FILE – Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence arrives before the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against LSU in New Orleans, in this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, file photo. Lawrence is a likely top pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
- Number 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence remains the favorite to be the 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
- Each of the past two winners of the award have been quarterbacks, but prior to that just on the previous six was a QB
- See below for odds, analysis and a prediction for who will be the 2021 NFL OROY
Round 1 of the NFL Draft is in the books which means 32 rookies have a new home for 2021. The man who will carry the most hype into the upcoming season will be number 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, and the Jacksonville QB just happens to be the favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
2021 NFL OROY Odds
|Team||Odds at FanDuel|
|Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars)||+270|
|Justin Fields (Bears)||+550|
|Trey Lance (49ers)||+700|
|Zach Wilson (Jets)||+850|
|Mac Jones (Patriots)||+950|
|Kyle Pitts (Falcons)||+1300|
|Ja’Marr Chase (Bengals)||+1500|
|Travis Etienne (Jaguars)||+1500|
|Najee Harris (Steelers)||+1600|
|DeVonta Smith (Eagles)||+1700|
|Jaylen Waddle (Dolphins)||+1700|
|Javonte Williams (TBD)||+2900|
|Rashod Bateman (Ravens)||+4500|
|Trey Sermon (TBD)||+5000|
|Elijah Moore (TBD)||+6000|
|Kadarius Toney (Giants)||+6000|
|Rondale Moore (TBD)||+6000|
|Terrace Marshall Jr. (TBD)||+6000|
|Kellen Mond (TBD)||+9000|
|Kyle Trask (TBD)||+9000|
|Michael Carter (TBD)||+9000|
Odds as of April 29th.
Lawrence’s NFL OROY Odds are twice as short as the next contender’s, fellow quarterback Justin Fields, and nearly three times shorter than the third overall pick Trey Lance’s. Each of the top-five contenders are QB’s, despite the fact that some have a proven veteran standing between them and a starting role.
Lawrence Surrounded By Talent
Lawrence may be walking into a locker room that won only 1 game in 2020, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of talent for him to work with. The receiving corps is dynamic, featuring D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones and 2020 second round pick Laviska Shenault, while the Jags also reunited their new franchise QB with his Clemson teammate.
TREVOR LAWRENCE + TRAVIS ETIENNE
RUN IT BACK pic.twitter.com/zFeKjmG0YV
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
Travis Etienne is a home run play waiting to happen, and the chemistry between him and Lawrence should lead to plenty of easy completions and explosive plays. New head coach Urban Meyer will inject new life into this offense, and we should expect a big improvement from a team that ranked 28th in yards per game, and 30th in points per game.
trevor lawrence made these throws — which you’ve probably seen a million times already — back to back in a game. if he isn’t your QB1, you’re overthinking it. pic.twitter.com/l8sIG4i5Qf
— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) April 19, 2021
But will that improvement translate into Rookie of the Year honors? Lawrence is a dual threat, with 18 career rushing TD at Clemson, but he never averaged more than 2.4 passing TD per game in one of the most dominant college offenses. Most of his Tigers’ regular season games were versus cupcake ACC opponents, and while no one should doubt his talent, it would have been nice to see at least one season with 40+ TD passes on his resume.
His NFL OROY odds opened at +200, but even at his new price tag of +270 he’s still a pass, with the next name on the board providing a higher ceiling.
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Fields Will Be Fantastic
Speaking of 40+ TD seasons, Fields produced one of those in 2019, and accounted for 27 total touchdowns in eight games last year at Ohio State. The new franchise QB in Chicago walks into a promising situation, with stud receiver Allen Robinson as his number one target, and speedster Darnell Mooney as his deep threat.
🗣️ @PFF_AustinGayle on Justin Fields pic.twitter.com/CMS5W0sjhA
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
Sure, he has to beat out Andy Dalton and Nick Foles for the starting gig, but a talent like Fields is rare to find. He completed 73.4% of his passes in 2020, against Big Ten competition no less, while rushing for 274 yards. The 22-year-old ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at his pro day, and found the end zone 19 times with his legs in just 34 career college games.
Also working in his favor is the fact that Chicago threw the ball at the league’s sixth highest clip in 2020 (62.27%), which lines up perfectly for him to have a huge season.
Fields was a buy at his opening odds of +400, and he’s even a bigger priority now at +550.
Don’t Sleep On Chase
If you’re looking for back a longshot, look no further than new Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase. The former LSU star is being reunited with his former teammate Joe Burrow, after the two lit up the SEC in 2019.
Ja’Marr Chase 🤜🤛 Joe Burrow
The Cincinnati Bengals reunite the No. 5 pick with with his former LSU QB. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/jbtbqI9rVK
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 30, 2021
Chase caught 84 passes and a ridiculous 20 touchdowns during the Tigers’ championship season, averaging 21.2 yards per reception. He’ll have Tee Higgins on the opposite side of him, limiting the double coverage he’ll see, and he’s considered a better prospect than his former teammate Justin Jefferson, who was uber productive in his rookie year to the tune of 88 catches, 1,400 yards and 7 TD.
No receiver has won the NFL OROY since Keenan Allen in 2013, but Chase is a strong bet to change that this year, especially at his +1500 price tag.
Picks: Justin Fields +500, Ja’Marr Chase +1500
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.