NFL Rookie of the Year Odds – Offense & Defense

David Fernandez
A freelance writer with more than 10 years experience, David is based in sunny Miami, FL. He holds a master's degree in English and Creative Writing, and teaches Journalism. As a freelance writer, David concentrates on sports, health, education and entertainment.

NFL Rookie of the Year Odds

The 2020 NFL Draft stood as the most distinctive iteration of the event in the league’s long history. While the draft itself has seen major revisions and evolutions over the years, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a unique set of circumstances. The rookies didn’t get invites to a green room, a draft cap handed to them in the moment, or a handshake with the commissioner. Despite virtual draft, though, many of these rookies are looking to make an instant impact on their teams. And each one will vie for NFL Rookie of the Year on their perspective sides of the ball.

The 2020 group is considered one of the deepest in recent memory. While quarterbacks headlined the class, there are plenty of other skill-position players who will make some noise. Records were broken throughout the draft process, among them: eight wide receivers being drafted in the first 35 selections. No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow will take the helm in Cincinnati immediately, whereas Tua Tagovailoa in Miami and Justin Herbert in Los Angeles may need to wait.

On the defensive side of the ball, Chase Young stood out as arguably the best player in the draft. He’s poised to make an instant impact for the Washington Redskins. Young will seek to replicate fellow Ohio State alum Nick Bosa’s rookie of the Year season.

Although Prop Bets for the rookies are also out, here’s a look at the NFL Rookie of the Year odds for both offense and defense.

 

NFL Rookie of the Year
Kyler Murray won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award last season. (Photo via @NFL on Twitter.com)

NFL Rookie of the Year: Offense

Last year’s offensive rookie of the year was Arizona’s Kyler Murray. The No. 1 overall pick in 2019 shares some similarities with 2020’s top choice. Neither were viewed as the top prospect entering their final year in college. Both posted ridiculous stat lines and eventually won the Heisman trophy. Murray went to the Cardinals, where he thrived under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Burrow inherits a similar straight-to-starter set up with an offensive minded head coach in Zac Taylor.

Burrow stands with the best odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year because he’ll likely start right away. The Bengals sport a number of prolific pass-catchers, including A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate. That’s in addition to a high-end running back in Joe Mixon. Fellow 2020 rookie Tee Higgins will also provide Burrow with a solid set of hands.

Interestingly, the player with the next-best odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year was the last pick of the first round. Clyde Edwards-Helaire goes from being Burrow’s backfield mate at LSU to his primary competition for this award. CEH landed in Kansas City, where there’s a path for him to be the every-down back from Week 1. As the only running back selected in the first round, Edwards-Helaire provides a dynamic outlet for Patrick Mahomes in the Chiefs offense.

The Other OROY Candidates

Alongside CEH is Miami’s rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Once considered the top prospect in the class, Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury that hurt both his draft stock and his odds for Rookie of the Year. He’s a longshot to start for the Dolphins in Week 1 despite being the No. 5 overall pick. Tagovailoa could have a redshirt year, which would eliminate him from any Rookie of the Year discussion. But he could see the field sooner if Miami stumbles out of the gate.

Dolphins legend Dan Marino is the only quarterback to win Offensive Rookie of the Year starting fewer than 12 games.

From there, the odds lengthen some for the other top rookie running backs. D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor could very well be dynamite runners for their teams. But they face steep competition with incumbent veterans at their position.

The record-breaking receiver group also finds long odds in their shot to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Denver’s Jerry Jeudy owns the best line (+1300), followed by Cowboys wideout CeeDee Lamb (+1500). Henry Ruggs III, a surprise as the first receiver off the board in 2020, sees his odds at +1800. Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson and Eagles’ Jalen Reagor sport the longest odds at +2800.

Among the 53 Offensive Rookie of the Year award winners, 38 of them were drafted in the first-round of the NFL Draft, and 46 of them were drafted in the first two rounds.

Over the years, 34 running backs have won Offensive Rookie of the Year. Quarterbacks have claimed the award 10 times and wide receiver nine times. No tight end or offensive linemen has ever won the award.

Odds to Win 2020 NFL OROY                                                                                                         

Player

Pos

Team

Odds

Joe Burrow

QB

CIN

+250

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

RB

KC

+800

Tua Tagovailoa

QB

MIA

+800

D’Andre Swift

RB

DET

+900

Jonathan Taylor

RB

IND

+950

Jerry Jeudy

WR

DEN

+1300

CeeDee Lamb

WR

DAL

+1500

JK Dobbins

RB

BAL

+1600

Henry Ruggs III

WR

LV

+1800

Cam Akers

RB

LAR

+2000

Justin Herbert

QB

LAC

+2000

Zack Moss

RB

BUF

+2000

Denzel Mims

WR

NYJ

+2300

Jalen Reagor

WR

PHI

+2800

Justin Jefferson

WR

MIN

+2800

 

NFL Rookie of the Year: Defense

NFL Rookie of the Year
49ers Edge rusher Nick Bosa won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season. (Photo via @NFL on Twitter.com)    

For Defensive Rookie of the Year, Chase Young leads the way with the best odds. At +350, he’s the favorite to bring home the hardware. Young, who was largely considered the best prospect in the 2020 draft, will look to duplicate Nick Bosa’s effort from 2019.

