2022 NFL Draft: 5 Way-Too-Early Candidates For Offensive Rookie Of The Year
We’re about a month removed from the 2022 NFL Draft and the process towards the upcoming season is in full swing. For majority of rookies, this is the time of year to begin learning the playbook, start the adjustment to the NFL level and simply work to earn a roster spot. However, for a select few the mission is different. The top rookies have their eyes on collecting a few awards at the end of the season.
While the Rookie of the Year awards don’t always correctly predict promise, they at least provide an indication of who maybe had the best curve on their rookie year and adjusted quickly. A lot of the process to earn the award is due to immediate opportunity paired with production. Many rookies have one, but struggle to get the other. The short list that can achieve both, however, set themselves up for a strong career.
Before we get into the list of the five players to watch this season on the offensive side of the ball, there are a few honorable mentions. Spoiler, there won’t be any quarterbacks inside the top five. Kenny Pickett probably has the best shot at an immediate opportunity, but the production to make this list will be hard to top given the talent at other positions. Unlike MVP, quarterbacks don’t have nearly the advantage in the rookie race.
There also won’t be any running backs or tight ends (Big spoiler, the list is all wide receivers). Similar to quarterback, it’s just hard to see a clear opportunity for anyone at either position. Breece Hall could make a push, but the Jets are looking at the possibility of a committee in the backfield with five running backs on the roster currently who could all make a case.
As for tight ends, Trey McBride has a bright future in the Arizona offense. The Cardinals like to use tight ends, but the presence of Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams along with the rest of the offense will limit the chances McBride has as a rookie. However, keep his name on the radar for his sophomore and junior NFL seasons.
So, with all those spoilers and honorable mentions, it’s clear we’re going to be talking about five wide receivers. The question, though, is which five are most likely to be able to pair opportunity with production to make a run at the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year?