Over halfway through the season, which rookies have been the best?
Week 11 has come and gone in the NFL. Teams are starting to find their place as playoff contenders or those shooting for an early first-round pick. While the MVP race is still highly contended (over five players have strong cases to get it), both titles for the offensive and defensive rookies of the year are starting to fall into place.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
As of now, the title for offensive rookie of the year is being fought for between two players: Josh Jacobs and Kyler Murray.
Jacobs is a running back for the Oakland Raiders and is probably the current favorite. He was taken 24th overall out of Alabama in the draft. Jacobs started the season slowly, but turned it around and is a big reason why the Raiders are in the playoff hunt.
After his first five games, Jacobs has racked up five 100-plus yard games and hasn’t rushed for less than 60 in any game. He’s already rushed for 923 yards with an average of 4.8 per rush. That along with seven touchdowns and 144 receiving yards has shown he may soon join the league’s elite.
If Jacobs goes on to win offensive rookie of the year, he’d be the first AFC player to win it since Vince Young in 2006.
Murray, on the other hand, is the quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. He was the number one overall pick in last spring’s draft out of The University of Oklahoma. Murray has been in the ring for winning rookie of the year for the entire season. He has completely revamped the entire Cardinals team.
Last year the Cardinals went 3-13, and they are already 3-7-1 which means they are guaranteed to finish better than last year. While it might not be much, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s good to note though that the Cardinals are in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL that includes the Seahawks, 49ers, and the Rams.
Murray and first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury continue to build chemistry with each other and have made the Cardinals impossible for any team to overlook.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
On the defensive side, one player has broken away from the pack and is looking to take the DROY. That player is Nick Bosa, defensive end for the 49ers.
Nick, like his brother Joey, has taken the NFL by storm after being drafted by the 49ers second overall right behind Murray. His brother was drafted two years ago by the Chargers in the same position and won the 2016 defensive rookie of the year. Both have made huge differences on their teams already
Nick is a big reason why the 49ers are 9-1 and atop the NFC. San Francisco’s front-seven has been suffocating. Nick has 21 solo tackles thus far this season along with seven sacks, a forced fumble and a 46-yard interception return.
Behind Bosa in the race is Devin Bush, inside linebacker from Pittsburgh, Josh Allen, a defensive end from Jacksonville, Brian Burns, a defensive end from Carolina and Darnell Savage Jr. a safety for the Green Bay Packers.
Although these players have positively impacted their teams, none of them have seemed to completely change their defense as Bosa has.