Offensive rookie of the year is becoming more of a quarterback award

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The 2020 season has produced several viable candidates for offensive rookie of the year, candidates who don’t play quarterback.

From Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson (52 catches, 918 yards, six touchdowns) to Steelers receiver Chase Claypool (45 catches, 611 yards, 10 total touchdowns) to Jaguars running back James Robinson (890 rushing yards, eight total touchdowns) to Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (692 rushing yards, five total touchdowns) to Washington running back Antonio Gibson (645 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns) to Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb (53 catches, 650 receiving yards, four touchdowns), any could do enough do the stretch to earn, based on their work to do, votes.

As quarterbacks go, Chargers rookie Justin Herbert seems to be running away with it, especially after the season-ending injury to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

And Herbert seems to be the safest bet, given that the award gradually has become more of a quarterback award in recent years. Even though no quarterback won it between Bills quarterback Dennis Shaw in 1970 and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.

Since Roethlisberger in 2004, quarterbacks have won it in 2006 (Vince Young), 2008 (Matt Ryan), 2010 (Sam Bradford), 2011 (Cam Newton), 2012 (Robert Griffin III), 2016 (Dak Prescott), and 2019 (Kyler Murray).

It makes sense that more are winning it. More quarterbacks play right away in today’s NFL, and more of them are playing well. Herbert is playing extremely well. If he keeps it up — and if he stays healthy — he likely will win. Even if there’s a non-quarterback or two who is more deserving.

11 responses to “Offensive rookie of the year is becoming more of a quarterback award

  1. There are plenty of QBs on that list who won offensive rookie of the year that went on to have mediocre careers.

  2. Considering the position is so difficult to master as a rookie, so difficult that Patrick Mahomes sat out his rookie season, and considering it’s a QB league, the award should probably always go to a QB. Justin Jefferson is awesome too. He looks like another Chris Carter, and Antonio Gibson is having a great season, especially considering they don’t have a QB that the defense is keying on.

  3. They should just change the name of the award. Jacobs was an Elite RB last year and was robbed of it because a rookie QB ran for 500 yards. Whatever you wanna say, Murray wasn’t even a top 20 QB last year. He had a good but not great year.

  4. Who is more deserving? Herbert has thrown for 3000 yards, thrown for 23 TDs while running for 3 more, and has a higher QB rating than Ben Roethlisberger. PFT ran an article today about how Herbert is going to significantly raise the bar for most TD passes by a rookie QB. No other offensive rookie comes close to matching what Herbert has done.

  5. Trade Jefferson the the Eagles for 2 firsts and 2 conditional 4ths to reverse the awful Sam Bradford trade

  6. Quarterbacks are becoming increasingly more important to winning as the sport evolves. What else would we expect?

  7. Gibson is averaging 4.6 yards per a carry, starting 7 games out of 11, with over 200 yards receiving.


  8. Sooooooo, two QBs have won OROTY in the last seven years, and it’s become a “quarterback award.” Oh okay then.

  9. MVP, OROY, they’ll forever be a quarterback award from here on out. Unless a running back goes for 3K or a guy averages 10 sacks a game, everyone else should just accept DPOY or DROY as the one that more than one position has a chance at.

  10. So because a QB has won it seven of the past 16 years, its a QB award? Herbert is playing amazing this year. He is on pace to set rookie records. Jefferson is having a heck of a year, and it would be awesome to see the undrafted Robinson win, but its Herbert’s to lose at this point.

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