The top defensive rookie players were the sole focus of the 2017 NFL Draft. There was very little conversation about the top offensive rookies such as Mike Williams, Corey Davis, John Ross, O.J. Howard, David Njoku, Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky.
It’s time to examine the top candidates and their chances to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
- Corey Davis – Wide Receiver – Tennessee Titans – Many consider Davis the top favorite. Not only will he get lots of playing time as a starter but he looks to be the top wide receiver of this group. Fans should also factor in that Marcus Mariota will involve him in the Titans offense early. Projected stats: 988 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdownsChance to win award: 35%
- David Njoku – Tight End – Cleveland Browns – This is the point where all fans will shake their heads. Why on Earth would anyone give Njoku the second best odds? He is perhaps the most athletically gifted player of all of the top candidates. He is already making spectacular catches in offseason drills. If this is any indication of what will happen, Njoku could be a top 5 Tight End in terms of receiving yards and touchdowns. There is also the fact that the Browns released Gary Barnidge. Although Kenny Britt is the top receiving target in the Browns especially with Corey Coleman’s injury problems, Njoku will be a big surprise. Projected stats: 950 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns.
Chance to win award- 25%
- Deshaun Watson – Quarterback – Houston Texans – Watson is an extremely gifted and athletic field general. He won’t start the season but could start week 5. Houston’s offense is difficult to understand quickly but Watson will adjust. He led the Clemson Tigers to a national championship last season and had the golden opportunity to lead the team to two championships. This quarterback is a winner. Projected stats: 3,500 passing yards, 15 passing touchdowns.
Chance to win award- 15%
- Mike Williams – Wide Receiver – Los Angeles Chargers – Williams is a touchdown machine. However, Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin will make most of the receptions early on. Phillip Rivers and Williams will take time to build chemistry as Allen is still the number one receiver. Projected stats: 750 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns
Chance to win award- 10%
- John Ross – Wide Receiver – Cincinnati Bengals – Ross has the speed to develop into a superstar. He will need to be stronger so that he has a better chance to consistently break away from defenders. NFL defenses will use press coverage on him early which could limit his production early on. However, after getting stronger and gaining more knowledge on how to torch opponent’s defenses, Ross will develop into a beast that will make the Bengals a feared offense once again. A.J. Green will still be Andy Dalton’s favorite receiver which will also hinder Ross’s production early on. Ross gets most of his yards and touchdowns toward the end of the season. Projected stats: 710 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns
Chance to win award- 10%
- O.J. Howard – Tight End – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Howard is the anomaly of the group. Normally, it would be easy to say this rookie is the automatic favorite to win the award. However, he may not be Winston’s top target since Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson will get most of the receptions. Also, Doug Martin will get a lot of carries will which make it difficult to feature Howard in the offense right away. Projected stats: 675 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdownsChance to win award- 5%
- Mitchell Trubisky – Quarterback – Chicago Bears – The Bears just about sold their soul to trade up for the Ohio native Trubisky. This was the surprise of the draft. The Browns were actually the favorite to pick him 12. The move was even more shocking when fans add the fact that Chicago signed Mike Glennon to a lucrative deal. Glennon is the starter and will play most of the games. Trubisky will likely start the final three games assuming Glennon struggles. Projected stats- 850 passing yards- 4 passing touchdowns
Chance to win award- 0%