- Saquon Barkley is once again favored to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award
- Barkley led all rookie rushers with 1,307 yards on the ground
- Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield was favored entering Week 17
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has once again nosed ahead in the chase for the NFL’s OROY award.
This has been a two-horse race between Barkley and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield for some time and up until these most recent NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds were posted, Mayfield had become the front-runner.
Odds to win 2018 NFL OROY Award
|Player||Team||Odds to win 2018 NFL OROY Award at
|Sqquon Barkley||New York Giants||-130|
|Baker Mayfield||Cleveland Browns||-110|
*Odds taken Jan 7.
Among NFL running backs, only Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys (1,434) ran for more yards this season than Barkley (1,307).
Mayfield stepped into the hardest position to play in the league and just got better and better.
If you’ve got either of these guys on your team, you smile. And if you’ve got a vote for the NFL OROY, good luck making that call.
The Case For Saquon Barkley
Barkley’s 2,028 yards from scrimmage were the most of any NFL player. You know how many rookies have topped 2,000 yards from scrimmage in a single season? Barkley, Edgerrin James, and Eric Dickerson.
Even more impressive: Saquon Barkley’s 2,000+ scrimmage yards in Rookie season come on a 5-11 team
— Lawrence Tynes (@lt4kicks) December 30, 2018
Barkley’s 91 receptions shattered the NFL rookie mark of 88 established by Reggie Bush with the New Orleans Saints in 2008 and tied the Giants club record set by WR Odell Beckham Jr in 2014.
His rushing TD total topped the Giants rookie record of 10 set by Bill Paschal in 1943.
New York @Giants stand out rookie RB Saquon Barkley(@Saquon) had 261 carries, and 91 receptions this season. A total of 351 touches and without a single fumble. #OROY #NFL #NFLRookies #NFLStats pic.twitter.com/PuK1AwLa8U
— Flash Stats (@FlashStats) January 5, 2019
Barkley is the first rookie to go over 1,200 yards rushing and 600 yards receiving since Billy Sims of the Detroit Lions in 1980.
He had six rushes of 50+ yards, twice as many as any other NFL player. And perhaps the most astonishing stat of all – Barkley had 352 touches this season, and never fumbled.
Sims, Beckham, and James (1999) were all named NFL OROY. Bush and Dickerson (1983) were not. Both of them lost out to quarterbacks – Matt Ryan in 2008 and Dan Marino in 1983.
The Case For Baker Mayfield
Even though he didn’t become Cleveland’s starting QB until Week 3, Mayfield threw for 27 TDs, breaking the previous NFL rookie mark of 26 shared by Russell Wilson (2012) and Peyton Manning (1998).
He was named NFL rookie of the week seven times and was November’s NFL rookie of the month.
Our Offensive Rookie of the Year is none other than Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 2, 2019
Though he led NFL rookie QBs in passing yardage, Mayfield ranked just 18th in the NFL. He was 6-7 as a starter.
Mayfield threw for 17 TDs in his last nine games, but was picked off seven times in his last five games.
And the NFL OROY is . . . .
Barkley was absolutely sensational. Forget about putting the rookie tag on him, he was one of the best and most consistent running backs in the NFL, period.
— In My Opinion… (@IMO_SportsTalk) January 1, 2019
As exciting as Mayfield was to watch, he wasn’t a dominant NFL player at his position. Barkley was. That’s why he’s the winner.