will never forget.
The first is when they had their name called in the draft, and the second is their debut game.
Both culminate years of hard work and dedication they put into football.
However, the latter allows them to prove if the hype is real.
There were five quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
All five either threw a touchdown or ran for a touchdown in their NFL debut yesterday. 🏈
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) September 13, 2021
Some rookies don’t take long to introduce themselves to the league.
It’s not beginners’ luck, but more of a demonstration of talent.
The three starting quarterbacks selected in the 2021 draft played reasonably well in their respective season openers.
JA'MARR CHASE 50-YARD TD 🔥
— ESPN (@espn) September 12, 2021
But other rookies must perform better moving forward to justify the high draft picks that their teams used.
This list contains first-round picks because they carry the highest expectations.
3. Kadarius Toney
The New York Giants used the No. 20 pick to get former Florida wide receiver, Kadarius Toney.
He signed a four-year, $13.7 million deal but got placed on the COVID-19 reserve list early in training camp.
His performance against the Denver Broncos was a disaster because he finished with negative-two yards on two receptions and five total snaps.
Worse, he did not even get a single catch against the Washington Football Team, keeping his total to minus-two.
Bless your dead grandmother, she left us with more career NFL receiving yards than Kadarius Toney pic.twitter.com/eyavJqRrMM
— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) September 17, 2021
He had a conversation with head coach Joe Judge in the third quarter of the Washington game that made him look upset after.
Toney did not return to the game after playing 19 snaps.
He expressed frustration via Instagram about his role with the squad just two weeks into his NFL career.
It remains a mystery if he plays against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.
2. Najee Harris
The Pittsburgh Steelers were the worst running team in the NFL last season.
That depressing reality is their reason for drafting former Alabama running back Najee Harris.
Harris rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns during the Crimson Tide’s national championship season.
The Steelers are hoping that he is the missing piece to activate their ground game again.
Najee Harris played Every. Single. Snap. In his NFL debut
He had 16 carries and 3 targets. Only scored 5.9 fantasy points but this is the usage we wanted
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) September 12, 2021
He did run the ball but only had 45 rushing yards on 16 carries.
However, he is lucky that the Steelers won against the Buffalo Bills, 23-16.
Harris must have a better game at home versus the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2.
Having his breakout game will help Ben Roethlisberger carve out the Raiders defense.
1. Kyle Pitts
Kyle Pitts became the highest tight end selected in NFL history when the Atlanta Falcons picked him fourth overall.
Experts thought that they were getting a mismatch monster because of his size and speed.
Unfortunately, he didn’t show much in his NFL debut against the Philadelphia Eagles.
falcons drafted kyle pitts at #4 and opened the season with 6 points lmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo call the coroner
— 1-0 af (@JayZOverratd) September 12, 2021
The Falcons did not score a touchdown, and Pitts had four catches for 31 yards.
In contrast, Philadelphia wide receiver Smith had six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Pitts hopes to prove himself against the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2.NEXT: Falcons Staring Down A Nightmare Start To 2021 Season