NFL Rookie of the Year Race After Week 7

Photo: Jeff Hanisch - USA TODAY Sports

Seven weeks into the 2019 NFL season, we now have a much better grasp of which rookies are separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Offensive and defensive rookie of the year races are heating up, as a result, so without further ado, here are my power rankings after the exciting action from week seven.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Race

1 - Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

While Kyler Murray was essentially a statistical no show against the New York Giants this Sunday, I think he's still the leader in the 2019 OROY clubhouse. He's starting to find his footing in this offense and I think he's completely re-energized this team for a potential playoff run. At some point, the Cardinals defense will get exposed, but so far, Arizona's offense, largely because of Murray, has been able to make enough plays to clearly be more competitive than they've been in recent years. With Murray's play, there's a lot for Cardinals fans to be excited about going forward. (Last Week: 1)

2 - Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

Josh Jacobs is right on the heels of Murray in this rookie of the year race, as he just put up another 100-yard performance Sunday. He is clearly the face of the Raiders offense, and he is only just starting to get comfortable to NFL speed. While the Raiders lost to the Packers 42-24, Josh Jacobs continues to be one of the reasons why this team is still competitive. (Last Week: 2)

3 - Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Gardner Minshew bounced back in a big way, but it was also against one of the worst defenses in the NFL -- the Cincinnati Bengals. He threw for 252 yards and a touchdown Sunday without an interception, proving once again to be a consistent decision maker, week in and week out. His improvisation is what makes him unique, and if he can keep up these kinds of performances against better competition, he will rise up this list. (Last Week: 4)

4 - Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins

Terry McLaurin has been excellent all season, but playing in terrible weather conditions Sunday, he had the worst statistical performance of his young NFL career, putting up just one catch for 11 yards. However, this seems like an anomaly more than anything because of the pacing of that game, so I fully expect him to bounce back in the coming weeks. (Last Week: 3)

5 - DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

If you take away Seattle's road game against Arizona in week four, rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf has been one of the team's most steady playmakers on offense, averaging just about 64 yards per game. While he did not have a flashy performance against Baltimore on Sunday with four catches for 53 yards, he continues to prove that he's a top option in the passing game, and I believe his big game could be coming up in the next two weeks, either against Atlanta or Tampa Bay. (Last Week: N/A)

Defensive Rookie of the Year Race

1 - Devin Bush, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

While the Pittsburgh Steelers were on bye this week, it doesn't change the fact that rookie linebacker Devin Bush has been playing like a man on a mission to make the Pro Bowl. Bush was a top 10 player on my draft board, but I didn’t think he’d play at this kind of level, this early. His huge performance against the Chargers still carries so much weight and significance in this defensive rookie of the year race. (Last Week: 1)

2 - Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

I can't remember the last time I saw a rookie edge defender play as well as Nick Bosa has been playing this season. He legitimately looks like one of the best pass rushers in the NFL already, and even though the box score says he only has four sacks on the season, his disruption cannot be quantified. (Last Week: 4)

3 - Josh Allen, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Allen picked up another sack in week seven, putting his total at five for the year, which leads all rookies. His consistent combination of explosiveness and speed off the edge has been a big problem for opposing offensive tackles this season. He looks like he’s going to be a force for a long time in this league. (Last Week: 3)

4 - Brian Burns, EDGE, Carolina Panthers

I get that this might be an out of sight, out of mind kind of move down the DROY power rankings, but quite honestly, I think you could make a case for any of these pass rushers -- Bosa, Burns, or Allen -- to be at the top of this list. Burns has been a monster off the edge this season, and he's proven a lot of doubters wrong already with his production defending the run. He will be a player that teams look back on and wonder why he fell so far in the first round. (Last Week: 2)

5 - Dexter Lawrence, DT, New York Giants

I was not a fan at all of this pick when the selection was announced, but so far this season, Dexter Lawrence has been one of the few mainstays and consistent producers on the entire New York Giants roster. His presence in the middle of that defense has already made such a big difference, and I think he's only getting started with his potential as a pass rusher, as he has two sacks on the year. He won't flash a ton in the box score because of the role he plays, but Lawrence has been super productive this season. (Last Week: N/A)

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.

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