Welcome to the league, rook. Everybody loves the veterans and the mid-career guys just as much as the rookies, but there’s just something about new young talent. Young, fresh talented faces in the locker room bring excitement, like there is a piece in place for your favorite team to build on and hopefully you get to watch this young player for years to come. So, I am going to give you guys an early preview on my top five candidates for rookie of the year, offensive edition with one deep sleep candidate.
5. James Cook, RB
Yes, he is Dalvin Cook’s brother for you people that are asking and the resemblance shows on the field. Cook always seemed to have to split the workload and it did hurt his numbers a bit, but nonetheless he is someone I believe will shock many. James posted 289 receiving yards with four touchdowns and 728 rushing yards with seven touchdowns. The Bills have not had a solid running back since (and even this is arguable) Shady McCoy and this is an offense that is only missing a good consistent running back.
4. Chris Olave, WR
New Orleans Saints
The former Buckeye is going to be teaming up with Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara to hopefully get this squad back on track. The Saints are trying to pick what direction to go in with this franchise post Sean Payton, and they started off great with the speedy wideout from Ohio. The six foot wideout ran an official 4.39 forty at the combine, and he totaled 2,702 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns in college and he’s going to bring a whole new level of explosiveness to this offense.
3. Breece Hall, RB
New York Jets
Breece Hall might be the best runningback in this draft class, and not many knew it leading up to draft night. But, the Jets did and that’s why he was taken so early in the second round. That being said, they do have a young man named Michael Carter who didn’t do too bad his rookie year despite the injuries. But, there isn’t a chance that the Jets are going to keep Hall on the bench, Carter says there is room for both to eat but how somebody is going to be on the field more than the other. Hall had 897 yards rushing and 10 total touchdowns as a freshman, then continued to get 1,527 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns as a sophomore, and his final year tallied 1,472 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns.
2. Jameson Williams, WR
Say what you want about Jared Goff, the young man can throw a football. Assuming Jameson Williams heals up nicely, he’s going to be wide open a lot. Put those two together and I promise you Williams is poised for a breakout and wouldn’t even shock me if he ends up the best receiver in the class. Williams has an extensive injury history, but I think he can bounce back and obviously so do the Lions. He didn’t get very much game time other than last year, but boy did he light it up when he did. Last season in fifteen games Williams tallied 1.572 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, which is great for a guy who missed games.
1. Garrett Wilson, WR
New York Jets
Many will probably see this as a shock at number one, but Garrett Wilson in my opinion is the most pro-ready receiver in this draft class. He is teaming up with a fellow Wilson, his new quarterback Zach Wilson who had a very up and down rookie season. Zach Wilson has some pretty nice weapons now in Garret Wilson, Braxton Berrios, Corey Davis, C.J Uzomah, Breece Hall, and Michael Carter. Which brings me to why Wilson is my number one here, he will not be the main target of the defense, he is going to sneak pass zone defenses and find holes where other guys are being doubled. He hauled in 2,213 total yards and 23 touchdowns in his three year stay at Ohio State and he played alongside fellow first round pick Chris Olave. Garrett Wilson ran a 4.38 forty yard dash, and that type of speed kills.
Now, for the moment you have all been waiting for. My deep sleeper pick is on a team that is trying so hard to get over the hump, but can’t find their QB1. This guy is going to help their offense become scary, and be able to throw the ball deep.
Alec Pierce, WR
The Colts have a roster full of talent and have for awhile now, but they haven’t been able to do anything with it. They haven’t had a solid receiver they could rely on since T.Y Hilton was last good, and even then he wasn’t exactly elite. Alec Pierce is the biggest sleeper wide receiver in this draft and I think the front office in Indy struck gold grabbing the former Cincinnati Bearcat when they did. Pierce had 884 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns last year on a Cincinnati team that made college football waves, making the playoffs and even beating Notre Dame in the regular season. He had 1,851 yards and 13 touchdowns in his college career, and he’s going to be a sneaky addition to J.T, Matt Ryan, and Michael Pittman. Look for Pierce to be the deep threat/yards after catch the Colts need.