Trevor Lawrence favored in latest Offensive Rookie of the Year odds
The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award is a prestigious honor that typically proves to be the first step in a distinguished NFL career. Looking back at past winners, current stars like Kyler Murray, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Dak Prescott, and Odell Beckham are all names that demonstrate the high correlation between early success and prolonged excellence in the league.
With the 2021 NFL Draft fast approaching, let's take a look at the latest Offensive Rookie of the Year odds and see if we can find some value.
Offensive Rookie of the Year 2021/2022
Sun, February 6 2022, 11:00 PM
Lawrence is poised to make an immediate impact
The current favorite to win the award is prohibitive first overall pick Trevor Lawrence. The Clemson QB is set to join the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he is almost assuredly going to be the starting quarterback from Day 1.
With his destination and starting spot already known, and a tremendous amount of natural talent at his disposal, Lawrence is a safe pick at +200 in the early stages of this betting market. At worst, he will give you a live candidate to root for through most of the season. That being said, nothing about Lawrence’s upcoming situation looks enticing enough for me to take such a short payout on this favorite.
Fields is full of upside
Close behind on the odds board is Justin Fields, who sits at +700, and clearly offers more value than Lawrence. Some of the reasoning for Fields not being closer to Lawrence is the uncertainty on where he will end up. If Fields goes to San Francisco, New England, or Denver, he may not be named the Day 1 starter, and that would significantly hurt his chances.
If Fields is given the opportunity to start within the first month of the season though, he instantly arrives in a situation that can be capitalized on far more effectively than Lawrence.
The 49ers have a solid foundation, just two years removed from a Super Bowl, and feature one of the best play callers in the game. New England has Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels ready to set up their next young talent for success, and Denver has as many young offensive weapons as any team in the league with K.J. Hamler, Jerry Jeudy, and Noah Fant, among others.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, were a 1-15 team that were outscored by 186 points. Their future is bleak and the cupboard is not full. Knowing that the Offensive Rookie of the Year award is often given to a player with good statistics and a positive impact on a team with some degree of competitiveness, this does not bode well for Lawrence.
Chase's longer odds are tempting
If you’re looking for a pick that offers a higher payout than Lawrence or Fields, look no further than LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Chase currently sits at +1400, and while he opted out of the 2020 season, he has all the tools to come in and make an immediate impact at the NFL level.
If not for a superb final half of Justin Herbert’s season, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson could have easily won the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, ultimately finishing second after a highly effective rookie campaign. Jefferson played alongside Chase at LSU, but it was Chase that proved to be the big-play threat when the two were on the field together.
In LSU’s 2019 championship season, Chase averaged 21.2 yards per catch vs. Jefferson’s 13.9, and tallied 20 touchdowns to Jefferson’s 18. Chase has run a blazing 4.38 40-time, posted a 41-inch vertical leap, and a 132-inch broad jump. Put simply, he is a physical phenomenon. He will be entering the league healthy, trained, and presumably hungry after watching his former teammate nearly win the award while receiving significant national recognition on a weekly basis.
The Alabama duo of Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith are arguably more well-known entering the draft, but it is Chase that seems most poised to make a significant and immediate impact. In an increasingly pass-happy league, Chase can be a No. 1 option from Day 1, and exploit defenses like he did during his time in the SEC.
Quarterbacks will always have a leg-up in any offensive awards race, but Chase offers significant value for the dynamic skill set he will bring to whichever lucky team calls his name on Thursday night.