Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft is in the books. Three quarterbacks came off the board in the first four picks, Bryce Young (Panthers), CJ Stroud (Texans), and Anthony Richardson (Colts). Two running backs were drafted in the top 12 picks and four receivers were taken. Falcons running back Bijan Robinson leads initial NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds after the Falcons drafted him eighth overall. Let’s dive into the Offensive Rookie of the Year odds market set just after the first round of the NFL Draft.
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Offensive Rookie Of The Year Odds 2023
Bijan Robinson, Bryce Young The Favorites
Even before the first round shook out, Robinson (+300) was a frontrunner to take the OROY award home. At Texas, he rushed for 6.3 yards per carry and scored a touchdown on 6.1% of his carries. Robinson is also a terrific pass catcher, logging 314 receiving yards on 19 receptions in 2022. His highlight tape rivals that of any player in this draft. He made a living breaking ankles with serious explosiveness in the open field.
As a result, he became the highest offensive skill player drafted at No. 8. Robinson joins a backfield with Tyler Allgeier, a 1,000-yard rusher as a rookie last year for Atlanta. However, given the draft capital, Robinson will almost certainly dominate the backfield touches. The biggest hurdle for winning OROY is opportunity. Robinson will have plenty of opportunities in Atlanta.
The second favorite remains Young (+475), whom the Panthers drafted first overall. The 2021 Heisman winner becomes Carolina’s franchise QB and will likely be asked to do the most of any rookie QB. The Panthers notably lack weapons, with newly-added Adam Thielen and DJ Chark leading the receiving corps. Perhaps Carolina adds a receiver in the draft upcoming, but their skill corps is one of the weakest in the NFL.
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Offensive Rookie Of The Year Odds: The Contenders
The Seahawks drafted Jaxon Smith-Njigba (+650) with the 20th overall pick in the draft, perhaps further down the board many expected. JSN was the first receiver off the board, but joins a crowded receiver room already established by DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Granted, JSN out-produced both Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, kept future first-round WR Marvin Harrison Jr. on the bench, and forced first-round pick Jameson Williams to transfer in 2021. His talent is immense and JSN will demand targets in Seattle.
His teammate, Stroud (+700), came off the board second. Stroud’s second overall draft odds went on a wild ride, dipping from -145 to -2500 in about 20 minutes ahead of the first round. He has a similar issue to Young in that Houston lacks weapons. The current receiving leader is veteran Robert Woods, who is a year removed off an ACL tear. However, Stroud sits behind a vastly better offensive line than Young, which may help him develop as a rookie.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of Round 1 was Jahmyr Gibbs (+850), whom the Lions took all the way up at 12th overall. The move was widely questioned, especially since Detroit brought in David Montgomery and already roster D’Andre Swift in the backfield. But the draft capital suggests the Lions are higher on Gibbs than Swift, and suggest they may move Swift this offseason.
First Round Receivers
It took until Pick 20 to see a receiver go off the board, but that created a run of four receivers picked in a row. After JSN, the Chargers selected Quentin Johnston (+2000), the Ravens picked Zay Flowers (+1800), and the Vikings went with Jordan Addison (+1600). Flowers perhaps has the most Day 1 opportunity and joins a newly-extended Lamar Jackson. Johnston may join the most crowded receiver room, but has the highest ceiling of the three mentioned here. Addison may be the Vikings’ No. 2 receiver, but falls behind TJ Hockenson in terms of targets (and, perhaps, KJ Osborn).
A few Day 2 receivers may see their odds fall given their landing spots. Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt (+2500) and North Carolina’s Josh Downs (+2500) lead the non-Round 1 receivers.
This Year’s Boom Or Bust Pick
At +1200, Richardson might be a longshot worth taking a flier on. His athletic ceiling surpasses almost any other player in the draft and moderate production mixed with a sound highlight reel would be enough to land him the award.
However, unlike the NFL MVP, OROY is not an overwhelmingly-quarterback award. In the past 10 seasons, only three quarterbacks won it (Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert). Of that group, only Prescott took his team into the postseason, but all of them passed for over 3,600 yards. Keep that passing benchmark in mind when considering a flyer on Richardson, who likely won’t be a high-volume passer in Year 1.
The Colts do have a strong cast of skill players. Jonathan Taylor joins Richardson in the backfield while Michael Pittman leads the receiving corps. The offensive line, which severely underperformed last year, has the experience and ability to succeed, led by Quenton Nelson.
Perhaps the most enticing piece to the Colts puzzle, though, is the addition of Shane Steichen as head coach. Steichen came from Philadelphia, where he ran a run-centric offense that helped Jalen Hurts both reach a Super Bowl and nearly won him an MVP.