ESPN’s Mike Greenberg is calling his shot: a running back, not a quarterback, will win the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award this upcoming season.
Quarterbacks have been the talk of the off-season, per usual. It was a quarterback-heavy first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, perhaps unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones were all off the board by the 15th overall pick.
It’s plausible all five rookies start for their respective teams this upcoming season, meaning it’s also plausible one of them wins the Rookie of the Year award. Greenberg thinks otherwise.
The longtime ESPN employee is rolling with former Alabama star and new Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris to take home the award at the end of the 2021 season.
“It is my opinion that Najee Harris is going to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award this season,” Greenberg said during Monday’s edition of ESPN’s Get Up!.
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 10, 2021
Najee Harris heads to a Pittsburgh team that was abysmal in the running game last season. That was mostly due to the Steelers’ poor offensive line play.
Harris should get plenty of touches during his rookie season, but he may struggle finding success if Pittsburgh’s offensive line doesn’t improve.
There’s plenty of other Rookie of the Year candidates that could shine this season, including: Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase, Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle, Eagles WR DeVonta Smith, Lions OL Penei Sewell, Chargers OL Rashawn Slater and Jaguars RB Travis Etienne.
The odds are stacked against Harris, considering how many other elite offensive rookies will take the field this season.