Every year, bettors are trying to make their money betting on who the NFL’s most exciting offensive rookie will be. Most will bet on guys in the top two rounds, like Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Najee Harris, etc. But every year some guys slip through the cracks and come out of nowhere to spice up the race. Below, I have listed three candidates who are not only sleepers for the race, but could potentially win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
- Davis Mills- QB- Houston Texans
Davis Mills is the newest quarterback added to the Houston Texans QB room. He was the 67th overall selection, and the 8th quarterback taken. This was a steal, as some mock drafts had Davis Mills as a late first-round pick leading up to the draft. He has the prototypical size at the position that all teams covet (6 ft 4, 225) and a very good arm, as well as nice footwork and a smooth delivery. With Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, and Randall Cobb as receiving options, as well as a great rushing attack with David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, and Mark Ingram, there is reason to believe that Davis Mills can have a great year. History shows that your team does not need to have a good record to win Rookie of the Year (Justin Herbert in 2020) as well. Davis Mills has star potential, and a good situation to win ROTY, even with the whole Deshaun Watson dilemma.
- Kenneth Gainwell- RB- Philadelphia Eagles
The 150th pick in the NFL draft was selected out of the University of Memphis in the 5th round and is someone that I have way outperforming his draft selection. A talented running back who had outstanding production despite his size (5’ 8’’), he is primed to break out for a massive run in Nick Sirianni’s offense. Miles Sanders is not the most healthy back, and Gainwell has the talent to beat out both Kerryon Johnson and Boston Scott. He is also a three-down back who can catch and block in the backfield. In a weak NFC East, I believe that Kenneth Gainwell can establish himself as a great starter, and with outstanding production, could dethrone even Trevor Lawrence as ROTY frontrunner.
- Javian Hawkins- RB- Atlanta Falcons
Javian Hawkins was not drafted in this year’s draft. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons and has a legitimate chance to win the starting job. His competition is Mike Davis, a running back whose success can be credited to Joe Brady, Qadree Ollison, and Tony-Brooks-James. Not exactly a difficult rotation to crack. If he does win the starting job though, NFL defenses won’t likely be paying attention to him, as they have to deal with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Kyle Pitts. His home run ability is off the charts as well, scoring touchdown runs of 70, 75, and 90 yards in 2020. Seeing this man put on a show in the ATL will be the biggest betting surprise and the major sleeper for OROY that no one is talking about.