2013-14 NFL Rookie of the Year Odds and Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 5/13/2013
This past April 25 through April 27, the NFL conducted its annual college draft. Now that we know where some of the top players available in this year’s draft class will be playing football next season, it is also a good time to take a look at their futures odds to make a big enough contribution to their new team to earn the league’s AP Rookie of the Year honors and make some predictions for betting.
The player at the top of the sportsbook’s futures list at +300 is former West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. He was selected by St. Louis as the eighth overall pick of the first round. He was clearly the class of that position in the draft, with the next wide receiver coming off the board towards the end of the first round.
Austin hauled-in 114 receptions from Geno Smith last season for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding another 643 yards and three scores with his legs on 72 carries. What really adds the value to his odds is the fact that the Rams traded up with Buffalo to make sure they got the playmaker they so desperately needed on the offensive side of the ball. With sure hands and explosive speed, he should garner quite a bit St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford’s attention every time he drops back to pass next season. What actually drains a bit of value from Austin’s odds is the fact that St. Louis also drafted his former teammate wide receiver Stedman Bailey in the third round. Bailey posted just as many receptions as Austin last season for the Mountaineers for a team-high 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns.
One of two second-favorites at +800 to win NFL Rookie of the Year is DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson. He was the next wide receiver off the board, with Houston’s taking him as the 27th overall pick in the opening round. Last season he led the Tigers in receptions with 82 for a total of 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns.
He will be a welcomed addition to an already potent Texans’ offensive attack that has a ground game led by Arian Foster and passing game that features Andre Johnson. At 6-foot-1, 217 lbs., Hopkins will be an excellent complement to Johnson’s 6-foot-3, 230 pound frame as this will definitely be one of the bigger wide receiver combinations in the NFL. Head coach Gary Kubiak has already described Hopkins as a “special talent” and has every intention of working him into the offensive scheme right from the start. The only question with the value in these odds is that Houston can still only play with one ball, which both Foster and Johnson monopolized quite a bit last season.
The other player listed at +800 to make the biggest impact as a rookie is tight end Tyler Eifert, who was selected by Cincinnati with the 21st overall pick of the draft. He played his college ball for Notre Dame and was instrumental in helping the Fighting Irish go all the way to the BCS title game last season with 50 receptions for a team-high 685 yards.
Eifert is built like the prototypical NFL tight end at 6-foot-5, 250 lbs and should be able to make an immediate impact on a Bengals passing attack that has pretty much been a one-trick pony with AJ Green. Taking a page out of New England’s playbook, Eifert will join former 2010 first-round draft choice Jermaine Gresham in some two-tight end sets that should add quite a bit of versatility to a Bengals offense that is led by quarterback Andy Dalton. The value in his odds is still there despite the crowded situation at his position because of some excellent pass-catching skills combined with solid speed at that size that should be able to rack up some serious yards every time he gets his hands on the ball.
The odds for a few other players to keep an eye on next season are running back Eddie Lacy (Green Bay) and quarterback Geno Smith (New York Jets) at +1000 and quarterback EJ Manual (Buffalo) at +1200.
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