The 2021 NFL Draft brought a lot of exciting prospects to the league, with some being ready to contribute in starting roles as early as this season. With all this talent around, it’s easy to see how people are already trying to predict who’ll be the 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Fortunately, BetOnline has released odds for the award and, at +225, the sportsbook is favoring Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence to walk away with it.
These odds shouldn’t come as much as a surprise, especially with Lawrence being the first overall selection at this year’s draft. Unlike some of the other rookie signal-callers, he doesn’t have to compete for a starting job because the Jaguars believe that he’s their quarterback of the future. With the talent that he showed during his tenure with the Clemson Tigers, it might not be long before Lawrence takes a stranglehold on the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year race.
The 21-year-old gunslinger spent three seasons with the Tigers. During that span, he played 40 games and recorded 10,098 passing yards for 90 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. Those certainly are not the numbers that your average college quarterback puts up. Lawrence also racked up numerous accolades during his collegiate career, including leading Clemson to a national championship in 2018 (where he was the MVP), making multiple All-ACC teams and being first-team All-American in 2020. The Jaguars have also done a solid job at surrounding him with competent pass-catchers, as well as reuniting him with his former Tigers running back, Travis Etienne.
All the makings are there for Lawrence to have an OPOY-caliber season, but only time will tell if he’s successful.
2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, August 12
- Trevor Lawrence (+225)
- Trey Lance (+375)
- Najee Harris (+700)
- Kyle Pitts (+900)
- Justin Fields (+1000)
- Zach Wilson (+1000)
- Ja'Marr Chase (+1200)
- Mac Jones (+1400)
- Javonte Williams (+1600)
- Trey Sermon (+2000)
Complete odds list available at BetOnline.ag.
Lance Closing in on Lawrence
Before training camp began, the theory was that Jimmy Garoppolo would begin the season as the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback before letting rookie Trey Lance take over at some point. However, Garoppolo has struggled through practice while Lance has thrived, ultimately looking like the better signal-caller. This has led to people theorizing that Lance could open the season as the No. 1 QB, which is another reason why he has +375 odds to be named 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
What’s remarkable about his odds is that Lance was listed at +1200 back in April. If he continues at this rate, he could, realistically, give Lawrence a run for his money. However, it’s not that shocking to see Lance thriving. He’s already proven what he’s capable of during his short collegiate career. He only played one fulls season for North Dakota State, which was back in 2019, which saw him throw for 2,786 passing yards and 28 touchdowns without a single interception in 16 games. However, Lance further impressed onlookers on the ground, rushing for exactly 1,100 yards and 14 TDs on 169 attempts.
If Lance can bring his mix of passing and rushing to the NFL level, the 49ers QB could be a threat for years to come and that could all begin this season.
Najee Harris NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
The first non-QB player on BetOnline’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds list is Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris (+700). The former Alabama back was selected 24th overall by the Steelers and is already figuring to be a major part of their backfield.
Pittsburgh had an awful run game in 2020. Actually, scratch that. Pittsburgh had the worst run game in the NFL last year, averaging a league-worst 82.5 rushing yards per game. With rushing being an important part of building a Super Bowl contender, the Steelers used their first-round pick on Harris and it could be more than worth it if he can translate his collegiate success to an NFL field.
After playing a smaller role in his first two collegiate seasons, Harris saw more opportunities in 2019 and 2020. In that two-year span, he recorded 2,690 rushing yards, 3,419 receiving yards and 50 total touchdowns in 26 games. Those are video game-like stats that would be near-impossible to reach in the NFL. Nevertheless, the Steelers will still involve Harris in the gameplay early and often because he does have game-changing potential. Whether or not he’s good enough by himself to drag Pittsburgh’s run game out of the basement remains to be seen.