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5 Upcoming 2021 Free Agents That Need to Prove Their Worth

Yannick Vikings Free Agent
These five players will be potential free agents at the end of the year and they have a lot to prove.

By: Josh Shippen

Isn’t it wild to think we are close to halfway done with the regular season already? Plenty of people thought the NFL couldn’t possibly make it this far, but yet here we are writing about how the players are doing. With thoughts to the horizon, many teams are going to look at their free agents and make tough decisions. Here are 10 we’ve chosen to take a look at today.

Todd Gurley

Remember when Gurley was really good and was thought to be the next big star in the NFL at running back. That was fun while it lasted but now we are staring at a Gurley in the face that has no believers, and that is super banged up. After being shockingly cut by the Rams in the offseason, Gurley joined the Falcons on a one year prove it deal. And to sum up, he hasn’t looked too good at all. He has only had one 100+ yard game, not coming even close in any other game. He has had his good moments, but he is no longer a consistent, every down back, and needs to show some real pop if he wants to stay on the Falcons roster.

Will Fuller

When healthy, Fuller has been an effective WR for the Houston Texans, and did a great job playing second fiddle to Deandre Hopkins. This year, it is a different story, Fuller has had to play under a regime that is in the process of massive implosion and that has 4 WR 2’s. Fuller is a game changer when healthy on an effective team, but unless he shows that he can change the game on his own he will likely be allowed to test the market in the offseason.

Yannick Ngakoue

The Vikings seemingly pulled off one of the premier moves of the offseason by acquiring pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue from the Jaguars. That trade has not worked out as expected, Ngakoue hasn’t necessarily been a bust but he is definitely not the game changer the Vikings expected him to be. If Ngakoue turns into that stud pass rusher that he was expected to be, he could very well get a beefy extension. Otherwise, Ngakoue will likely be expected to test the open market.

Eli Apple

Apple has pretty much turned into a non factor, which is strange considering he was a first round pick in 2016. The Giants traded him away for being a headache and poor play, and the Saints didn’t hang on to him for too long. Now, Apple makes a last ditch effort to make a difference with Carolina, which is opportune because he has a good chance to stand out on a defense that is somewhat of a wreck. Last chance Eli, get it together.

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Smith-Schuster has had a dramatic fall from grace from his 2018 season where he was clearly the number one WR in Pittsburgh. He is being outshined by rookie Chase Claypool who looks like one of the best rookie receivers out of a crop that includes Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and CeeDee Lamb. Smith-Schuster needs to prove that he can take back the number one role, or he will not earn a spot on this team, and his free agent value will be severely damaged.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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