With one quarter of the season already gone by, it’s time to think about potential Rookie of the Year candidates. We’ve seen some amazing games throughout the first 5 weeks and some brilliant individual performances.
Here are my top 4 candidates:
1.) Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Round 1, Pick 4)
Ezekiel Elliot has been a powerhouse since joining the NFL. He was dubbed as the best RB in the 2016 NFL Draft Class and was predicted to be a top 10 pick. He ended up going number 4 overall to the Cowboys, a move that has paid off for them massively. In his first 5 games, he’s rushed for 546 yards on 109 attempts with 5 TD’s. He’s even good with receiving the ball as he has 81 yards on 9 receptions. In the game against Cincinnati, Elliot flew through the Bengals defence with a long 60 yard run which is his longest to date. He finished the game with 134 total yards. There’s no question that Elliot will get better throughout the season and if he can continue his form, then there is a high possibility that he can reach Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards and 18 TD’s.
2.) Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (Round 4, Pick 135)
Lets move on to Elliot’s team mate Dak Prescott. Prescott was drafted as a back up for QB Tony Romo. When Romo suffered a back injury in the preseason, it was up to Prescott to lead the ranks and its safe to say, he’s been doing that exceptionally well. Dak Prescott already has 1,239 passing yards with 4 TD’s and no INT’s. In addition to that, he also has 61 rushing yards and 3 rushing TD’s. With an average passer rating of 101.5, Prescott has taken the NFL by storm with pundits applauding him week in week out. The Cowboys are the team to watch in the NFC East as the rookie tandem of Elliot and Prescott are keeping them in the hunt for a play-off berth.
3,) Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (Round 1, Pick 2)
In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Eagles traded with the Cleveland Browns for the number 2 overall pick. They ended up taking QB Carson Wentz. In his first three games, he has thrown for 1,007 yards with 7 TD’s and 1 INT. He’s taken the Eagles to a 3-1 record sitting 2nd in the NFC East behind the Cowboys. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wentz threw for over 300 yards with 2 TD’s in a dominating game in which they won 34-3. As a result of that, he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. They could easily be sitting 4-0 right now had it not been for a crucial fumble by RB Ryan Matthews in the late stages of the game against the Detroit Lions in Week 5. The future looks bright for Wentz and the Eagles and if he can continue his form, then the play-off could be a realistic target for them.
4.) Will Fuller V, WR, Houston Texans (Round 1, Pick 21)
Will Fuller has been putting in stellar performances for the Houston Texans. In the five games he has played, he has 327 yards with 20 receptions averaging 16.4 yards each play. He had 2 receiving yards as well as 1 kick return TD in which he went 81 yards. At 6 ft 1, he is an aerial threat and has already shown that in his performances. He’s already had two 100 yard games and he looks like the ideal target for Brock Osweiler as he has both DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V to aim for.
All four players are performing exceptionally well for their teams and if they continue to play the way they do, then it’ll be a fierce battle to see who wins that Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season.