NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Predictions & Odds 2020

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award

Most of the newest batch of NFL rookies have been signed by now, and since there’s no telling exactly how well any of them will do on a new team against professional football players, oddsmakers have released various futures bets that give gamblers a chance to predict their success, including one for the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Last year the honor went to a quarterback (Arizona Cardinals Kyler Murray, see below), but this season the top two predictions are a quarterback and a running back, so it is anyone’s guess as to which of these newbies will put on the most impressive debut in 2020.

We examine the top candidates for this career-changing award and give the odds and predictions of which young athlete will most likely win the 2020 Offensive NFL Rookie of the Year award.

AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Odds as of September 1, 2020, at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PlayerOdds
Joe Burrow+250
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Clyde Edwards-Helaire+300
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Jonathan Taylor+900
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Tua Tagovailoa+1000
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Cam Akers+1600
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Jerry Jeudy+1600
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CeeDee Lamb+2000
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Henry Ruggs III+2000
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D’Andre Swift+2500
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Brandon Aiyuk+3300
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Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

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Joe Burrow (+225)

The Cincinnati Bengals have not been a good team for a while now – they’ve failed to make the postseason for the last four seasons, and the five seasons before that were all winless Wild Card postseasons – and after a 2-14 effort last year, the only way they have to go is up.

And that is exactly what the struggling franchise expects to happen with the exciting Joe Burrow now under center in Cincinnati, the 6’ 4”, 216-pound quarterback who took his LSU Tigers to a 2020 National Championship Game victory after a regular season where he completed 402 passes for 5,671 total yards and an incredible 60 touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 202.0.

Burrow is expected to be a Pro Bowl talent, and with the help of veteran receiver A.J. Green and rookie receiver Tee Higgins, that could happen in his rookie year, but to win this OROY award, Burrow would have to take his new team to the playoffs and actually bring them to the second round or further, an accomplishment that would be worthy of this type of recognition.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+400)

For a Super Bowl winning team, the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs had a relatively weak rushing attack, ranked 23rd at the end of last season, the team’s passing attack led by quarterbacking phenom Patrick Mahomes apparently more than productive enough to make up for that run game deficit.

Enter Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the running back from LSU who, on the way to a National Championship, ran the ball 215 times last season for 1,414 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards per carry, with another 453 yards gained through 55 pass receptions resulting in yet another touchdown added to his total.

The Chiefs have most of their championship team returning, and if Edwards-Helaire can add a dangerous run game to the team’s already unstoppable game plan, he would no doubt be considered the OROY for 2020, especially if another Super Bowl win is the end result.

Tua Tagovailoa (+800)

The 5-11 Miami Dolphins apparently did a decent enough job “tanking for Tua” last season to actually snag the Alabama quarterback in the draft, Tua Tagovailoa, the Hawaiian born left-handed thrower who led his Crimson Tide to back to back college football championships, winning the one in 2018 and becoming the game’s MVP.

But here’s the rub – Tagovailoa’s 2019 season ended prematurely after he suffered a dislocated hip, and he was not medically cleared in time to participate in the 2020 NFL combine plus Alabama’s pro day was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so his current condition is a bit of a mystery, still.

However, assuming the doctors who have cleared him as healthy are correct, Tagovailoa is the type of quarterback who has the football IQ and talent to carry his team to wins, so keep an eye on how long it takes him to replace journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick under center in Miami, because the sooner that happens, the more likely an OROY award will be earned.

Jonathan Taylor (+800)

Running back Jonathan Taylor had an incredible 2019 in Wisconsin carrying the ball an impressive 320 times for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns while averaging 6.3 yards per carry, plus he had 26 catches for 252 yards and 5 more touchdowns.

Taylor now finds himself on a somewhat struggling Indianapolis Colts, who already have a starting running back in Marlon Mack, who in his second pro season became the league’s 11th most productive at that position last year, playing in 14 games and posting 1,091 rushing yards off of 247 carries for 8 touchdowns on the ground.

For Taylor to win the OROY award, he would have to become the Colts’ go-to back and carry them through a decent postseason, a feat that could be helped by the fact that there is also a new (used) quarterback in Indy now by the name of Philip Rivers, and there’s no telling which of those two running backs he will favor more throughout the season.

J.K. Dobbins (+2500)

As if the Baltimore Ravens’ number one ranked rushing attack needed any more help, their front office used the draft to further upgrade their backfield by selecting J.K. Dobbins of THE Ohio State University in the second round with the 55th pick overall.

Dobbins is a tremendous dual-threat powerhouse who impressed the college football world last season with 301 carries for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns in addition to 23 receptions for 247 yards and 2 more touchdowns.

How many touches Dobbins gets in an already crowded Ravens’ rushing attack remains to be seen, but if he learns his role and becomes yet another dangerous target for Baltimore (especially in the postseason where the team tends to, ahem, drop the ball) he could be a final contender for the 2020 OROY award.

Who Was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019?

In 2019, after posting the highest passer rating by a starting rookie in his new team’s history – 87.4 – Arizona Cardinals young quarterback Kyler Murray was named the Offensive ROTY.

Though the Cardinals as a team were less than impressive, Murray as a player turned heads – on a struggling 5-10-1 team, he completed 349-of-542 passes for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, making him the 15th most productive in the league at his position.

In his rookie season, Murray broke multiple Cardinals franchise records (too many to list in full), but on top of the aforementioned record-breaking 87.4 passer rating, he also had the most pass completions by a rookie – 349, the most pass attempts by a rookie – 542, the highest completion percentage by a rookie – 64.4%, the most passing yards by a rookie – 3,722 and the most passing touchdowns by a rookie – 20.

How is the Winner of the Award Decided?

A nationwide panel of fifty members of the AP who cover the NFL on a regular basis selects the winner of the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and then they cast ballots at the end of the season before the playoffs.

The league will announce the winner at the NFL Honors Presentation, which is held the night before the Super Bowl is played.

This season, the presentation will happen on Saturday, February 6, 2021, and as usual, it will not be televised for the public.

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Mike Lukas

Expert on NFL

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.



Email: mike.lukas@wsn.com