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Barkley Favored To Win NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year

Saquon Barkley and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hold up a NY Giants jersey after being selected by the New York Giants

Just a few days following the completion of the NFL draft, odds have hit the board for who will claim the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award – and, of course, Saquon Barkley (+150) is the favorite.

The newest member of the New York Giants was selected second overall, the highest any back has been selected since Reggie Bush got selected second by the New Orleans Saints in 2006. And though plenty of people will say that taking a running back that high goes against the diminished value of the position, Barkley seems like the type of back to prove the typical thought processes wrong.

Barkley looks like a once-in-a-generation type of player thanks to his exceptional combination of quickness, acceleration, vision, elusiveness and power. The former Penn State Nittany Lion is ready to be a three-down back in the NFL – as he has proven to be a capable runner, pass-catcher and blocker.

In addition, each of the past three seasons has seen a running back claim the OROY award – Todd Gurley (2015), Ezekiel Elliott (’16) and Alvin Kamara (’17).

Best Odds For A QB? Baker Mayfield

The second-best odds belong to No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield (+275). The newest Cleveland Browns quarterback did nothing but produce the two most efficient seasons in college football history the past two seasons. He has an almost photographic memory and a desire to be the best. There are concerns about his size – but bettors should be more concerned about the presence of Tyrod Taylor.

Taylor is a steady quarterback, something the Browns have not had for seemingly their entire existence. There might not be a rush to start Mayfield but if he takes the bull by the horns during training camp, Hue Jackson and company should certainly think about giving him the start from Day 1.

It is also worth keeping in mind that five of the past six quarterbacks to go first overall were starters on opening day. The lone exception was Jared Goff, who had the unenviable position of having Jeff Fisher as his head coach during his rookie year.

Best Dark Horse Pick? Ronald Jones II

A dark horse worth keeping an eye on is Ronald Jones II (+3000) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have very little in front of Jones entering the season – with nothing but mediocrity in their current running back depth chart. Jones is a big play waiting to happen, with his slashing style and foot speed making him a dangerous runner. He is a little lean and could wilt under a full NFL workload but he is actually taller and heavier than Jacquizz Rodgers – the Bucs’ No. 1 back (maybe, I guess).

2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Odds as of May 1 at Bovada

  • Saquon Barkley (NYG) +150
  • Baker Mayfield (CLE) +275
  • Josh Allen (BUF) +800
  • Josh Rosen (ARZ) +1000
  • Rashaad Penny (SEA) +1400
  • Derrius Guice (WAS) +1800
  • Lamar Jackson (BAL) +2000
  • Sam Darnold (NYJ) +2000
  • Ronald Jones II (TB) +3000
  • Sony Michel (NE) +3000
  • DJ Moore (CAR) +3300
  • Calvin Ridley (ATL) +4000