This years’ NFL Draft class released a wave of great offensive talent into the league. From new franchise quarterbacks to wide receivers and tight ends, this draft had quite a few positions filled. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Zach Wilson are pretty much guaranteed a starting job this year. With how boom/bust rookie quarterbacks can be, I am not picking any of them this early to win this award.
2021-22 Offensive Rookie of the Year
Kyle Pitts, tight end from Florida, will win OROTY this season.
Pitts is a tight end by trade, but could easily play receiver as well. He has all the characteristics of an offensive super-weapon. Weighing 245 and able to run a 4.44, Pitts set the 20-year record this year for longest wingspan at Florida’s pro day, beating DK Metcalf by a half-inch. Pitts is a freak of nature; He will surely tear it up when paired with an elite quarterback in Matt Ryan.
Although Ryan will have a lot of targets to throw to this year, the Falcons are going to be running a pass-heavy offense this year. Pitts will not only get his share of targets but will also become a favorite target of Matt Ryan (similar to DK Metcalf and Russell Wilson in Metcalf’s rookie season.) HC Arthur Smith is going to run a lot of 2 TE sets, so Pitts will not be sitting behind Hayden Hurst whatsoever.
If we really want to get into the nitty-gritty, the Falcons added a weapon to their OL by drafting Jalen Mayfield. In theory, this gives Matt Ryan more time to complete more passes.
Known as an end zone target at Florida, Pitts can catch lobs in double coverage and make it look easy.
Vegas disagrees with this pick. Vegas odds project this award to go to a quarterback. It is most commonly awarded to a rookie QB but not always. The last pass-catcher to win OROTY was Odell Beckham Jr in 2014.
Reuniting this talented receiver with his former teammate, Joe Burrow, was a brilliant move by the Bengals front office. During Burrow’s senior year, Chase caught 84 passes for 20 touchdowns; crazy numbers! The chemistry between these two is undeniable. Having a year (although injured for most of it) in the Bengals world, Burrow will be connecting with Chase a lot. Big upside here for the rookie.
No one can deny the talent this kid has at the quarterback spot. The only reason why he is not my award winner is that oftentimes it takes rookie quarterbacks a few years to settle into their new role. Rarely does a young QB come in and do very well right away. There is no denying that Trevor Lawrence will run the league in a few years, but it might not happen right away.
Justin Fields was set up for success in Chicago. He will be throwing to Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller. But, as I said above, it takes several years for young QBs to get used to playing at the professional level. Fields will get there, but not yet. Rome wasn’t built in a day.