Don't overlook Justin Fields in NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds
The newest NFL rookies are finding their footing during the preseason, and future wagering is open involving the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Quarterbacks have won this award nine times since 2004 and in each of the last two seasons, and the wagering says it’s likely to happen for a third year in a row.
Trevor Lawrence is favored at +300, and for good reason. The No. 1 overall pick will almost certainly have plenty of opportunities to show off his skills in Urban Meyer’s offense down in Jacksonville. However, I think there’s a bigger-priced quarterback that presents a more attractive wagering proposition.
Offensive Rookie of the Year 2021/2022
Sat, February 12 2022, 10:00 PM
Fields could be the steal of the 2021 NFL Draft
I’ve been high on Justin Fields for quite a while, and he’s sitting at +550. The Chicago Bears traded up to get him with the 11th pick in this year’s draft, and he’s currently competing for the starting job with veteran Andy Dalton. With that in mind, though, I certainly think Fields is favored to be in the lineup very early in the season, for a variety of reasons.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy will be under scrutiny, as quarterback play has been an issue of late for the organization. Mitchell Trubisky was picked ahead of both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017, and he’s no longer with the club. I think the pressure to start Fields will be immense, and it’s not like Dalton has set the world on fire in recent seasons with Cincinnati and Dallas.
Fields was lights out in college
Furthermore, Fields was brilliant in college. After transferring from Georgia to Ohio State, he went 20-2 with the Buckeyes and threw 63 touchdowns against just nine interceptions. He’s a terrific runner, too, having rushed for a total of 19 scores during his college days, so he presents several different ways to test opposing defenses.
Fields has outdueled Lawrence before
What I liked most, though, is what he showed in last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal. Ohio State faced off against Clemson, and Fields flat-out outplayed Trevor Lawrence. He threw for 385 yards and six touchdowns that day, and he did so while playing a large part of the game with an injury stemming from a hard hit in the second quarter.
I don’t just think Fields wins the starting job. I think he shines under center for an organization that’s long been searching for a franchise quarterback. I respect Lawrence, and I won’t be surprised if he turns into a star for the Jaguars, but as far as the wagering goes, give me Fields at nearly twice the price.