Midway through the 2021 NFL season, there are several possible contenders for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but Cincinnati’s Ja’marr Chase is the front runner. He’s had a monster of a season so far. However, some other NFL rookies are putting in solid campaigns as well.
Read here to find out who is in the running for this prestigious NFL award according to the latest NFL odds.
Ja’marr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals) (-145)
The Bengals’ decision to draft LSU’s Ja’marr Chase with the 5th overall pick is certainly paying off for them now, although losing to the Jets this week was a bit of a blow. Chase has gelled with his old college teammate Joe Burrow, who is benefitting from having a familiar target this season.
Coming out of Sunday’s games, Chase ranks 3rd in the league in receiving yards. However, this week, he had an off-game against the Jets, with just three receptions on nine targets and a season-low 32 receiving yards.
In a pivotal Week 8 matchup against division rival Baltimore, Chase surpassed 200 receiving yards for the first time in his young NFL career on eight receptions, including one that went for 82 yards. The combo of 1st-year wide receiver and the 2nd-year quarterback has rejuvenated the Bengals offense as they seek their first AFC North division win since 2015 and their first playoff victory since 1990.
Mac Jones (New England Patriots) (+350)
When the Patriots released Cam Newton, it set the stage for rookie quarterback Mac Jones to be the guy in New England. The 15th overall draft pick out of Alabama currently ranks 8th in the league in passing yards, and after winning three of their last four, the Pats are alive in the playoff race with a 4-4 record.
Jones will almost assuredly never be the greatest Patriot quarterback of all time, but so far, he’s working out better than Newton did last season.
Najee Harris (Pittsburgh Steelers) (+1100)
Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris currently ranks 11th in the league in rushing yards. Pittsburgh has shown a lot of confidence in the 24th overall pick in last season’s draft. He’s currently 4th in the league in rushing attempts.
Harris was as busy as he’s ever been last week against the Browns. He was given the ball 26 times, a season-high for him. His Steelers are now right back in the thick of things after winning three straight.
Justin Fields (Chicago Bears) (+2800)
Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has the 4th best odds of winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. In his first eight games, he’s only thrown for 991 yards, as the Bears continue to focus more on their run game. Fields rushed for over 100 yards himself in Week 8 against the 49ers.
Chicago has the lowest passing yards per game but ranks 5th in the same stat for rushing. They aren’t putting a lot of pressure on Fields to carry the offense, which bodes well for his development.
Fields had a rough outing in Week 7, tossing three interceptions in a blowout loss to the Bucs. The Bears have lost three in a row as they try to make the playoffs for the 3rd time in four years.
Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars) (+3000)
Trevor Lawrence would be the front-runner if there were an award for the NFL rookie with the best hair. He would have to have a truly stellar second half of the season to be in contention for anything else.
Granted, Lawrence has certainly settled down after throwing seven interceptions in his first three games. Since Week 3, he’s only been picked off two times. That still ties him for most in the league, however. His 1703 passing yards rank him 24th in the league after Week 8’s games on Sunday.
Perhaps Lawrence will continue to develop and eventually turn into the player the Jags need him to be, but this franchise seems a long way from getting back in the playoffs.
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