We are just a few weeks from the start of training camp, and even with just rookie practices, OTAs and mini camps, there have been some steady movement in the NFL Odds. Here are my three most intriguing options for offensive rookie of the year from Bovada.
Sammy Watkins (+450)
I’m not quite sold on Watkins to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, however he has made a pretty good case so far early in the spring and summer. Reports out of Buffalo are that Watkins looks every bit the part of a franchise receiver, and even though there are some concerns on his quarterback’s ability to get him the ball, Watkins is currently the favorite from Bovada sportsbook.
If he and EJ Manuel can get some chemistry heading into the regular season, Watkins could make his charge for this award. He would be only the third receiver to ever win the award, following behind only Percy Harvin and Anquan Boldin. Although it may not be the most conventional pick, with the way the NFL is changing, we will be seeing more receivers having a shot at offensive rookie of the year. We may not see any rookie quarterbacks start in Week 1 of the season, which would give a receiver like Watkins a chance. I expect the young receiver to get well over 100 targets this season, and 50-60 catches seems likely.
Teddy Bridgewater (+700)
As soon as I say there may not be any rookie quarterbacks starting in Week 1 of the season, if Teddy plays well in the preseason, he may be the exception to the rule. Mike Zimmer might want to throw his rookie QB right into the NFC North fire, and even though they just gave Matt Cassel a two-year $10 million deal, I don’t think Zimmer and Norv Turner are going to be tied to Cassel at all.
Bridgewater looks like he is going to be a pretty solid quarterback. He had a bad pro day which sent him down draft boards, however if he gets the chance to play at the beginning, or at least most of the season, he could be a serious contender for the ROY honors, and a great value at +700. I’m not sold on Johnny Manziel, and I don’t think Blake Bortles is going to get an opportunity to play enough, or has a good enough team. Bridgewater is my favorite QB for the honors.
Brandin Cooks (+900)
I understand this may be a pretty off the wall pick, but if the Saints’ offense is constructed like I think it might be, Cooks might be used a ton this upcoming season. The Saints are currently dealing with a contract dispute with Jimmy Graham, and Marcus Colston is on the downhill side of his career. In order to squeeze every bit of prime out of Drew Brees, it is in the Saints’ best interest to develop more young pass catchers.
There have been many media members in New Orleans that really like Cooks, and there was some coach speak earlier in the offseason comparing Cooks’ potential role to that of what Darren Sproles did for the Saints. His chances of winning rookie of the year have been skyrocketing throughout the offseason, and I still think there is betting value at the +900 pick.