2020 NFL Rookie of the Year Predictions

Rookie of the Year Odds and Forecast

The 2020 NFL Draft is complete, and now we turn our attention to who landed in the best spots and have the greatest chance of securing the 2020-21 Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards.

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Offensive Rookie of the Year Contender Odds

  • Joe Burrow +200
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire +700
  • Tua Tagovailoa +800
  • Jerry Jeudy +1200
  • D'Andre Swift +1200

2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Analysis

The Cincinnati Bengals nabbed QB Joe Burrow (+200) with the top overall pick, and he is the early favorite to come away with the hardware, too. But did he land in the best spot? Yes, the Bengals also snagged WR Tee Higgins (+3200) at the top of the second round to give Burrow a weapon, but the run game and offensive line play is going to have to be better, as Burrow won’t be able to step right into the black and blue AFC North and dominate like he did at LSU.

After Burrow, his Bayou Bengal teammate RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+700) landed in a very favorable spot in Kansas City, and Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa (+800) was picked No. 5 overall. Edwards-Helaire was the first tailback off the board, and the bruising back also has tremendous hands. That should make him a factor from the jump for the defending Super Bowl champs, and QB Patrick Mahomes has the potential to make Edwards-Helaire a star.

As far as Tua, there are a lot of questions about his durability, which makes him a very risky pick. The potential is there for Tagovailoa to step up and be a star, but it is likely going to take some time. The Dolphins needn’t push him with veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick still on the roster and expected to start initially. As such, it could be tough to like Tua’s chances nearly as much as Edwards-Helaire at the same price.

While the selection of RB D’Andre Swift (+1200) by the Detroit Lions was praised, some pundits want to see the vast improvement by their offensive line before investing anything in him. RB Jonathan Taylor landed with the Indianapolis Colts, and that’s an intriguing pick. However, remember that RB Marlon Mack is still on the roster in Indy, and that’s an awfully big hurdle for Taylor. In addition, his fumbling issues and lack of soft hands to catch the ball make him a less attractive pick.

Perhaps the best intermediate play on the board comes in the form of Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb (+1500). He is an impressive specimen, and he lands in a very favorable situation with QB Dak Prescott, who can sling with the best of them. While WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are also in the receiver room with Lamb, the latter is expected to take over the slot spot previously occupied by WR Randall Cobb, now in Houston. The ceiling could be rather high for Lamb, who should see a heavy catch volume. His breakaway potential makes him worthy of a small-unit bet at a very favorable price.

And if you REALLY want to go for a longshot, Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. (+4100) could fit the bill. He steps in to a situation for the Colts with just WR T.Y. Hilton and a bunch of other guys. If the rookie jells nicely with veteran signal caller QB Philip Rivers early in training camp and preseason, a starting job could easily be within his grasp. The Colts should air it out quite frequently, and that makes Pittman would a look.

2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Predictions

Top 3 Offensive Rookie of the Year Picks

  • Kansas City Chiefs RB - Clyde Edwards-Helaire +700
  • Dallas Cowboys WR - CeeDee Lamb +1500
  • Indianapolis Colts WR - Michael Pittman Jr. +4100
Bet On Clyde Edwards-Helaire +700
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Defensive Rookie of the Year Contender Odds

  • Chase Young +200
  • Isaiah Simmons +500
  • Kenneth Murray +900
  • Patrick Queen +900
  • Jeffrey Okudah +1400

2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Analysis

The Washington Redskins snapped up EDGE rusher Chase Young (+200) out of Ohio State with the No. 2 overall pick, and he has been touted as a generational prospect by some talking heads. He should step right in to harass the likes of Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, New York Giants QB Daniel Jones and Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz, who cannot be too pleased about the prospects of trying to elude him.

While Young is the heavy favorite to hoist the hardware, Arizona Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons (+500) figures to have something to say about the battle. The standout at Clemson gives the Cardinals an immediate boost. He wrapped up his career in the upstate with 253 stops, including 28.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. Simmons also had four picks, including a pick-six, while jarring the ball loose for five forced fumbles in 44 appearances. He is a disruptive force, and that’s just what the doctor ordered in Arizona. He is going to be fun to watch.

The defending champion LSU Tigers were heavily represented in this draft, and LB Patrick Queen (+900) lands in a favorable spot in Baltimore, while S Grant Delpit (+2300) figures to see a heavy workload immediately in Cleveland. The latter should rack up his fair share of tackles, and if he is able to stay healthy, he should show why he was previously thought of as a Day 1 player before an injury-marred 2019 campaign. A player entering with a chip on his shoulder is just the kind of person you want to target, especially at a nice value price like Delpit’s.

Young’s partner in crime at Ohio State, CB Jeffrey Okudah (+1400), went third overall and is a value play at this price. He should step right in for the departed Darius Slay and start from the get-go in the Motor City. Don’t expect this attractive price to stay this high for long.

The Carolina Panthers became the first team in the modern era to use all seven of their picks on defensive players, and former Auburn standout Derrick Brown (+2500) looks to be the new face of the Carolina defense following the retirement of fan favorite Luke Kuechly. Brown and former Penn State stud Yetur Gross-Matos (+3500) look to get off to a flying start in the Queen City. Each are worth a small-unit play just because they figure to start from Day 1.

If you’re looking for a real longshot to potentially pay off, look no further than Houston Texans DE Ross Blacklock (+6600). He figures to be one of the book ends with J.J. Watt, and the 290-pounder turned in an impressive 4.9 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The 40th overall pick should make head coach Bill O’Brien very happy on the defensive side of the ball. At the same price, Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Antoine Winfield Jr. (+5500) has those family bloodlines, and he should be an impact player for the contending Bucs. He’ll also have the luxury of learning from the best in practice, as future Hall of Famer Tom Brady gives him immediate on the job training.

2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Predictions

Top 3 Defensive Rookie of the Year Picks

  • Washington Redskins DE - Chase Young +200
  • Detroit Lions CB - Jeff Okudah +1400
  • Houston Texans DE - Ross Blacklock +6600

Ohio State Buckeyes standout defensive back Jeffrey Okudah was the No. 3 pick for the Detroit Lions in the 2020 NFL Draft. (AP)

Analysis provided by VI Expert Joe Williams - Odds & Betting Markets Subject to Change

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