The NFL OROY race will be an interesting one and as usual when is NFL Rookie of the Year announced February 1 2020, we can expect some of the late-round picks to become an Offensive Rookie of the Year. The quarterbacks rarely become NFL rookie of the year candidates because the best ones are drafted early and rarely they get to play in good teams. Running backs, however, are NFL Rookie of the Year winners each of the last two seasons with Zeke and Barkley claiming the trophy in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Kyler Murray, Arizona’s quarterback, is the favorite to win the award. He was by far the most athletic quarterback of the draft and according to analysts, he has the highest ceiling. He will be playing for Cardinals, so anything he accomplishes there will be considered a plus. We must have in mind that even though Baker Mayfield had a great first year in the NFL, he didn’t manage to win the award and running back, playing for a much weaker team won it.
Dwayne Haskins was the 15th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. He has proven to be a very good college player and he was also a 2018 Heisman trophy finalist. He led his Ohio State team to the Rose Bowl which he won and become the Rose Bowl MVP. He had an outstanding college career and he is now expected to start for a very good Redskins’ team. Washington relies mostly on its defense, so it is expected that they will carry him through the tough games if needed.
Josh Jacobs was the first running back picked in the draft at position 24. He has the potential to be the starting running back for the Raiders and we must include him on our NFL Rookie of the Year list. Based on what we saw in college, he is a very explosive running back who terrorized the college defenses for years. He is also a National Champion for 2017 with Alabama. He is clearly well-coached and I expect him to be a good fit for Oakland.
Marquise Brown was the 25th pick in the NFL Draft this year and he was selected by the Baltimore Ravens. He doesn’t have the height for a wide receiver but he is very quick and he runs routes almost perfectly so he will be definitely on NFL Rookie of the Year race. The Oklahoma offense was very well run in the past few years and I am sure that he has the needed experience on the college level. It’s up to him to transfer this on the professional field.
Mecole Hardman is a second-round pick for the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m not sure how much he will be playing for his new team but in case he gets the chance, I believe that he will not disappoint. He’s had 2 great years for Georgia with 11 touchdowns combined. He has the size and the speed to be an elite wide receiver but I am not sure how much the former Georgia player will live up to the expectations because it seems that he doesn’t have a big ceiling to me but if he plays he can be among NFL Rookie of the Year finalists.
N’Keal Harry is another interesting first-round pick. It is expected for him to get many minutes in New England and we all know how well Tom Brady and Bill Belichick use new wide receivers and that gives him great NFL Rookie of the Year odds to win OROY. To me, he is better than all those above mentioned wide receivers but since he is in New England, I’m not sure how much spotlight he will get because most of it will always go to Tom Brady.
I will certainly take Kyler Murray off the NFL OROY board. He is a great talent but I believe that the Cardinals will struggle and this will affect his MVP stock. Dwayne Haskins, on the other side, is coming to a more solid organization where he will not have to overcome his bad defense. He will have a defense that will carry him through the season and he can benefit from it if he plays at the level that we were accustomed to seeing in college. Josh Jacobs is another player that we can expect to get the OROY talks at the end of the year.
Oklahoma is lacking talent at the running back spot and he can only lose it in the preseason but I doubt that this will happen. I will even advise you to bet on him before the preseason starts and he gets the attention.
Prediction: Dwayne Haskins (@+730) and Josh Jacobs (@+750)