It’s already week four, and the majority of the NFL’s most prominent rookies are finally getting their opportunities to shine. Last week was a wild one. The first-overall selection of the 2018 NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield was thrown into the game and later named the starter of the Cleveland Browns moving forward. Then, just a few days later the same thing happened with the Arizona Cardinals when Josh Rosen got thrown into the final minutes of the game to replace Sam Bradford. And just like Mayfield, Rosen is now the starter of the Cardinals.
With a lot of these guys getting their shining moments now, we can probably start discussing the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. I know what you’re thinking; it’s way too early to talk about an end of the season award. Well, guess what? If you’re betting on it, it’s never too early. After a few slow weeks of rookie action on offense, a few guys had a breakout game in week three. Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, Calvin Ridley.
With the emergence of the first-year players, we now have updated odds as we head into week four of the regular season. Currently, after playing just one half of football in the pro’s, Baker Mayfield is the favorite at (+250). And after a decent week two, Saquon Barkley is right behind him at (+275) per Bovada. Here is the full list of odds, courtesy of OddsShark.
Who’s In The Lead?
The emergence of Mayfield was huge last week. But it’s hard to predict how things will go for him moving forward. Remember, he’s only played just one half of football against an unprepared New York Jets defense. He doesn’t exactly have a tough opponent this week, but it will be interesting to get a look at him playing a full game against a team that had film to review on him all week.
As far as Saquon goes, he’s doing all that he can with a struggling offensive line. Coming out of the draft, everybody knew juts how versatile Barkley is. So far, he’s accounted for 353 all-purpose yards and two total touchdowns. He hasn’t exactly dominated at the professional level, but it will become apparent to the voters how much of a threat he was to defenses with so little help around him.
For Sam Darnold and Josh Allen, they would still be considered longshots right now. Darnold had come back to earth ever since his monster week one and hasn’t really looked like the quarterback that everybody thought he was going to be when he debuted.
While Allen was currently on the rise after a dominant win over the Minnesota Vikings last week, he still has a lot to prove after his shaky start in the beginning. But all in all, with all of these rookies getting used to the NFL, the Rookie of the Year race should only get more interesting moving forward.