NFL Rookie Of The Year Report: Anthony Richardson Up; CJ Stroud, Bryce Young Down

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Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
nfl rookie of the year

With Panthers quarterback Bryce Young’s first primetime NFL game in the books, Week 3 in the NFL is officially here. And after a week of games, we have more data on some of these rookie QBs to consider before betting NFL Rookie of the Year odds. In Week 3, there’s uncertainty about Colts QB Anthony Richardson’s status. He is in concussion protocol. Texans QB CJ Stroud and Young will be looking for their first wins in very difficult situations.

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Week 2 Offensive Rookie Of The Year Takeaways

Anthony Richardson’s concussion hasn’t been a hit to his NFL Rookie of the Year campaign, after two early rushing touchdowns against Houston.

Rams rookie Wideout Puka Nacua () has surged to podium position after 15 catches and 147 yards against the Niners. But the main story is that this race is starting to narrow. Nacua’s an amazing story so far, breaking the record for most receptions in your first two NFL games. However, he’s also facing some fears about his role when Cooper Kupp returns from injury.

Zay Flowers () is helping in Baltimore, but 52 yards on four catches aren’t going to be enough volume to seriously contend. We need to see more of what he produced in Week 1.

Bijan Robinson is showing the talent that made him a first-round pick. 124 yards on 19 carries against Green Bay saw him firmly take the mantle as the better Atlanta running back, a key hurdle to winning this race, That said, Richardson looms.

Week 3 Rookie QB Matchups

Panthers QB Bryce Young ()

Those who want Young to get his first win won’t enjoy this week’s matchup against Seattle, who looked more like their 2022 selves on Sunday. The optimistic case is that Seattle is 26th in EPA defense and the worst defense Young will have played. The downside is that Young needs to show something fast.

Two games with less than 200 passing yards, bottom five in Dropback EPA, and yet to lead a team to two touchdowns in a game. Young is on the hot seat for NFL Rookie of the Year. If the Seahawks defense is not the antidote to his awfully uninspiring performance so far, things are going to get messy in Carolina.

Texans QB CJ Stroud ()

CJ Stroud passed for 384 yards on Sunday, but garbage time counting stats aren’t moving oddsmakers or prospective voters. Young barely broke 150 yards in losing to the Saints and is also 0-2 despite being field goal or less underdogs both weeks.

Week 2 was somewhat more inspiring for Stroud, who got to face a prevent defense for much of the second half but at least ripped it to shreds. Stroud managed to barely escape the bottom 10 of Dropback EPA for the week and showed he could make deeper throws. He was 12-of-19 on throws 10+ yards down the field in Week 2, a key sign of improvement from Week 1.

Whether any of that matters is, of course, debatable. The Colts had a sizable lead the whole game, and even with Gardner Minshew at quarterback, the Colts didn’t have to show their hand defensively. It’s good to see that Stroud could put up those numbers, but the mediocre Dropback EPA numbers and the fact it was against a prevent defense should temper expectations.

The fact that Houston is going into Jacksonville next week isn’t great for Stroud’s chances of his first win. That said, if the Jags get their offense right, Stroud might be able to load up on gaudy counting stats again in garbage time.

Colts QB Anthony Richardson ()

Richardson led the Colts to two TDs in four drives on Sunday and showed why he’s an electric talent in doing so. If he’s just out a week, which could be optimistic, he’s still very much in this race. You never know with concussions. It could be zero weeks, and it could be multiple weeks. An extended absence would boost Robinson ticketholders, but missing one week at Baltimore, the sixth-ranked EPA defense isn’t likely to do any damage.

Richardson has proved in 5 quarters why the Colts were justified in taking him as highly as they did, especially after a checkered set of results at Florida. Whether he plays or not this week, it’s of slight comfort to Colts fans and Richardson OROY ticketholders that he’s likely missing one of the toughest defensive matchups he’ll face all season.

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Offensive Rookie Of The Year Rankings

My ballot if I had a vote for NFL Rookie of the Year after Week 2. Be aware that this isn’t a predictive exercise – injury concerns for Richardson and workshare concerns for Nacua aren’t taken into account. If Stroud shows anything in non-garbage time against the Jaguars, he’d enter this conversation, but empty stats aren’t persuasive.

  1. Colts QB Anthony Richardson
  2. Falcons RB Bijan Robinson
  3. Rams WR Puka Nacua
  4. Ravens WR Zay Flowers
  5. Bills TE Dalton Kincaid

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

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