Oddsmakers believe a Steelers rookie has a good chance of winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2022. Here’s their biggest competition.
Pittsburgh Steelers fans must have been encouraged by the performances they witnessed from both Kenny Pickett and George Pickens over the summer. As first and second-round picks, respectively, we figured that they would be high-impact players on this franchise, but we didn’t know how long it would take them to catch some steam.
Just before the start of the 2022 season, Fanduel Sportsbook has Pickett and Pickens tied at +900 odds for the best chances of taking home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2022. It’s incredibly rare to have two ROTY candidates on the same team in the same year. It’s even rarer to have said rookies tied for the best odds of winning the award.
These odds are interesting for many reasons. For starters, Kenny Pickett isn’t even starting for the Steelers, and oddsmakers don’t know when he will see his first starting action. If that doesn’t come until the second half of the season, he won’t have enough production to claim this award. If it comes early, however, he could run away with this.
When it comes to George Pickens, it’s interesting to see his ROTY odds as high as they are. Pickens was not one of the five wide receivers selected in the first round. In fact, ten receivers were taken ahead of him in the 2022 NFL Draft. Not only that, but George Pickens went to a team with a new QB and will be fighting for targets with Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.
Who is the biggest competition for Steelers rookies?
Regardless of what they have to work with, I do think there’s a reasonable chance that either Kenny Pickett or George Pickens could take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2022. However, they will have some notable competition.
Just behind the pair of Steelers rookies is Texans RB Dameon Pierce (+1100) and Saints WR Chris Olave (+1100). While Olave was the much higher draft choice between the two, Pierce is in a very favorable situation where he will be the lead running back for Houston. If he proves to carve out a massive workload this year, it won’t take long before his ROTY odds skyrocket to the top of the list.
I would also argue that players like Jets RB Breece Hall (+1200) and Chiefs WR Skyy Moore (+1200). Hall will likely split the workload with second-year RB Michael Carter, while Moore will try to be part of a committee in Kansas City that fills the shoes of Tyreek Hill. I also wouldn’t count out Drake London (+1600). While his odds aren’t quite as good, he could see a high market share from the gate alongside Kyle Pitts.
I certainly think that Kenny Pickett and George Pickens could be quality Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates in 2022, but Pickett will need to get on the field fairly soon and Pickens will have to carve out a consistent role early. They won’t have to be perfect; they just have to be better than their competition.