NFL News & Analysis

Scouting Notebook Week 3: Rookie of the Year odds

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) reacts after catching the ball in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Drake London was one of Mike Renner's favorite OROY bets in the preseason. This season, he has 16 catches for 214 yards, and that only figures to grow if the Falcons find themselves playing catchup more often. A $10 bet on London to win OROY would return $50 at BetMGM

However, with 4.39 speed, two slower receivers alongside him in New Orleans and Jameis Winston’s penchant for heaving it up deep, Chris Olave is the best bet at the moment for rookie of the year. A $10 bet on Olave to win OROY would return $50 at BetMGM

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes


We’ve already seen a considerable shakeup in the Rookie of the Year betting odds — and we're just three weeks into the NFL season.

The preseason favorite on the offensive side of the ball, Pittsburgh Steelers wideout George Pickens, has dropped like a rock to +2,000, while New Orleans Saints pass-catcher Chris Olave has climbed precipitously to a tie at the top.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Player Odds
Drake London, Atlanta Falcons +400
Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints +400
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers +900
Garrett Wilson, New York Jets +900
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers +900
Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans +1,000
Breece Hall, New York Jets +1,400
Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders +1,400

Drake London was one of my favorite bets in the preseason, and that continues to be the case. Across 78 passing routes run, he has 16 catches for 214 yards so far this season. That’s serious production, and it only figures to grow if the Falcons find themselves playing catchup more often in the coming weeks. 

While Garrett Wilson has been equally impressive to start, the odds are baking in the fact that we have no clue how he’ll fare with Zach Wilson returning at quarterback this week. Still, the way he’s been utilized so far — 74 snaps in the slot and 51 snaps out wide while primarily working the middle of the field — shouldn’t be particularly quarterback dependent, making him a good bet if you believe in his second-year quarterback.

The elephant in the room is Chris Olave, who has averaged an absurd 19.3 average depth of target across 28 targets and is currently seventh in the league in receiving yards, with 268. If that continues, it means he’s simply going to get more opportunities to put up stats than the rest of this rookie receiver class. With 4.39 speed, two slower receivers alongside him in New Orleans and Jameis Winston’s penchant for heaving it up deep, this is the best bet at the moment for rookie of the year.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Player Odds
Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions +250
Devin Lloyd, Jacksonville Jaguars +500
George Karlaftis, Kansas City Chiefs +900
Travon Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars +1,100
Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants +1,400
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets +1,400

The defensive side of the ball has been a little chalkier to start out. If you asked me who was playing the best among the rookie class, the answer would be Sauce Gardner (69.2 PFF grade) or Devin Lloyd (78.2). It’s still a statistically driven award, though, and Aidan Hutchinson has three sacks in three games. 

It’s important to remember that over a large enough sample size performance evaluation does a better job of predicting future stats than using their current numbers. That means that I’d be putting my money on Lloyd and Sauce over the next 15 games before anyone else on this list. 

2023 NFL Draft

This Might be a Weak Class

Every week on the Talkin’ Ball podcastI highlight a “first-round “lock,” someone who has already shown enough at this point in their career that I feel confident in them being a first-round draft pick. The players from the first four weeks are as follows:

The scary thing is that I may be running on empty in a few weeks. I’ll confidently add Alabama’s Bryce Young and Clemson’s defensive line duo of Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee to the locks list in the coming weeks, but that’s where the conviction ends.

The top-end talent at traditionally deep positions like wide receiver, offensive tackle and cornerback isn’t what we’ve seen in past years. On the flip side, running back is exceptionally deep, making guys like Bijan Robinson and Devon Achane (who we’ll talk about a little later) possible RB1 candidates.

The Year of the Old QB

The physical talent in this quarterback class is tremendous. There are two prospects in this class who feature all-around athletic and arm-talent skill sets but have one glaring red flag: They’ll both be 25 years old by the time the NFL draft rolls around. 

JAREN HALL, BYU

Hall immediately jumps off the tape because of the flamethrower attached to his right shoulder. He can put zip on the ball to any level of the field and has really started tapping into it this season, with 11 big-time throws already. He’s coming off a game against Wyoming where he buried the Cowboys to a tune of 25-of-32 for 335 yards with four scores. He has the kind of arm talent to make plays not only from the pocket but on the move, as well. 

Hall doesn’t just come with the age knock, though. He also has his size working against him at only 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. Still, with his tape, he’s still firmly getting drafted despite those red flags. 

HENDON HOOKER, TENNESSEE

Hooker was known almost solely for his rushing ability in his days at Virginia Tech before transferring to Tennessee. In two seasons as a starter, he never even dropped back to pass 200 times in a season. 

He’s flourished as a passer with the Vols and taken his game to a whole new level this season. He’s such a sudden athlete for a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder, and you see that with his pocket movements and quick release. He tore up Florida over the weekend. going 22-of-28 for 349 yards with two scores. For the season he’s earned a 90.5 overall grade.

Josh Heupel’s offense at Tennessee won’t do him any favors during the draft process with its one-read concepts, but when asked to do more Hooker has proven capable. 

Off the Achane

The single most electric running back in college football went off last weekend, taking 19 carries for 159 yards and a score. If you haven’t seen the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder tote the rock before I’ll give you a second to familiarize yourself:

The criticisms of him are going to revolve largely around his size, and you would like to see him continue to pack on muscle heading into the league. That being said, I’m not sure it matters. Achane already has tremendous contact balance, with 66 broken tackles on 238 career carries and a 3.9 yards after contact average. The rest of the league just better pray he doesn’t end up in Miami. 

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