The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY) award is traditionally won by a quarterback, running back or wide receiver. An offensive linemen or a tight end has never won the award.
The OROY race is tighter than most, so we’ll take a look at just 24 candidates:
|Bijan Robinson +250||Bryce Young +500||Anthony Richardson +600|
|CJ Stroud +850||Jahmyr Gibbs +1000||Jordan Addison +1700|
|Zay Flowers +1800||Jaxon Smith-Njigba +2000||Quentin Johnston +2200|
|De’Von Achane +3500||Rashee Rice +3500||Jalin Hyatt +4000|
|Will Levis +4000||Dalton Kincaid +4000||Kendre Miller +4000|
|Jonathan Mingo +5000||Zach Charbonnet +5000||Roschon Johnson +5000|
|Tyjae Spears +5000||Sam LaPorta +6000||Josh Downs +7500|
|Tank Bigsby +7500||Evan Hull +7500||Jayden Reed +10000|
Bijan Robinson, Falcons RB +250
Bijan Robinson’s situation is reminiscent of Saquon Barkley’s in 2018, where Barkley entered the year with +200 OROY odds. I bet on Robinson at +500 odds when the OROY market opened days after the NFL draft, with the expectation his odds would move like Barkley’s did. Robinson is a featured back playing behind a strong Atlanta Falcons offensive line. Barring injury, Robinson will be tough to beat in the OROY race.
Bryce Young, Panthers QB +500
Bryce Young is a first-overall pick who plays quarterback, making him an automatic favorite in the OROY race. The Carolina Panthers start the season with a difficult six-game stretch, so it would be no surprise if Young struggles early and the Panthers enter their Week 7 bye with a losing record. That’s when I’ll look into Young’s status in OROY betting markets.
Anthony Richardson, Colts QB +600
From a pure production standpoint, Anthony Richardson is Robinson’s biggest OROY challenger. Richardson’s season-long passing yards prop is in the 2,800 range, which is very low. However, he enters the league with top-three rushing upside at quarterback. Similar to Young, it would not be surprising if Richardson struggled early. However, the Indianapolis Colts finish the season with three winnable games. If Richardson peaks late, that could boost his OROY potential.
C.J. Stroud, Texans QB +850
Among the three rookie quarterbacks selected in the first round, C.J. Stroud has the weakest group of pass catchers. Stroud is also the most reliant on passing production compared with Young and, especially, Richardson. The Houston Texans’ Week 2 matchup with the Colts could have a major impact in the early OROY race.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions RB +1000
Jahmyr Gibbs is an electric talent on a contending Detroit Lions team. Not only that, Gibbs will play behind a top-five offensive line while being a weapon in Jared Goff’s passing attack. Gibbs won’t see the kind of volume that Robinson will, but Gibbs’ talent and situation make him the X-factor in the OROY race.
Jordan Addison, Vikings WR +1700
The Minnesota Vikings were a great landing spot for Jordan Addison because Justin Jefferson’s presence will lead to a lot of 1-on-1 looks for Addison. Ultimately, Addison might not see enough volume to catch the favorites in this race, but he’s in a position to potentially lead rookie wide receivers in yards and receptions. If Jaxon Smith-Njigba misses significant time, Addison would become the rookie favorite in both of those categories.
Zay Flowers, Ravens WR +1800
Baltimore suddenly has a crowded wide receiver room, but Zay Flowers has made an impression throughout August. The rookie could lead Baltimore Ravens wide receivers in receptions. Smith-Njigba’s wrist injury is a positive for Flowers’ OROY candidacy.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seahawks WR +2000
If Smith-Njigba misses a game or two due to his wrist injury, he’ll still have a path in the OROY race. If he misses a month or more, he will need a lot of other contenders to fail for him to have an OROY path.
Quentin Johnston, Chargers WR +2200
Quentin Johnston closes out the contenders section of the OROY race, which is filled with all four first-round wide receivers. If Johnston plays a significant role in the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense early in the season, you could argue he has the highest ceiling among this group. If he opens the year in some form of timeshare with Josh Palmer, Johnston could fall behind quickly.
Mid-Range Long Shots
De’Von Achane, Dolphins RB +3500
As of this writing, veterans Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert are De’Von Achane’s primary competition in the Miami Dolphins’ backfield. Given coach Mike McDaniel’s history, we can reasonably expect Miami to deploy a hot-hand approach with the team’s backfield, However, if Achane can emerge as the top option in this group, he becomes an interesting long shot. Keep an eye on Achane’s opening-day usage.
Rashee Rice, Chiefs WR +3500
Rashee Rice’s OROY candidacy is simple: If he plays a significant role in the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense, his OROY odds will skyrocket. If Kansas City eases him in as it did with Skyy Moore last season, Rice will be a nonfactor in the OROY race.
The Long Shots
Jalin Hyatt, Giants WR +4000
Jalin Hyatt has difference-making speed, but the New York Giants have an extremely crowded wide receiver room. Based on their roster, it would make sense if Hyatt is eased in and doesn’t see enough volume to contend in the OROY race.
Will Levis, Titans QB +4000
Quarterbacks do not need to begin the season as the opening day starter to be an OROY factor. In most races, if they take over by Week 5, they have a shot if they play well. In Will Levis’ case, he might not even be above Malik Willis on the Tennessee Titans’ depth chart, so Levis might not play even if Ryan Tannehill gets hurt early.
Dalton Kincaid, Bills TE +4000
Even if Dalton Kincaid plays well early, a tight end has never won the OROY, and it’s hard to see him getting enough volume to be the first.
Kendre Miller, Saints RB +4000
Alvin Kamara’s three-game suspension creates an interesting opportunity for Kendre Miller. If Miller makes an impact early in the year, he could keep a more significant role long term. The New Orleans Saints have the easiest schedule in the league, which is a positive for all the team’s skill position players. Miller’s OROY path is narrow, but he has one.
Jonathan Mingo, Panthers WR +5000
Carolina has one of the weakest wide receiver rooms in the league. If Jonathan Mingo plays well, he could emerge as Young’s top option before the season’s end.
Zach Charbonnet, Seahawks RB +5000
Seattle Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III was last year’s OROY runner-up. Zach Charbonnet’s OROY path is virtually the same as Walker’s was last year. If Walker misses significant time, Charbonnet would become an OROY favorite the next day. If Walker doesn’t miss significant time, Charbonnet is nearly drawing dead in this race.
Roschon Johnson, Bears RB +5000
Roschon Johnson likely opens the year as part of the Chicago Bears’ running back committee. There would likely need to be an injury to Khalil Herbert or D’Onta Foreman to see enough volume for Johnson to factor into this race.
Tyjae Spears, Titans RB +5000
The Deep Long Shots
Sam LaPorta, Lions TE +6000
A tight end has never won the OROY, and it’s hard to see Sam LaPorta being the first.
Josh Downs, Colts WR +7500
Richardson is not expected to be a high-volume passer, so Josh Downs won’t likely see enough targets to compete.
Tank Bigsby, Jaguars RB +7500
Evan Hull, Colts RB +7500
Jayden Reed, Packers WR +10000
Jayden Reed was the 50th overall pick in last year’s draft, and he’s seemingly in the lead for the Green Bay Packers’ slot receiver role. He should be a more expensive betting option in the OROY market.
OROY Pick: Bijan Robinson
Favorite Long Shot: Jonathan Mingo