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Who Will Contend for NFL Rookie of the Year?

The NFL Draft is in our rearview, and it’s time to look ahead and project how we think the new crop of players will do in 2023. The ultimate goal is to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, and we have three worthy candidates to break down and examine in the hope of placing a winning NFL pick.

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft was dominated by quarterbacks such as Bryce Young (Carolina Panthers), C.J. Stroud (Houston Texans), and Anthony Richardson (Indianapolis Colts).

Who Will Contend for NFL Rookie of the Year?
Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide - Sean Gardner/Getty Images/afp

But being drafted No. 1, 2, or 3. doesn’t guarantee success. Remember, Brock Purdy was the 2020 ROY winner. Take that into consideration when scanning the NFL lines for this prop.

Bryce Young, QB, Panthers

Young is an early favorite to win the OROY Award as the first overall pick, with two quality receivers to work with. DJ Chark and Adam Thielen give Young the tools to put together an award-winning season and a significant advantage over Stroud.

However, history suggests that No. 1 draft picks are traditionally a bad NFL bet to win the Rookie of the Year.

Since the award was created in 1957, there have only been six No. 1 draft picks to win the Rookie of the Year. Former Panther Cam Newton was one, while Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray was the most recent in 2019.

Young has been touted as the quarterback most ready to step on the field and contribute on Day 1.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Falcons

Young may be an early favorite on the NFL odds board to win OROY honors, but he’s not the early favorite. That title goes to the Falcons’ new running back, Bijan Robinson.

Robinson has all the talent in the world and lands in the best possible position for a rookie running back. The Falcons ran the ball more than any other team in 2022-23 and possessed one of the best offensive lines in the league. The O-line is returning four of five players, including Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary.

Robinson rushed for over 1,500 yards in 12 games in his final season for the Texas Longhorns. If he’s the real deal, and the Falcons continue to rely on their ground game, Robinson will be very tough to outperform.

Zay Flowers, WR, Ravens

NFL betting lists like this are more fun when they include a “dark horse,” WR Zay Flowers takes those honors here. The newest member of the Ravens has an uphill battle but possesses the potential to be an NFL star.

With Lamar Jackson recently inking a long-term deal with the Ravens, Flowers is entering an ideal environment.

Flowers’ 4.42 speed gives Jackson a guy who most of the league can’t hang with. He has vision, great lateral movement, and a high football IQ.

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