Before this season started, I made some predictions for some of the rookies I liked the most. Looking back from the halfway point of the season I went back to revisit what went right and what went wrong.
Here were my predictions before the season.
Winner: Kyler Murray
Runner up: David Montgomery
Dark horse: N’Keal Harry
For the most part the offensive side went pretty well, Kyler Murray seems to be leading the pack with Josh Jacobs, Gardner Minshew, and Terry Mclaurin not far behind after 8 weeks of play. He leads all rookie quarterbacks in yards (14th in the league) and QBR, and has the Cardinals just below .500 at 3-4-1. As I said in my earlier article, offensive rookie of the year is a QB’s award and Kyler is in the drivers seat. Also, for the first time this season you will get to see Kyler Murray on primetime Thursday Night on halloween. In what will be a game to set the rest of the seasons tone against division rival the San Fransisco 49ers. Arguably the best defensive line in the league this year, this will be a huge test for Kyler Murray that could dictate the tone for the last half of his rookie season. Im looking for him to make a statement in his first big game of his young career. Gardner Minshew was a surprise to everyone in the football world..... besides us. During episode one and on Co-host Dylan Fadden and I were very high on this rookie coming into the draft. Not to say that we knew he would be this great, but we were original supporters and fans of MinshewMania. Making his own case for OROY he had to get a mention in my first half recap.
David Montgomery had a rough start to his season as a Chicago Bear slowly increasing his touches game by game. His lack of production so far has been due to the Bears having the 10th highest passing attempts in the league. Week's 5 & 7 he ran the ball a total of 13 times for 31 yards in 2 loses to the Raiders and the Saints. The next week he went for 135 yards on 5 ypa, with his season high in rushes at 27. If the Bears offensive struggles weren’t so real at QB, and they fed their highest drafted rookie from this last class. This would be a different story for David Montgomery this year, but we still have 8 weeks left and there’s more time to rewrite his part.
N’Keal Harry has spent the entire season on the Patriots IR but might have a chance at coming back fairly soon. Now that Josh Gordon has been reported to be cut by New England once he’s recovered from his injury, we could see a lot more N’Keal Harry in the future.
Winner: Devin White
Runner up: Quinnen Williams
Dark Horse: Nasir Adderly
The defensive side of the ball was much less accurate than the offense predictions. Each one of my candidates have been hurt at some point this season. Devin White and Quinnen Williams were both out for 4 weeks, and Nasir Adderly has yet to play more than 10 healthy snaps in a game. A disappointing way for the season to play out in my case, but there’s still hope for these guys to make a statement in the league. In order for Devin White to get his name into consideration for defensive rookie of the year he’s got to improve his coverage play. Being his biggest flaw in his game thus far he has taken a step in the right direction. Posting his best grade last week against the Titans hopefully he can get back on track in the second half. On the other hand, Quinnen Williams got his first sack week 8 and in addition posted 3 run stops against Jacksonville. With Leonard Williams being recently traded to the Giants, it opens a larger role for Quinnen to play at the front of that defensive attack. Hopefully bolstering his status into the DROY conversation. In Nasir Adderly’s situation, I foresee a strong sophomore year performance from the Chragers safety, he is still talented and in a great situation, he just needs to be healthy. Once LA is at full strength again, with Derwin James back, he will get another chance to prove his place as an elite safety in this league.
Nick Bosa has an obvious lead in the defensive rookie of the year race right now by a landslide. The 7-0 49ers have stolen the headlines and their defensive line has been nothing short of incredible. Looking back he should’ve been on mention on my pre-season list, but who really saw the 49ers being this good? Bleacher Report has San Fransisco at 22 before the season started and I think we all under estimated Kyle Shanahans ability to call plays. He’s been the best OC this year in my opinion and has one nasty defense. All things aside, some other rookies not named Nick Bosa have played extremely well so far, Devin Bush and Brian Burns deserve an honorable mention to the award for both proving to be impact players to their teams.