It’s getting to the business end of the season and not only are teams aiming for the Super Bowl, but players know that individual awards are up for grabs.
The rookies of the 2018 draft class have settled nicely into life as NFL players. Let’s take a look at the candidates for the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Saquon Barkley (New York Giants, running back)
Having been taken second overall, big things were expected from Barkley.
The Giants record may not be a winning one but don’t let that fool you into thinking Barkley hasn’t been a stud. His figures are very impressive, 171 rushes for 829 yards with eight rushing touchdowns. His ability as a pass catcher has grown throughout his college career (20-161-0, 28-402-5, 54-632-3) and has continued with the Giants 71-581-4.
Barkley has it all when it comes to playing running back, he can run between the tackles, block, explode to the outside. Going by the bookmakers he is the red-hot favourite to land OROY and it’s easy to see why. This guy is the Giants future.
Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns, quarterback)
The number 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft, Mayfield started slowly in Cleveland but once he got the nod to take the reins, he hasn’t looked back, leading the Browns to their first win in over a year and has a real shot at giving them a winning season for the first time since 2007.
Mayfield’s numbers make for good reading. He has thrown 17 touchdowns to seven interceptions and has a passer rating of 93.2.
Dan Marino is the only quarterback to win OROY with less than 12 starts, if Mayfield plays out the rest of the season he will have 13, so you can see how tough it will be for him to win the coveted award.
Phillip Lindsay (Denver Broncos, running back)
We all knew that a Broncos rookie running back would more than likely be mentioned in OROY discussion but we didn’t know that it was going to be the undrafted free agent Lindsay and not Royce Freeman.
Lindsay has been a revelation in Denver! He is on pace for the most rushing yards by an undrafted rookie (1,340).
He currently ranks seventh in rushing with the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley and Saqoun Barkley ahead of him. His 5.8 yards per attempt ranks joint second behind Aaron Jones, so you can see how efficient he is when he has the ball in his hands. Lindsay is a massive underdog who no one expected to be in with a shout for OROY. I would love him to win it, he deserves it.
The chasing pack
There are others to consider for OROY. Sony Michel, Calvin Ridley, DJ Moore are high on my list. Michel hasn’t had a clean run in his first year in New England but when he’s been on the field he’s been a huge shoulder for Brady to lean on – he’s a beast.
People were worried about Moore going to Carolina because of Newton’s accuracy but that hasn’t been the case under Norv Turner. Moore is now the Panthers number one receiver and looks sure to be the next Steve Smith.