With the start of the season underway, the rookies have had a full camp and preseason already. The 2019 draft was heavy on the defensive side, and outside of Kyler Murray, there are no other star quarterbacks with high expectations. Looking at the 2019 draft, there were two quarterbacks to go within the top ten. Daniel Jones was the other, and yet the Giants will continue to use Eli Manning under center. Case Keenum is starting over Dwayne Haskins in Washington, and Joe Flacco is starting over Drew Lock, who went in the second round to Denver. Josh Jacobs was the only running back to go in the first round. Is Kyler Murray the lock everyone thinks he is? At +240, the odds certainly look that way on FanDuel.
Kyler Murray (+170)
The clear runaway favorite to win the OROY was Kyler Murray to start the season, but things have changed a bit. He is on pace for over 4,000 passing yards, but only 13 passing touchdowns. We expect this to change as positive regression is heading his way in that category. Rushing numbers have started to come his way, and this is the edge he has over a name like Daniel Jones.
In 2012, Robert Griffin III had 815 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. The year prior with Cam Newton, he rushed for 706 yards and 14 touchdowns. Going back to Vince Young in 2006, he produced 552 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Murray projects for close to 3,750 passing yards, and over the 500 yard rushing mark. He also projects to find himself in the 4-5 rushing touchdown range. Murray should be over 4,000 total yards and also near 30 total touchdowns. Outside of Newton’s ridiculous rookie season, this is about on par with the other OROY QB winners.
Gardner Minshew (+2200) & Daniel Jones (+1800)
The Nick Foles injury early created a starting opportunity for Gardner Minshew. He has created a great image for himself as Uncle Rico, and his personality is putting him on the map alongside his excellent play. Completing over 65% of his passes, he is projected for nearly 30 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards. He is also leading Jacksonville to some key wins as they look to stay competitive. A few more games with these types of numbers, expect his odds to rise. Eli Manning got a quick hook, thankfully. Daniel Jones will start the rest of the season, and have a pretty good group of weapons alongside him if they can stay healthy. Jones got off to a hot start against the Buccaneers and Redskins, and then struggled against two top five defenses as expected. Jones is currently high on the rankings, but would need a to match the current play of Minshew and Murray.
Josh Jacobs (-135)
There are two running backs that fall in line next for odds to win OROY. In the history of the league, running backs have actually taken home this award over 60% of the time. Quarterbacks and running backs have made up most of the winners of the last two decades. To beat Murray, these running backs are going to need to produce, and not just barely getting to the 1,000 yard mark. Looking at recent numbers, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, and Todd Gurley are the most recent running back numbers.
- Saquon Barkley – 2,028 yards from scrimmage / 15 total touchdowns
- Alvin Kamara – 1,554 yards from scrimmage / 13 total touchdowns
- Todd Gurley – 1,294 yards from scrimmage / 10 total touchdowns
Josh Jacobs has really emerged as a rookie of the year threat, especially after his big performance against the Bears in London. He is on pace for over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns, which would put him among the names above in terms of stats. His passing volume hasn’t been as high as we would have liked, but Jacobs still stands to be a big threat to Murray. Rushing for just a shade under five YPC, he has been extremely effective. His rest of the season schedule is also not that bad, and we should see consistent production.
Any Rookie Wideouts Worth A Shot?
With about 5-6 games under our belt, we can take a look at some of the wide receivers that have emerged so far this season. Marquise Brown for Baltimore has been the most productive, and has found a quick link with Lamar Jackson. He was always going to be a boom or bust threat, but he has been much more than that so far this season. On pace for over 1,000 yards and close to ten touchdowns, there is a real chance he gives the names above a run for their money.
Terry McLaurin is another name who has been one of the top wideouts of this rookie class. Despite the bad quarterback play that continues to revolve in Washington, he has produced big numbers. Missing one game, he is on pace for 900+ receiving yards and nearly ten touchdowns. Washington’s lack of defense should also keep them throwing the ball, and projected for about 100 targets is a plus for the young wideout.
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