As the 2010 NFL season creeps closer and closer, I’m going to take a look at some of the rookies that have a chance of shining in the NFL spotlight and earning themselves the coveted offensive rookie of the year award.
1. Ryan Matthews, Running Back, San Diego Chargers
The Chargers were awful in the running game last season and will be looking to give themselves a better chance of succeeding in the playoffs by establishing more of a ground game this season. They already have speedster Darren Sproles, but Matthews should be the workhouse for the year and should get upwards of 200 carries. With defenses constantly aware of quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ passing game, look for Matthews to sneak in some big plays. He could possibly even break 1000 yards in his rookie season if given enough chances to run and if he stays healthy.
2. Dez Bryant, Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Bryant looks to be one of the best physical specimens to come out of the draft this year, and he will be looking to make coaches regret letting him slip so far into the first round. He has all the tools to be an outstanding receiver at the NFL level, and with proper coaching and mentoring to keep him out of trouble off of the field, Bryant could put up some big numbers across from Miles Austin, with Tony Romo throwing him the ball. His production will come down to Bryant himself and whether he can keep focus and live up to his potential.
3. Jahvid Best, Running Back, Detriot Lions
The Lions jumped up into the late first-round to pick up this electrifying back, and with good reason. He has all of skills to be the next Barry Sanders, and if he can stay away from injury, could have a monster rookie season while helping bring Detriot out of the gutters of the NFL. His explosiveness and play-making abilities will make him the starting running back in Week 1, and with some help from Matt Stafford and the rest of the Lion offense, he could easily break 1000 yards rushing.
4. Eric Decker, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
Decker was a phenomenal athlete and play-maker at the University of Minnesota when he wasn’t injured, and could be exactly that if given the opportunity in Denver. And with the lose of Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins, look for Decker to step up and fill that void along side fellow rookie Demaryius Thomas. Could easily pull in 60 plus catches and a few touchdowns if Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn or Tim Tebow has a good year at quarterback. Like the others, it’ll come down to if he can stay healthy.
5. Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers got a huge steal in Williams when they drafted him in the fourth-round. He is a sensational athlete that cannot be stopped when he gets going. He has extreme athleticism and acrobatic moves to go along with great hards, and could be a huge target for quarterback Josh Freeman as he continues to grow as an NFL quarterback. He could carry the Tampa Bay offense if he comes into his own this season.
Ben Tate, Running Back, Houston Texans
Jermaine Gresham, Tight End, Cincinnati Bengals
Dexter McCluster, Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs
Jimmy Clausen, Quarterback, Carolina Panthers
Sam Bradford, Quarterback, St. Louis Rams
My pick for the offensive ROY is going to be Dez Bryant because he is so dynamic and explosive, and is on a team that has the talent around him to make him even better.