Which rookie from the 2022 NFL Draft could win OROY? Here are some early candidates to watch.
Of the 262 players selected in last weekend’s NFL Draft, 79 of them played the offensive skill positions of quarterback, running back, wide receiver, or tight end. One of those players will be crowned the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
For the first time in recent memory, there is not a quarterback in the first part of the conversation. In fact, given the depth of the pass catchers taken – 46 of the aforementioned 79 will line up as receiving threats – the odds favor one of them taking home the crown. There are, however, a couple of runners worthy of mention, as well. Let’s take a look at some of the early favorites for OROY from the 2022 NFL Draft class.
Drake London (WR, Atlanta Falcons) – Skeptics may point to Atlanta’s quarterback room and turn a blind eye here. From a sheer skill standpoint, though, there is no more complete receiver in this NFL Draft class. He is going to receive plenty of targets from the get-go and should be half of a formidable duo with Kyle Pitts.
Christian Watson (WR, Green Bay Packers) – I’d be willing to bet that Aaron Rodgers has not stopped smiling since the drafting of the gazelle-like Watson. If the two of them can form some chemistry between now and the beginning of the season, defensive backs could have their hands full.
Trey McBride (TE, Arizona Cardinals) – Somewhat surprisingly, no tight end has ever won OROY. Given the increasing importance of the position in an increasingly pass-happy league, though, it is bound to happen sometime. Why not McBride? He has the skills to thrive as Kyler Murray’s security blanket, especially given the recent suspension of DeAndre Hopkins.
Garrett Wilson (WR, New York Jets) – Fluid, smooth, and a route runner extraordinaire, you can expect Wilson to have the same sort of impact that Jaylen Waddle had this past season with the Dolphins. It should be fun watching these two try to outdo one another head-to-head for years to come.
Kenneth Walker III (RB, Seattle Seahawks) – This one just feels right. As good of a story as Rashaad Penny’s resurgence was, Walker III is simply the better player. Chris Carson’s availability is a legitimate concern. With Drew Lock running the show, the Seahawks’ run game will need to be a threat. Walker III is that threat.
Other players to watch: David Bell (WR, Cleveland Browns), Alex Pierce (WR, Indianapolis Colts), Treylon Burks (WR, Tennessee Titans), Breece Hall (RB, New York Jets), Skyy Moore (WR, Kansas City Chiefs)