2008 NFL Rookie Of The Year Handicapping (Odds) May 27th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Football Futures Betting – Handicapping NFL Rookie of the Year
That’s right – Let the online football betting begin. No sooner do we have an NFL draft than we are looking to see who is going to take that trophy, or plaque, or whatever home with him at season’s end. Hell, some teams haven’t even had a mini-camp yet. Still here we are, with BetUS online sportsbook odds on who will be named this coming season’s top rookie as per the vote by The Sporting News, and here I am to offer a prediction about it.
First let’s start with the full list of sports betting odds, as they are posted at Our best Sportsbooks:
BetUS NFL Futures Odds
To Win Sporting News Rookie of the Year
Antonie Cason +1100
Aqib Talib +1250
Brian Brohm +1000
Branden Albert +1000
Chris Johnson +1200
Chris Long +500
Chris Williams +1200
Darren McFadden +400
Derrick Harvey +1500
DeSean Jackson +1200
Devin Thomas +1100
Dominique Rodgers Cromartie +1200
Donnie Avery +2000
Dustin Keller +2000
Felix Jones +450
Glenn Dorsey +500
Jake Long +750
James Hardy +2000
Jerrod Mayo +750
John Carlson +1800
Jonathan Stewart +550
Jordy Nelson +1700
Keith Rivers +800
Kentwan Balmer +2000
Kenny Phillips +1700
Lawrence Jackson +1800
Leodis McKelvin +1200
Limas Sneed +1800
Malcolm Kelly +1500
Matt Forte +1110
Matt Ryan +550
Mike Jenkins +1200
Quentin Groves +2000
Phillip Merling +1800
Rashard Mendenhall +600
Ray Rice +1800
Sedrick Ellis +1500
Steve Slaton +1800
Tyrell Johnson +1500
Vernon Gholston +800
I could conceivably offer a comment on each of these entries, and maybe we’ll get a chance to explore that somewhere down the line. But for now, I’m going to list my top ten candidates for this award, relative to the Top Sportsbooks number that has been posted on them.
1) DARREN McFADDEN, Oakland (+400 in BetUS odds) — With some personnel moves, the Raiders are starting to clear the way for McFadden to be their primary back. There is obviously the infrastructure present to have an effective running game; in fact, three Oakland running backs had at least one 100-yard game last year. True, Justin Fargas is a 1000-yard rusher who is returning. But remember that Chester Taylor was also the incumbent 1000-yard rusher when Adrian peterson arrived in Minnesota, and there was not only room for both of them, but for Peterson to win the rookie award. McFadden is an exceptional talent like that; it will wind up being hard to keep him out of the lineup.
2) GLENN DORSEY, Kansas City (+500 in BetUS odds) — The thing about Dorsey is that he is ready to play in the NFL and contribute now. and he is going to get every opportunity to be the anchor of that Kansas City defensive line. He is considered to be potentially a very disruptive factor, not in the locker room but to opposing offenses, and if the Chiefs are able to improve against the run, he will be seen as a principle reason why.
3) JONATHAN STEWART, Carolina (+550 in BetUS odds) — Carolina wants to run, run, run this year. While the plan is for Stewart to share carries with another former first-round pick, D’Angelo Williams, the feeling here is that Stewart will wind up with the bulk of the work, in an offense that will designed to highlight the talents of a running back. he comes into this process with a troublesome toe, but could be over that.
4) FELIX JONES, Dallas (+450 in BetUS odds) — Jones is kind of a special case because he could have more upside than anyone. He wasn’t even featured in his college backfield, because McFadden was a fixture there. Yet he averaged nine yards a carry, and he looms as someone who can be a special situation back for the Cowboys, as well as a pass-catcher out of the backfield who is going to have a chance to make some big plays. We are not saying that he will take over the starting job from Pro Bowler Marion Barber, but he doesn’t have to; Jones is going to be used as a kick returner and he’s going to have a chance to make a big difference on the special teams.
5) MIKE JENKINS, Dallas (+1200 in BetUS odds) — Pacman Jones may or may not be able to contribute to the Cowboys this year; we don’t know yet. But Jenkins is going to have a chance to play a prominent role on one of the NFL’s better defenses. Yes, he’s had some problems in his attitude, but he’s the type who catches on quickly on the field, and he can play in single coverage on good receivers.
6) MATT RYAN, Atlanta (+550 in BetUS odds) — I would anticipate that it won’t take too long for Ryan to be inserted into Atlanta’s starting lineup. He’s certainly going to take his lumps with a team that will not be advancing very high through the NFC West standings. Still, it would not surprise me one bit if he played enough to put up some numbers. And I do not anticipate he’s going to have an NFL debut of Alex Smith-type proportions.
7) DERRICK HARVEY, Jacksonville (+1500 in BetUS odds) — With the exception of last season, Jacksonville has seemingly always had a strong pass rush. They want to return to that this year, and Harvey is the guy being counted on to get them there. If Harvey helps them re-establish that dominant pass rush, it is going to make a big difference in the AFC picture. With great speed and ability, Harvey has the kind of upside to grab everyone’s attention, even in his first year.
8) JAMES HARDY, Buffalo (+2000 in BetUS odds) — The Bills are somewhat thin at wide receiver, and you can’t say that Lee Evans has a very strong running mate. This creates the opportunity for Hardy. If quarterback Trent Edwards makes a leap like we think he might this year, hardy, a receiver with size (6’6″) and speed, is certainly going to be a beneficiary of that. There’s a lot of talk about him being a key red zone receiver for Buffalo, so a healthy touchdown number is a possibility.
9) MATT FORTE, Chicago (+1110 in BetUS odds) — Cedric Benson hasn’t provided any answers. And his attitude and off-field problems are something the Bears will soon be fed up with. If Forte, who gained 2127 yards for Tulane last season, can provide a steady running game for the Bears, he’s got a chance for 1000 yards, which will put him in the running.
10) FIELD – meaning all others (+800 in BetUS odds) — I’m a little surprised Kevin Smith isn’t on this list. He was drafted by the Lions specifically because they think he could be the guy to take over the running game, which Rod Marinelli now wants to emphasize. And he’s the kind of productive player who many scouts could be wrong about. You can’t tell me a running back who gained 2567 yards in his junior season, albeit in Conference USA (at Central Florida) can’t play the game. Also, a guy like quarterback Joe Flacco, drafted in the first round by Baltimore, could figure into the whole mix, especially if the Ravens decide that neither Troy Smith nor Kyle Boller is going to serve as a long-term answer for them.
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