- Hockenson (Lions), Fant (Broncos) are the only tight ends among the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates
- The former Iowa teammates are likely to be overshadowed by Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Washington’s Dwayne Haskins
- Second-round WR Mecole Hardman finds himself in an ideal rookie situation with the Chiefs
No tight end has ever claimed the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and that trend looks set to continue this season. The only two tight ends on this year’s list of OROY candidates continue to see their odds slip.
2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
|Team||Odds to Win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at Bookmaker|
|Kyler Murray (Cardinals)||+600|
|Dwayne Haskins (Redskins)||+817|
|Josh Jacobs (Raiders)||+843|
|Mecole Hardman (Chiefs)||+1445|
|N’Keal Harry (Patriots)||+1673|
|David Montgomery (Bears)||+1742|
|Miles Sanders (Eagles)||+1866|
|Montez Sweat (Redskins)||+1800|
|Marquise Brown (Eavens)||+2085|
|TJ Hockenson (Lions)||+2085|
|Deebo Samuel (49ers)||+2085|
|Noah Fant (Broncos)||+2414|
*Odds taken on 05/10/19
Eighth-overall pick TJ Hockenson of Detroit opened as a strong +1200 contender but has since slipped to +2085.
Meanwhile, 20th-overall pick Noah Fant of Denver has also seen his odds dip to a lengthy +2414 at Bookmaker.
Former Iowa Teammates Coming Off Stellar Collegiate Careers
Both Hockenson and Fant enjoyed stellar collegiate careers as teammates with the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Hockenson had a breakthrough campaign in 2018, racking up 717 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns to earn recognition as the nation’s leading tight end, while Fant tallied an impressive 518 receiving yards and seven scores last season after tying the national record for the most touchdowns with 11 in 2017.
Detroit Lions sign two free agent tight ends — Jesse James, Logan Thomas.
Then draft two more: TJ Hockenson, Isaac Nauta.
Any doubt where the weak spot was in the 2018 offense?
— Mike O'Hara (@MikeOHaraNFL) April 27, 2019
In addition, the former teammates now find themselves as part of NFL organizations in desperate need of help downfield.
The Lions ranked 22nd in the NFL last season with just 22 total receiving touchdowns, just ahead of the Broncos, who connected with end-zone targets on just 19 occasions, including just three from the squad’s TEs.
I would be JUST as happy with Devin Bush as the next guy. But hear me out.#Broncos scoring offense since '15.
2015: 19th (22.2 PPG)
2016: 22nd (20.8 PPG)
2017: 27th (18.1 PPG)
2018: 24th (20.6 PPG)
— Sayre Bedinger (@SayreBedinger) March 20, 2019
But while both Hockenson and Fant are poised to have an immediate impact on their respective teams, they are likely to be overshadowed by the high-profile Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates.
Favorite Kyler Murray Likely in for Long Season
Taken first overall on draft night by the Arizona Cardinals, Kyler Murray leads the way as a +213 favorite. The reigning Heisman Trophy-winner tossed for 4,361 yards and 42 TDs, and will be given every opportunity to establish himself as an NFL star in his desert debut.
You have a 3-13 team and your GM does what drafts another QB signifying that 3-13 is okay we are going to hit reset and start over. My question is not with kyler it’s how does Kiem still have a job pic.twitter.com/POsDhlzSah
— walter corney (@WCLottJr) April 26, 2019
However, Murray will face a massive challenge in his bid to shine in Arizona.
The Cardinals are coming off a dismal 3-13 campaign in 2018, and are expected to face another long season as they continue their rebuild.
Their win total O/U has been set at just 5.0.
The lack of a mentor for Murray in Arizona could be an issue, with career backup Brett Hundley currently slotted in as the squad’s second-string passer.
Haskins Set to Take Over Washington Offense … Eventually
Listed as second favorite at +817, quarterback Dwayne Haskins is a much more intriguing option, if he gets a chance to play.
The 22-year-old enjoyed a spectacular sophomore campaign under center at Ohio State, where he set new Big Ten passing and touchdown records while leading the nation with 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Selected 15th overall, Haskins joins a Washington squad at a crossroads. The team stumbled to a 7-9 record in 2018, a campaign marred by a potentially career-ending injury to pivot Alex Smith that has left a massive hole under center.
Redskins QB money allocation (2019) (Guaranteed)
Colt McCoy 3.3 Million
Case Keenum 3.5 Million (Den Paying 4 Million)
Alex Smith 20.4 Million (Most Likely on IR)
Dwayne Haskins 9 Million
— Quarterback Film Room (@QBFilmRoom) May 10, 2019
Washington has brought in veteran Case Keenum to help fill the void left by Smith, and despite producing pedestrian numbers in Denver last year, he will likely be the starter in Week 1.
That means Haskins will likely have to bide his time before getting the ball in Washington, with how long being determined by performance of both Keenum and the team as a whole.
Hardman Stepping into Ideal Situation with Chiefs
Perhaps the most intriguing option on the top rookie odds is wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who trails the favorites at an attractive +1445.
Taken 56th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, opportunity knocks for Hardman with the recent departure, at least temporarily, of star receiver Tyreek Hill following allegations of child abuse. With budding superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes delivering the passes, Hill amassed 1479 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) May 6, 2019
After tallying 579 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns in his junior season with Georgia in 2018, Hardman could quickly find himself in contention for significant playing time on the offense that led the NFL in scoring last year, making him possibly the highest value bet among NFL Offensive Rookie of the year candidates.
Pick: Mecole Hardman (+1445)