In the early rookie of the year odds, Najee Harris stands out

2021 NFL Draft
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The first overall pick is the first favorite to win the rookie of the year award. But the 24th pick could be the one to watch.

Via PointsBet, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has +250 odds to win the prize the night before Super Bowl LVI. That part was predictable. After that, it gets interesting.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields currently lands next on the list, at +350, followed by Jets quarterback Zach Wilson at +600.

Next comes 49ers quarterback Trey Lance at +650, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones at +1000, Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts at +1000, Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase at +1200, Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle at +1500, Steelers running back Najee Harris at +1600, Eagles receiver Devonta Smith at +1600, Jaguars running back Travis Etienne at +1600.

Other names of note include Bucs quarterback Kyle Trask at +3300, 49ers running back Trey Sermon at +6600, and Washington receiver Dyami Brown at +10000.

MVP largely has become a quarterback award; rookie of the year has featured other positions. In the last eight years, only three quarterbacks have won the award. No receivers have won MVP; nine receivers have been named offensive rookie of the year since the award debuted in 1967.

(No tight end has won it. Pitts could be the first. It would help his cause if the Falcons trade Julio Jones, since there’s still only one football — and the Falcons have Jones, Pitts, and Calvin Ridley.)

For this award, stats become one of the biggest factors. Running backs who play all the time end up generating plenty of stats. That’s why Harris intrigues me the most, especially at 16-1 odds. The Steelers surely will use him. And with a prolific passing game combined with a very good defense, he should get opportunities to do some damage.

It helps to play for a team with a strong national following. That will keep his exploits from going unnoticed.

So in the same way Najee Harris will follow Franco Harris as a Steelers first-round tailback, Najee has a decent chance (better than 16-1) to follow Franco as the offensive rookie of the year, too.

22 responses to “In the early rookie of the year odds, Najee Harris stands out

  1. Harris is going to struggle. The Steelers O-line is like Swiss cheese now

  2. C’mon man. Let’s pump the breaks a little here. There’s a lot of talent in this draft class. Let’s see how it goes.

  3. We haven’t even had Round Three of the 2021 National Football League Draft yet and they’re already touting the Rookie of the Year awards?

  4. Good grief this is easy. It’s Pitts. If he stays healthy, he is unstoppable.

  5. They waited too long to address the line. Maybe if they spent their first 2 picks on legitimate upgrades to the line, then a running back, that back might’ve had an outside chance at producing at a high of enough rate to earn the award.

  6. And with a prolific passing game combined with a very good defense, he should get opportunities to do some damage.

    While that makes sense, you do know he was drafted by Pittsburgh, which has neither of those.

  7. The Rookie of the Year is sitting on the couch waiting to get drafted on day 3.

  8. I feel bad for him…after the way the Steelers franchise tagged Bell twice…the most dirty move I’ve seen in awhile…tagging a player twice when he plays the most unforgiving position in Football…Najee better protect himself…5th year option, plus 2 tags…with no shot at a huge contract…

  9. The Steelers have made changes on their offensive line. Harris will run wild.

  10. Ask the Ohio State defense if they think Harris was worth the first-round pick, after the way he plowed over them like a Mack truck. (Same defense that stuffed Etienne, for the sake of all these debates going on.)

    The only two choices in round one for Pittsburgh were Collins and Harris. Once Collins was gone, taking Harris was the no-brainer of the entire draft.

  11. Harris is absolutely going to struggle. Not only is the Steelers o-line in rebuild mode but the Browns D-line that made Derrick Henry look pedestrian last season got upgraded at every position which is going to hurt his numbers having to play them twice. Rookie of the year will definitely be a QB.

  12. He hasn’t signed a contract, met his team mates or practiced and now he’s proclaimed the rookie of the year?????

  13. Prevailing wisdom asserts the following:

    poor line play + good RB = poor run game
    good line play + poor RB = average run game
    good line play + good RB = great run game

    Line play is the straw that stirs the drink.

  14. Fields as 2nd choice seems wildly optimistic. As much as I’d like to believe he will magically turn Matt Nagy’s system into the work of genius it’s hyped to be, I’ve seen enough bad playcalling and terrible play designs out of Nagy that if Fields becomes a star it will be in spite of the system and not because of it.

  15. Harris is going to struggle. The Steelers O-line is like Swiss cheese now

    Ya, they look terrible in the off season. Think before you post. I think Tomlin and Colbert have shown they can rebuild on the fly..

  16. I’d take the niners rb at 6600 before i’d take harris. Mozart cant stay healthy.

  17. If you bet money on who will become the NFL Rookie of the Year you definitely have a gambling problem.

  18. Harris probably will be a great back with the Steelers, they have improved the line

  19. Such disrespect to James Conner. The RB isn’t the problem in Pitt. At least 3 new OL this year? Good luck with that.

  20. Unless Trevor Lawrence is the second coming of Dan Marino…
    I just don’t see it.

    Who was the last successful NCAA head coach that won the Super Bowl? Johnson? That was decades ago.

    Urban Meyer = Steve Spurrier 2.0

    This is going to be a disaster

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