NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year debate: Puka Nacua vs C.J. Stroud; 2 stellar rookies making their mark

Two stellar rookies setting marks, leading playoff runs and fighting for the coveted award.
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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As the season unfolds, a new group of young athletes take the field, each aiming to make their mark in the history of the NFL. Let's delve into the prospects of the NFL rookies who have shined bright in the 2023 season. 

A Glance at the Past

Before we dive into the prospects of the 2023 season, let's take a quick detour to the past. The Offensive Rookie of the Year award, since its inauguration in 1967, has seen a plethora of talented players. The first New York Jet to bag this honor was Garrett Wilson. However, the award has never been claimed by a tight end or an offensive lineman. The last time a former Big 12 running back won the award was Adrian Peterson with the Vikings in 2007.

For two consecutive years, in 2021 and 2022, the award was bagged by wide receivers, a feat last seen in the mid-'80s. Now, with the stage set for the 2023 season, let's see who has the potential to clinch this coveted award.

The preseason dark horse: Sam La Porta

While no tight end has ever won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, Sam La Porta, the new addition to the Detroit Lions, is someone to watch every week. A fantasy legend in the making, he holds the potential to become a high-volume target with his exceptional skills and an MVP-caliber passer like Jared Goff behind him; he has to be mentioned. He is currently third in the race, according to with +15000 odds. He is a long shot, but with some postseason heroics and a deep play playoff run by the Lions, he could be the first TE RotY.