Numerous teams invested in the future of their offences with their draft selections. Some of these teams are the: New York Giants, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. All of these teams used their first round picks on offence, and are hopeful that the high selection will turn into high production. Other teams selected offensive players in the later rounds, but still expect them to make a meaningful impact in their first season. The Offensive Rookie of the Year is not always a first-round pick, third-round pick Alvin Kamara won the award last season.
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Predictions
Favourite: Saquon Barkley (RB) – New York Giants
New General Manager Dave Gettleman and Coach Pat Shurmur believe they selected a hall of fame calibre player with the second overall pick in the draft. Barkley’s outstanding vision and dynamic agility in the open field make him a tantalizing prospect and an extremely difficult stop for opposing defences. Eli Manning has not had a reliable running back since the last Super Bowl run in 2011, so expect Barkley to get plenty of carries in Mike Shula’s run-heavy offence.
Wayne Gallman showed some promise in his rookie season and will be a nice complement to Barkley. However, he does not have the explosive strength and speed that Barkley does. With a lot of attention on Odell Beckham Jr. on the outside, Barkley can be used as a receiving threat out of the backfield. Shurmur loves to throw to his running backs out of the backfield, evidenced with his usage of Jerick McKinnon last season in Minnesota. In addition, Barkley can be used as a safety net when Manning faces pressure, which could be a very common occurrence with some question marks on the offensive line.
Do not be surprised if Barkley surpasses 1500 total yards and leads the Giants to several more wins than last season.
Contender: Josh Rosen (QB) – Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals certainly did not care about the character concerns associated Rosen and saw him for what he is — a very intelligent young man and the most composed pocket passer in this year’s quarterback class. General Manager Steve Keim traded up five picks with the Oakland Raiders to select Rosen, the quarterback of the future in Arizona. Right now on the depth chart he is behind NFL journeyman Sam Bradford who signed a one year deal for $20 million in the offseason. Bradford has struggled to stay healthy in the past and if another injury occurs, Rosen will be ready to lead the offence.
New coach Steve Wilks was very complimentary of Rosen at minicamp, impressed by his quick knowledge of the playbook. He will have no shortage of weapons; Mr.Reliable Larry Fitzgerald, rookie Christian Kirk, and a healthy David Johnson who is one of the best running backs in the league. If Bradford gets injured or Rosen outperforms him in the preseason do not be surprised if the rookie of the year plays in Glendale, Arizona.
Contender: D.J. Moore (WR) – Carolina Panthers
Ever since management traded receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills, Carolina struggled to find a reliable outside receiver next to Devin Funchess. Greg Olsen is an extremely reliable receiver from the tight end position, but is getting older as well as coming off of a foot injury.
New offensive coordinator Norv Turner watched the former Maryland receiver at his pro day where Moore showcased his great hands and versatility as a player. During his Junior season in College Park, Moore caught passes from five different quarterbacks and was the leading receiver in the Big Ten despite that challenge.
Moore can provide Cam Newton with another reliable receiver that can move all over the field, a particularly tough cover from the slot. In addition to his outstanding receiving abilities, he can be a great weapon in the return game, something he has plenty of experience doing.
If Moore performs at the high level he is capable of, the Offensive Rookie of the Year will be back in Charlotte for the first time since 2011.
Darkhorse: Michael Gallup (WR) – Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have a completely new receiving corps this season, with the departure of their previous number one receiver Dez Bryant. Terrance Williams has been wildly inconsistent thus far and Cole Beasley is a solid slot receiver, but not a threat on the outside.
There is a question mark right now as to who will be the starting receiver on the outside opposite of Allen Hurns and Gallup has a great opportunity to take this spot if he showcases the combination of outstanding hands and crisp routes like in college. Gallup has outstanding hands and of all the wide receivers in this year’s class ran the best routes. Dak Prescott has shown some nice leadership early on in his career and will look to help Gallup develop into the great receiver he has the potential of becoming.
Right now it’s unknown whether Gallup will start Week 1, but once he hits the field, expect him to hit the ground running. Although he was not as highly touted as the three players listed above, Gallup is certainly capable of competing for the Offensive Rookie of the Year honour.
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