by ASA, Inc.
Offensive Rookie of the Year - Anthony Richardson (+800)
Standing 6’4 and weighing 245 lbs, the 4th overall pick is comparable to Cam Newton and may have an even stronger arm than the latter. At Florida, Richardson struggled with accuracy and decision making, yet NFL scouts were willing to overlook those aspects and bet on arm talent. Josh Allen was once in those same shoes. Richardson is in a better team situation than the other QBs taken ahead of him with the Colts sporting more weapons than the fully rebuilding Panthers and Texans. Indianapolis also has the third easiest schedule. Jonathan Taylor continues his feud with the Indy front office, which puts more pressure on the rookie QB to carry the offensive load. Fortunately, dual threat QBs have done very well in years past (Jackson, Hurts, Fields) and Richardson has a solid WR1 in Michael Pittman to rely on. Bijan Robinson (+250) is favored to win this award, however, running back is the most injury prone skill position. Jaxson Smith-Njigba (+2000) underwent wrist surgery and will possibly miss the first few weeks, seeming to open the door further for Richardson.
Defensive Rookie of the Year - Will Anderson (+500)
Being the highest picked defensive player in the draft put hefty expectations on 21 year old Will Anderson. At 6’4 243, he ran a 4.6 40 yard dash, justifying such draft capital on a physical specimen. Make no mistake, Houston will be awful, likely having one of the worst defenses in the NFL no matter how well Anderson plays. With it being hard for average fans to name more than a few defensive starters, Will Anderson will be the lone bright spot for the Texans and benefit from ample opportunity to accumulate a nice rookie statline. He averaged nearly a sack a game while at Alabama, even while having multiple other pro players on the roster. The race for DROY is very wide open entering the year, with multiple DBs looking to follow Sauce Gardners rookie winning performance. Other defensive lineman could win the award as well but Anderson has the most solidified workload of any Rookie and being such a notable pick gives him a headstart on the rest of the field even before the season has begun.