The NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and it’s possible we may not see a quarterback selected until deep into the first round. While the top of this year’s draft class may feature edge rushers and players in the trenches, there will, like always, be offensive skill players who have spectacular rookie seasons. In fact, SportsBettingDime.com has already displayed odds to win NFL OROY where Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett are currently listed as the co-favorites to win each with a +500 odds to win the award.
Here we look at a sample of the offensive players you should know who could make a splash in year one and walk away with the coveted title of Offensive Rookie of the Year. (Sorry offensive linemen, while you are crucial and underappreciated, we are not including you since the last time someone at your position won the award was, well, never.)
Kenny Pickett, QB. Pitt: Pickett is a co-favorite to win rookie of the year because he’s the most pro-ready of the available quarterbacks. Pickett comes off a spectacular senior season in which he produced 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns. The mobile prospect could be snagged by a team like Carolina or Pittsburgh or Seattle and have a chance to be a Week 1 starter.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty: A lot of folks are pegging Willis to the Steelers at no. 20 and with good reason. Willis has the highest ceiling of any quarterback. He’s a scary rushing weapon with a canon of an arm but is far from a polished prospect. Willis would be well positioned to sit behind Mitch Trubisky for a while and learn the ropes before jumping in mid-season or in 2023 and enjoying the Steelers crop of weapons.
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State: As the best yards after the catch prosect in this draft, Wilson could be highly targeted if he lands on a team like Atlanta who lost Calvin Ridley. Or like Ja’Marr Chase last season, Wilson could also breakout on a high-powered offense that already boosts a nice slate of complementary players.
Drake London, WR, USC: The 6’4” athletic specimen is well set up for mismatches, especially given how well he uses his body (being a former basketball is a huge help). London may be the most complete receiver in the draft.
Jameson Williams WR, Alabama: Yes, Williams is recovering from an ACL tear. But assuming he fully recovers, his speed and route running is going to help some lucky team improve its vertical threat game in a major way.
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State: Another Buckeye (it’s like they grow on tress in Columbus!). Olave has elite separation and should be an immediate deep threat at the next level.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: Burks could be Deebo Samuel 2.0. He comes off a senior season in which he put up over 1100 receiving yards and averaged 8.9 yards per rushing attempt.
Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State: Oh hey, running backs are people too. And Hall might be the more versatile back in the class and would alleviate a lot of pressure from a quarterback.
Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State: Another complete back, Walker will make an immediate impact with his speed, agility and blocking abilities.