Kenny Pickett And George Pickens Named Favorites To Win Rookie Of The Year

There’s a puncher’s chance the NFL’s rookie of the year is going to come out of Pittsburgh. The Steelers have as two good a candidates as any and the betting market reflects that. Quarterback Kenny Pickett and wide receiver George Pickens are among the favorites to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Recent odds have Pickett as the league’s favorite for the award with Pickens right behind him in second-place.

Via a Wednesday morning ESPN article, DraftKings Johnny Avello explained why Pickett is running in the top spot.

“When you handicap the Rookie of the Year, you look at the quarterbacks first,” he told ESPN’s Doug Kezrian. “Is there any QB that will actually start or get any significant playing time? That’s what it comes down to.”

Pickett was the first quarterback off the board, selected 20th overall by the Steelers. Not only was he the only quarterback to be taken in the first round, he was the only passer selected over the first 70 picks. There wasn’t another quarterback drafted until Atlanta chose Desmond Ridder at #74, a rarity in this quarterback-starved league.

Consequently, Pickett has some of the best odds to play the soonest out of all the rookies. With a strong summer that’s gotten better by the week, Pickett has cemented himself as no worse than the team’s #2 quarterback. Though Mitch Trubisky is still likely to start Week 1, Pickett’s play has kept the conversation open and Mike Tomlin has yet to commit to an opening weekend starter. Even if Trubisky starts, it seems a question of when and not if Pickett will see the field.

Before Pickett earned all the buzz, Pickens shined brightest during training camp. His highlight plays became routine and he dominated jump-ball situations in training camp. He translated that to in-stadium action with a great toe-tap touchdown in the opener against Seattle. His volume and production may be down a bit this season as he works as the #3 receiver in an offense with plenty of weapons and a run-first mindset but his ceiling is undeniable.

The 2022 NFL Draft was a defensive and trench dominated one, making the pool for OROY wide open. The first five picks this year came on the defensive side of the football with the sixth and seventh selections coming along the offensive line. No skill player was selected until the Falcons drafted WR Drake London eighth overall. Several receivers who could be in the running for the award like the Saints’ Chris Olave or even the Packers’ Romeo Doubs, a fourth round pick who has earned plenty of praise this summer. Ridder has reportedly looked impressive this summer and though he may enter the year as the Falcons’ #2, Marcus Mariota has rarely gotten through an entire season healthy. Ridder may wind up playing sooner than later.

Still, Pickett and Pickens have as good odds as anyone. In fact, according to the betting markets, they have the best odds of all.

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