NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year

By Malcolm Darnley | July 28, 2022 9:57 AM

In precisely 43 days, the Los Angeles Rams will take on the Buffalo Bills, kicking off the 2022 NFL regular season.

Today, we dive into the NFL’s Offensive Rookie Of The Year award (OROY) and break down some of the key rookies you need to know.

Ready to place your OROY futures bet? You will be after this.

Let’s go!

OROY Winners By Position

With just a quick glance at our graph below, we can see that running backs have won the OROY award 35 times in the 55 years it has been handed out. (64% of the time)

However, if we dig deeper into that 55-year trend, we learn that RBs actually won 14 of the first 17 OROY awards, which is a ridiculous 82% rate.

If we analyzed only the last 15 seasons’ worth of data, we learn that the position breakdown is:

  • Running backs – have won 5 of the previous 15 awards
  • Wide receivers – have won 3 of the previous 15 awards
  • Quarterbacks – have won 7 of the previous 15 awards

Many of us who watched the NFL during the 1980s and 90s remember a time when rookie QBs were not allowed to start.

The belief was that the game was too fast, the education too steep for a young QB to lead the offense.

Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Joe Montana, and Aaron Rodgers headline a list of pretty good quarterbacks with nothing to show stats-wise from their rookie season.

Obviously, that old-school philosophy has changed.

Over the last six years, Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray, and Dak Prescott have stepped onto the big stage in year one and captured the OROY hardware.

OROY Last 10 Years

We also wanted to know where the eventual OROY players are being drafted.

Are they always selected early in the first round? Or, can OROY winners slip by NFL scouts and be found lower down the draft board?

Our table above shows us that NFL scouts and teams are pretty good at evaluating talent.

In hindsight, Alvin Kamara and Dak Prescott would be drafted much higher.

We also see seven of the last ten winners were selected 12th overall or better.

Kyler Murray is the only first overall pick to win the OROY in the last ten years. Trevor Lawrence can thank Urban Meyer for ruining his chances last year.

Players To Watch This Year

We saw that seven of the last ten OROY winners were drafted within the top 12 picks.

So we focused our list of players to watch on those drafted early to mid-first round. It just so happened that all five of those players are receivers.

Drake London – Coming from USC, Drake London is already expected to be the Falcons best wide receiver option.

Unfortunately for London, the Falcons moved QB Matt Ryan out, and the 6’4” receiver will now have Marcus Mariota throwing him balls.

Garrett Wilson – With all the attention Jets QB Zach Wilson has received this offseason for his cougar hunting expeditions, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson.

Wilson’s best skill set is what he can do once the ball is in his hands.

Cris Olave – Like Garrett Wilson, Cris Olave is a product of Ohio State. In New Orleans, they have a couple of good receivers in Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry.

If Olave is good enough to take catches away from Thomas and Landry, there may be value in jumping on him for OROY early in the season.

Jameson Williams – With Wilson and Olave both playing at Ohio State, you can understand why Jameson Williams transferred out of Buckeye nation and instead finished his career at Alabama.

Williams is fast and will make an immediate impact because of his speed alone. Playing in Detroit should mean lots of opportunity for Williams.

Jahan Dotson – From picks 8 through 16 in the draft, there were five wide receivers selected, Dotson, being the last one of the bunch.

Like his peers above, the Penn State WR is known for his speed. Dotson will not take over from Terry McLaurin as the top receiving threat in Washington, but he will see a lot of reps.

Interesting to note that the current betting favorite is Kenny Pickett (+500), who was the first QB selected this past draft.

Pickett slipped to 20th, where the Steelers grabbed him, hoping he will take over where the great Ben Roethlisberger left off.

Always Shop Around

I mean, if I wasn’t getting paid by the word, I’m not sure I would even comment on our graphic above.

The odds variation between operators says it all.

Imagine buying Garrett Wilson +800 when he is actually available at +1600 with a different sportsbook.

Finding your BestOdds is the single greatest advantage a gambler has against the sportsbooks.

In fact, it’s so important to shop for the Best Odds available, that we decided to build a business around it.

Best of luck with all your picks and parlays this week!