The NFL returned to the normalcy of the NFL draft. Some teams got better, some seemed to stay pat, and others left us shaking our heads. But dreams came true, and lives changed forever. Eight of the first ten picks were on the offensive side of the ball. The league is more so about the offenses. Let’s take a look at the candidates for offensive rookie of the year.
Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steeler’s biggest weakness was running back and offensive line. They addressed both. The line could be blocking for the offensive rookie of the year. With Big Ben close to retirement, the team should lean more on the running game this season. Even if the Steelers were similar to last year, Harris can catch the ball out of the backfield. The play-action and screen game will be vital. Running backs have won four of the last seven NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Awards.
Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence is the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck. As the no. 1 pick Lawrence will be a day-one starter. He also has a familiar face in the backfield with Clemson running back Travis Etienne. With Urban Meyer schemes and Lawrence’s talent, the QB is the favorite to become the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Lawerance will have every chance to succeed. Every other first-round pick may start the season as backups coming into the season.
Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Atlanta Falcons
Pitts has the making of a Hall of Fame type player. At 6-foot-6, with a 40-yard dash time in the 4.4s, Pitts is an athletic freak. Pitt’s is Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson at the tight end position. Pitts is capable of lining up as a tight end or wide receiver. If Julio Jones is traded, Pitts could quickly become Matt Ryan’s top target in Atlanta. If Jones stays, he takes coverage away from Pitts allowing, him to do damage. And his QB is a top 10 player at the position.
Ja’Marr Chase, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Reunited, and it feels so good! Back with his LSU college quarterback Joe Burrow, Chase already has a repour with his NFL quarterback. As possibly the best pure WR in college football, Chase opted out this past season due to covid. Chase has superior talent. He has great hands and wins more times than not on 50-50 balls. With AJ Green gone, Chase will immediately be the top target on the Bengals. He has the best routes from a loaded draft class.
Rashod Bateman, Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens
This is a sleeper pick. But if Bateman can allow the Ravens offense to open up, he could be in the running. With play-action and misdirection, Bateman can make big plays. The Ravens run game will force an extra man in the box to provide single coverage. Bateman’s ability to win so immediately off the line of scrimmage is what makes him sneaky as a prospect. The only thing Bateman is missing is height. But his ability to get open was one of the best this year in college.