NFL Rookie Of The Year Race After Week 13

Photo: Reinhold Matay - USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL season nears December, players from last year’s draft class are starting to emerge as frontrunners for Rookie of the Year honors. Both Offensive and Defensive ROY races are heating up as a result. 

Here are my power rankings after the exciting action through Week 13.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Race

1. Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

Josh Jacobs has had this ROY race locked up for most of the season. Even though the Oakland Raiders lost 40-9 to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, he still had another 100-yard performance. Jacobs’ season total now sits at 1,061 rushing yards which put him in the top five of the NFL’s rushing leaders – an impressive feat for a rookie. He is the engine of this offense and piece that Oakland can build around going forward. (Last week: 1)

2. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

He did not have his best performance Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, but if you look at his complete body of work as a rookie, you can easily see that Kyler Murray is going to be a superstar in this league. He has little help around him, yet he continues to find ways to elevate his team and make plays out of nothing. I expect him to take a huge sophomore jump next season. (Last week: 2)

3. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

DK Metcalf has emerged as one of Russell Wilson’s top targets in the Seattle Seahawks offense, and he is a threat for a house call each time he touches the ball. His blend of size, speed and power are unparalleled among most wide receivers, and we are only seeing him scratch the surface of his full potential. If Metcalf can become more consistent at the catch point, his upside is limitless. (Last week: 4)

4. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are on a downward spiral, but one of the bright spots of this lackluster team has been running back Miles Sanders. He had over 100 total yards and a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Sanders is on pace to have about 1,200 total yards from scrimmage, as one of the best things he offers to this Philadelphia offense is his pass-catching production. The Eagles’ season may be lost, but they found their RB of the future. (Last week: N/A)

5. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills

A lot of people at the NFL combine counted Devin Singletary out, but he has proven those doubters wrong with his production for the Buffalo Bills. On Thanksgiving, he had over 100 total yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys as he continues to look electric in the open field. If not for missing a month of the season due to injury, Singletary would be near the top of this list. (Last week: N/A)

Defensive Rookie of the Year Race

1. Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

While Nick Bosa had a relatively quiet game against the Baltimore Ravens and MVP-favorite Lamar Jackson, you simply cannot quantify how valuable he has been to this San Francisco 49ers defense. He has been one of the NFL’s top defensive ends since the beginning of the season. With his play and the 49ers’ collective success as a team, Bosa is a lock to be this award. (Last week: 1)

2. Devin White, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

No rookie has had a better month than Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White. In the last five games, White has racked up 46 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and a touchdown. If White was more consistent at the beginning of the season, we would be talking about a real competition with him and Bosa for the top spot. (Last week: 3)

3. Josh Allen, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars

It feels weird to move Josh Allen down this list after he added another solid game to his resume, but this is more about the rise of a player like White, as opposed to Allen falling. Allen is one sack away from reaching a double-digit sack total on the season – a feat that is rarely achieved by rookie pass rushers. If this Jaguars team had more collective success, Allen would be much higher on this list. (Last week: 2)

4. Juan Thornhill, S, Kansas City Chiefs

It took a little while, but rookie safety Juan Thornhill is really starting to come on late in the season. He finished Sunday’s game against the Raiders with one of the best pick-6’s we have seen all year. It was his second interception of the season, and you can tell he is getting more and more comfortable with his expanded role in the secondary. (Last week: N/A)

5. Devin Bush, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

The recent success of White has overshadowed just about everything, including how good Devin Bush has been the last couple weeks. Bush’s numbers do not look as flashy in the box score, but he is maturing right before our eyes as a leader for this Pittsburgh Steelers defense. He is becoming more vocal, comfortable and confident which is starting to accentuate his athletic gifts on the field. Bush will be one of the league’s top off-ball linebackers, sooner rather than later. (Last week: 5)

Written By:

Jonah Tuls

NFL Draft Analyst

NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. As heard on ESPN radio, Sirius XM, and the Sports Illustrated podcast. Texas Tech University journalism graduate.