Wouldn’t it be nice to finally see the Offensive Rookie of the Year wearing a New York Jets uniform? Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has only one shot to end this 53-year old drought.
Before every season starts, all of us like to predict what will happen. Who will win MVP, who will be the surprise of the season, who is going to explode into the next NFL star? It is this unpredictability that sprinkles magic into sports.
One of the awards we like to think and argue about is Offensive Rookie of the Year. Last year, Alvin Kamara jumped from the TV into our living rooms as he blasted into the field with his crazy and unorthodox moves. He fairly ran away with the award.
A New York Jets fan would like nothing more but to see Sam Darnold do the same. If not, at least they would like to see him do better than the other rookie quarterbacks of the 2018 NFL Draft. But if history continues to prove itself, someone is going to be disappointed with his rookie season. Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen, all three of them are ahead of Darnold for the honor.
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Granted, it is not so much about talent as it is about opportunities. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers did not even start their rookie season. Although, it becomes hard to believe that Darnold will have a worse chance of starting than the other rookie quarterbacks besides Allen.
The Cleveland Browns need to win some games and head coach Hue Jackson should be inclined to go with a playoff proven quarterback like Tyrod Taylor. Rosen has created some buzz in the preseason but the Arizona Cardinals still gave a $20 million contract to Sam Bradford. Allen has the better chance of them all because, let’s be honest, no one believes in AJ McCarron.
I acknowledge that Darnold has to beat Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown for the starting job. But still, Bridgewater did not play the last two seasons and McCown is 39-years-old. It is not outside the realm of imagination that the rookie Jet will end up the season with the most starts. There is a lot of faith in Darnold’s potential since many draft gurus and analysts considered him the top quarterback out of the Big 4.
None of them are the favorites, though. According to most betting houses, Saquon Barkley should shatter the competition for the award. As for Darnold, the odds still have Sony Michel, Rashaad Penny, Calvin Ridley, and Derrius Guice ahead of him.
No rookie drafted by the Jets has ever won Offensive Rookie of the Year. The last offensive rookie to win something with the Jets was none other than Joe Namath. At the time, in 1965, Namath won AFL Rookie of the Year. Let’s hope this 53-year-old stretch finishes this season thanks to Darnold and everything he brings to the table.