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 +175, the odds certainly look that way on FanDuel.
Kyler Murray (+170)
The clear runaway favorite to win the OROY is Kyler Murray. It is pretty simple. The next closest candidates are running backs, Josh Jacobs and David Montgomery. Both sit at +850. The one advantage that Murray already has on the other rookie quarterbacks is the fact he is a full-time starter. We may see other rookies draw starts at some point throughout the year, but as long as Murray is healthy, he will have 16 games under his belt. Even if others were starting, Murray is still a clear favorite. If we look at recent quarterbacks who have won the OROY award, they have been quarterbacks who can run. Dak Prescott in 2016 had 282 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
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. An injury or a massive season from one of the running backs listed is the only possible way to derail Murray from this award.
David Montgomery & Josh Jacobs (+600 & +550)
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
Barkley’s season will not be touched, and even Kamara’s is a stretch. Because both of these names can work in the passing game, a Todd Gurley like season isn’t completely out of the question. I would value Josh Jacobs a bit higher than David Montgomery in this spot, even though Montgomery is on a better team. Jacobs projects to have a heavy workload, and Jon Gruden actually was the head coach when Cadillac Williams won the award back in 2005. Gruden has been known to give major work to his backs, and is already praising Jacobs efforts in about all areas of the game. If the offense can move the ball with their new weapons, Jacobs should have plenty of chance to rack up touchdowns.
The major question with David Montgomery is will he get enough volume to have a chance at getting to these types of numbers? Tarik Cohen is going to hurt his upside in the passing game. However, we still project him around the 1,000 all-purpose yard mark. Touchdowns will be a volatile stat for him, but the upside is there. I am a bit surprised to see him at the same odds as Jacobs at the moment. But, the Bears are a run focused team and play a style that can help Montgomery’s stats.
Any Rookie Wideouts Worth A Shot?
Only 13 wide receivers have won the award in its existence, and only three since 2000. Percy Harvin was one, and Anquan Boldin was the other. Harvin was a special player, who had an electric kick return aspect to his game. he posted a 60-790-6 line to win the award. I don’t believe those numbers would get it done against the names above. Boldin saw 165 targets in his rookie year, and theres a chance no rookie in this draft gets even half of that. He posted a 101-1377-8 line. Odell Beckham posted a 91-1305-12 line in his rookie season, but was also a human highlight reel. He also had 130 targets in that first season.
Volume matters, and there just is not going to be a massive volume guy in this draft right off the bat. Marquise Brown (+1300) out of Oklahoma is a big time playmaker, but landing in Baltimore may not be the most optimal spot for year one production. N’Keal Harry went 32nd overall to New England, which is an optimal spot. However, hype around him early has been dwindling, and this Pats team is still one to spread the ball around. They will also focus on the run. While Harvin managed to win the award without going over 1,000 yards, his playmaking abilities might have sealed the deal. It is hard to see any sort of wideout surpassing 1,000 receiving yards this season.
Even getting into the second round guys, Deebo Samuel (+2600) is interesting if he can jump ahead early for San Francisco, but they seem to be giving a lot of guys run to figure things out. Mecole Hardman had a shot if Tyreek Hill was going to miss time, but that isn’t the case anymore. AJ Brown is mixed into a poor Tennessee passing game at +1700. DK Metcalf is already having injury issues. It is tough to get behind these names even for a long shot this season.
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