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Rookie Of The Year NFL 2017
NFL Rookie Of The Year Candidates
By Bob Duff
Wide receivers and running back have captured the past three NFL offensive rookie of the year awards, ending three-year run by quarterbacks, and that successful roll figures to continue into the 2016-17 season for the so-called skill positon players.
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
Ezekiel Elliott (-125)
The prohibitive favorite to win the honor, Elliott will be offered the opportunity to be the feature back in the Dallas Cowboys' offense, running behind a dominant offensive line that cleared holes last season for Darren MacFadden to gain 1,089 yards on the ground.
If you like money - and who doesn't - here's a couple of gift wagers for you to place. The over/under on Elliott's rookie rushing yardage total is 900, while the over/under on touchdowns scored by Elliott as a first-year NFLer is 7.5.
This is a back who carried the rock 562 times for 3,699 yards the past two seasons at Ohio State and also caught 55 passes, so Elliott can handle a workload. The OROY award is his to lose.
Jared Goff (+650)
Goff is already taking first-team snaps for the Rams, who were 7-9 last year and for Goff to be the top offensive rookie, would likely need to show improvement on that mark, something that won't come easily playing in the same division with the Seahawks and Cardinals.
The last player to win the NFL OROY and go first overall in the NFL draft was also a quarterback, Cam Newton in 2011.
Sterling Shepard (+1200)
With Odell Beckham Jr. drawing all the attention and the double coverage, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning figures to become quite familiar with wide receiver Shepard. A standout at the NFL Combines, the Giants were somewhat surprised to land Shepard with the ninth pick in the second round of the draft.
The former Oklahoma Sooner has been consistently turning heads in the Giants' training camp workouts and Beckham, himself the 2014 NFL OROY, referred to Shepard as a "phenomenal player."
Derrick Henry (+1600)
They've taken to referring to the Tennessee Titans backfield of Henry and DeMarco Murray as thunder and thunder, as this combination of two power runners figures to dish out much punishment and cause plenty of headaches for opposing defensive co-ordinators.
The drawback for Henry, the Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama, is that he figures to share the ball with Murray and that will hold down his numbers, and a Heisman winner hasn't won the NFL's OROY since Robert Griffin Jr. in 2012.
Corey Coleman (+1600)
Since receiver Josh Gordon is suspended, someone has to catch the ball for the Cleveland Browns and that could make Coleman a real sleeper in the OROY race. Quick and explosive, his receiving style and game has been compared to that of Percy Harvin.
The Winner: Ezekiel Elliott (-125)
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Myles Jack (+1600)
Linebackers tend to own the NFL's defensive rookie of the year, winning it 11 times since 2000. Considered the best coverage linebacker in the 2016 NFL draft, Jack broke up an NCAA-high 19 passes over the last three seasons.
Insterted into a terrible Jacksonville defense, Jack figures to be offered plenty of chances to shine.
Jalen Ramsey (+900)
When Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters captured the 2015 NFL DROY, it ended a 16-year drought for secondary players. Peters led the NFL in interceptions and often it's guy who makes the big plays and not necessarily the best player who wins the rookie of the year.
Jacksonville's Ramsey is known as a ballhawk, a smart player who might be the best athlete selected in the 2016 draft.
Joey Bosa (+500)
The first defensive player chosen in the NFL draft at third overall, Bosa was dominant as both a run stopper and pass rusher at Ohio State. But he's chosen to hold out on the San Diego Chargers and the longer he stays out of camp, the less chance he'll have to make an impact during the season.
Reggie Ragland (+1600)
Another impact linebacker, Ragland is a longshot to win the DROY, but he's got the potential to rise up and surprise. Many NFL people see a long future for him as an All-Pro inside linebacker. But Ragland has been slowed in training camp by a knee injury.
Robert Nkemdiche (+1600)
Most rookie of the year winners tend to play for weaker teams because that means they get to see lots of snaps, but Nkemdiche could surprise playing defensive end for the deep Arizona Cardinals. With so many talented defensive players already on the field, he could fly under the radar and become a real playmaker.
The Winner: Myles Jack (+1600)
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