Bosa, another Ohio State Buckeye, entered as the second overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Ohio State. He played in all 16 games and registered 47 tackles (16 for loss), nine sacks, one interception, two passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. His nine sacks were third among all NFL rookies (fourth-most all-time by a 49ers rookie) and his 16 tackles for loss were tied for fifth among all NFL players. He led the NFL with 25 quarterback hits.

Working against Young might be the fact that he’s lining up along a defensive line stacked with first-round talent. He joins Jonathan AllenRyan KerriganDa’Ron Payne and Montez Sweat for new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera. Working for him though, Young was certainly the most dominant defensive force in college last season, recording 21 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks in 2019. 

DROY Candidates Not Named Young

The next best odds come in at +850, for Isaiah Simmons of the Arizona Cardinals. Simmons profiles as a do-it-all player on defense who could see time at linebacker, pass-rusher or in the secondary. Simmons’ best chance at the Defensive Rookie of the Year award will come if he’s able to pile up tackles and turnovers.

The same is true for Patrick Queen. Baltimore’s first round pick, Queen holds the fourth-best odds for the award at +1700. The Raven hope he’s the second coming of Ray Lewis, although he didn’t win the 1996 Rookie of the Year award. (He should have.)

From there, players manning the secondary sport long odds. No. 3 overall selection, Jeff Okudah of the Detroit Lions, holds the best odds for a defensive back at +2100. He’s followed by safeties Grant Delpit (Browns) and Xavier McKinney (Giants), with +2300 odds. Working in Okudah’s favor is the fact that two of the last five Defensive Rookie of the Year awards went to cornerbacks. Although, the last saftey to win the award was Mark Carrier (1990).

In the last 15 years, six inside linebackers, four edge rushers, three interior linemen and two defensive backs have won Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Odds to Win 2020 NFL DROY

Player

Pos

Team

Odds

Chase Young

EDGE

WAS

+350

Isaiah Simmons

ILB

ARI

+850

AJ Epenesa

EDGE

BUF

+1300

Patrick Queen

ILB

BAL

+1700

Jeff Okudah

CB

DET

+2100

Kenneth Murray

ILB

LAC

+2100

Grant Delpit

S

CLE

+2300

Xavier McKinney

S

NYG

+2300

Derrick Brown

DT

CAR

+2500

Akeem Davis-Gaither

ILB

CIN

+2500

Troy Dye

ILB

MIN

+2500

Ashtyn Davis

S

NYJ

+2600

CJ Henderson

CB

JAX

+2600

Curtis Weaver

EDGE

MIA

+2600

Kristian Fulton

CB

TEN

+2600

 

 

NFL Rookie of the Year
The SEC sported five straight Offensive Rookie of the Year winners from 2013 to 2017. (Photo via @SECNetwork on Twitter.com)

NFL Rookie of the Year Awards Trends

  • Dak Prescott (2016) and Kyler Murray (2019) are the only QBs to win the award in the last seven years.
  • Nick Bosa (2019), Joey Bosa (2016) and Von Miller (2011) are the only three EDGE players to win the award in the last 14 seasons.
  • RBs have won the award in two of the last three seasons and in four of the last seven seasons.
  • 12 of the last 13 DROY awards went to first round picks.
  • Murray and Cam Newton (2011) are the only first-overall picks to win the award in the last nine years.
  • The Bosa brothers are the only two players in the last eight years to win DROY after being the first defensive player selected in the draft.
  • The last player from the AFC to win OROY was Vince Young (2006).
  • Denver Broncos’ RB Mike Anderson is the player selected latest in the draft to win the honors (189th overall in 2000).
  • 24 of the 34 RBs to win OROY were drafted in the first-round; eight of the 10 quarterbacks and six of the nine WRs to win NFL Rookie of the Year were first-round picks.

The odds here come from SportsBettingDime.com. Sports Betting Dime (SBD) serves as a sports betting portal for beginners, enthusiasts, and everyone in between. The handicapping and odds information (both sports and entertainment) found on SportsBettingDime.com is strictly for entertainment purposes.

Don’t miss the rest of our 2020 NFL Draft coverage, and don’t forget to follow @NFLDraftLounge on Twitter and Facebook!

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