While the NFL Draft was heavily focused on defense, the 2019 season has featured some standout offensive rookies. Let’s breakdown the top candidates for 2019 OROY.
2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Candidates
Josh Jacobs, Running Back, Oakland Raiders
Josh Jacobs‘ career got off to a good start, scoring two touchdowns in his first game. Jacob’s has continued the productivity all season. While the concern for him coming out of Alabama was that he wasn’t built to carry the load, he’s been a bell-cow for the Raiders this year. Over 14 games Jacobs has 242 carries, 1,150 rushing yards, to go with 27 catches, and seven total touchdowns. He has more forced tackles (70) than any rookie since 2006 and most since Marshawn Lynch in 2014.
Jacobs ranks first among all rookies in rushing yards, rushing yards per game (88.5), rushing first downs (53), and rushing yards after contact (686). What’s most impressive is that Jacobs has been playing with a fractured shoulder for half the season. The Alabama alum has carried this Raiders offense for most of the season and will be a cornerstone as they move to Las Vegas.
Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray has quietly had a good first season in the desert. While his numbers don’t jump on the page, he’s shown flashes of being a special talent. Murray has completed almost 65 percent of his passes for 3,397 yards, 18 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. He’s also shown to be a true dual-threat quarterback with 544 rushing yards, ranking second at the position to likely MVP Lamar Jackson. He ranks second in yards per carry (6.0) at his position and his four rushing touchdowns are tied for third among all quarterbacks.
Murray is the only rookie quarterback to have started every game and his QBR already ranks in the top half of the league (14th). He’ll need more weapons in the passing game moving forward but Murray looks to be the mobile franchise quarterback most teams are now coveting.
Miles Sanders, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles
A late entry to the list, Miles Sanders has come on strong in the last quarter of the season and is getting some OROY buzz. Sanders hasn’t carried the load in the running game all season like Josh Jacobs, but he’s been a fixture in the passing game for the Eagles. He’s pulled in 47 receptions for 510 yards and three touchdowns. In addition, he’s also put together a solid season on the ground with 766 rushing yards and three additional touchdowns. In NFL history Sanders is one of only 13 rookies to have had 700 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards. While his 1,316 yards from scrimmage rank second to Jacobs, his 1,590 all-purpose yards rank first amongst all rookies. Miles Sanders is the explosive playmaker that Carson Wentz needed in the Eagles offense.
Others In Play for 2019 NFL Offensive ROY
A.J. Brown, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans
Brown has been great this year and emerged as the top target for Ryan Tannehill. He’s put together a stat line of 48 catches, 927 yards, and seven touchdowns.
Terry McLaurin, Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins
McLaurin has overcome quarterback issues and become a playmaker for Dwayne Haskins. For the season he’s tallied 58 receptions, 919 yards, and seven touchdowns.