In the NFL, early-round draft picks have to meet high expectations. Given the slightest reason for concern, doubters will worry about top selections becoming complete busts.

Fanbases expect top rookies to translate their potential into tangible production right away. When that doesn't happen, skeptics begin to ask if it's time to hit the panic button.

For the most part, we shouldn't make a sweeping judgment about a player's career after just one season. Because of injuries, tweaks to new systems and position or personnel changes, coaches must make adjustments across the roster, which may affect a first-year player's progress.

Before anyone casts serious doubt about premier players in the 2021 draft class, we'll take a look at first- and second rookies who have mostly struggled through the first three months of the season and assess a level of concern on a panic meter that ranges from one (lowest) to 10 (highest).

Jamin Davis, LB, Washington Football Team

Jamin Davis came into the league as one of the top two Defensive Rookie of the Year betting favorites, but he's not in consideration for the award. That's because of his limited role early in the season and his inconsistencies as a starter.

At 6'3", 234 pounds, Davis has the size and skill set to develop into a three-down linebacker on the pro level, but his athleticism hasn't helped him in coverage.

Through 11 contests, Davis has allowed an 85.7 percent completion rate and a 114.4 passer rating. While he's shown the ability to track the ball and make stops with 32 solo tackles, the Kentucky product has to become a valuable asset on passing downs to fulfill first-round expectations. Teams need more than a two-down thumping linebacker for a first-round pick. 

Davis had his most active outing in Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs, logging a team-high 11 tackles. After that game, he took on a starting role and has provided flashes of solid tackling.

Davis might find a groove in coverage as he plays more snaps with the first unit, which would lead to more pass breakups and fewer completions for the opposing team. Don't hit the panic button with him yet. He only started for one term in college and may just need more seasoning before breaking out in the NFL.

Panic Meter: 1

Liam Eichenberg, OT, Miami Dolphins

In a few games, Liam Eichenberg has put together solid run-blocking performances, sealing blocks on the edge with the ability to move into the second level and open lanes downfield.

However, Eichenberg allows way too much pocket pressure, which is a concern with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's injury history. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Eichenberg has allowed nine sacks with just as many penalties. Tagovailoa is a left-handed quarterback, but that doesn't diminish the significance of the rookie tackle's ability to protect his passer's strong side. He cannot allow pass-rushers to tee off on the quarterback and disrupt the aerial attack.

While rookie offensive linemen often struggle with their technique, which usually leads to penalties, Eichenberg's passive tendencies with his hands and labored lateral movement make him a liability on the edge against defenders with a blend of strength and athleticism. 

The Dolphins' use of run-pass option designs could mask some of Eichenberg's shortcomings by moving Tagovailoa out of the pocket, but the Notre Dame product must at least stalemate defenders on routine dropbacks, or he'll have a short run with the starters.   

Panic Meter: 6