Just under halfway through the season, the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates are emerging. The NFL is a young man’s game (aside from a few graying quarterbacks) and some of the best of the best are in their rookie contracts, or just out. Each draft has its busts, but with each class comes the future. For your NFL betting money, these are the guys worth the cash.
Mid-Season 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
Just a year removed from Justin Jefferson breaking the rookie receiving yards record, his old teammate at LSU is on pace to obliterate the newly-set mark. Even coming off of his worst game as a pro thus far, Chase has the best odds to win the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
In short time, Chase has established himself as the Bengals’ number one and has even been heralded as the greatest Bengals receiver of all time by former Bengal, Chris Collinsworth. At his current pace, he’s looking at 1,670 yards and 15 touchdowns off of 81 receptions. That includes a less-than-stellar three reception, 32-yard, one-score game on Sunday. Safe to say Joe Burrow is going to make sure his favorite receiver will get his.
Bengals are in a tight AFC playoff race and the fact Ja’Marr Chase took no time at all to break out is a big reason why. If opponents continue to single-cover Chase, the former LSU Tiger will run away with the award. Burrow has a perfect passer rating when targeting his college buddy in single coverage. There’s a reason this guy is leading the way when people are doing their sports betting online.
Leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, there were a number of quarterbacks discussed. Mac Jones was often considered a product of his environment. When you’re throwing to multiple first-round receivers – including the Heisman Trophy winner – anyone can succeed. Eight games into the year, Mac Jones has actually done a more impressive job leading his team to victory.
At (4-4), Jones has the best record of all of the rookie quarterbacks, most passing yards (1997) and touchdowns (nine). Just as we all predicted, right? Of the four rookies who have made regular starts, his six interceptions are the fewest. He’s already led the Patriots to two wins over the Jets, but dropped his first-ever start to Miami in Week 1.
Since then, he beat up on the lowly Jets twice, the terrible Texans, and the then-AFC West-leading LA Chargers in Week 8. He’s doing all of this throwing to Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne. Imagine what he’ll do with a legit receiving corps. The ceiling for Mac Jones’ squad seems to be around 10 wins, though nobody expected him to lead the Patriots to a comeback win in Week 8. He’s just hitting his stride, so has Bill Belichick found his next great thing? Winning the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year would be a great start.
It’s an uphill battle, but a running back could win the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Due to an injury to Elijah Mitchell, it seems Najee Harris is the best bet. Many draft experts (on Twitter, mostly) cried foul at the thought of the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting a running back over an offensive lineman. Yet, when the phone rang, it was the electric playmaker from Alabama.
Thus far, Harris has accounted for 479 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. In Week 1 in a win against the Bills, Harris was on the field for every single offensive snap. Oddly enough, his lowest snap share at only 65% came in Week 5 against the Broncos where he went off for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Where Harris is most dangerous is catching passes out of the backfield. He racked up 102 yards off of 14 receptions in their Week 3 loss to the Bengals, but Pittsburgh hasn’t given him more than seven targets in a game since. Ben Roethlisberger can’t quite throw the ball like he used to, so why not dump it off to a true offensive weapon?