NFL Rookie Of The Year Race After Week 9

Photo: Joe Nicholson - USA TODAY Sports

Through the first nine weeks of the 2019 NFL season, players from last April’s draft class are starting to emerge as frontrunners for rookie of the year honors. 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 nine.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Race

1 – Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

It may be too early to call the offensive rookie of the year race a wrap through nine weeks of the season, but that may be the case with how well rookie running back Josh Jacobs has played for the Oakland Raiders so far. He is quite literally the engine of this offense, and he’s showing the potential to be one of the NFL’s elite at the position, sooner rather than later, as he is now on pace for about 1,500 rushing yards. (Last Week: 1)

2 – Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Against arguably the toughest defense in the NFL, Kyler Murray nearly gave the San Francisco 49ers their first loss of the season Thursday night. Quite simply, Murray looked like a franchise quarterback with the way he was slinging it against that secondary. After a poor outing in New Orleans, Murray bounced back in a huge way with a two-touchdown performance at home against San Francisco. (Last Week: 2)

3 – DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

All aboard the DK Metcalf train. He continues to look better week after week, and it appears Russell Wilson’s confidence in the rookie is getting stronger with each snap. With three touchdowns in his last two games, Metcalf is now on pace for a total of nine this year, as well as about 1,000 yards. But do you remember when he fell to the 64th pick because of a three-cone time? (Last Week: 5)

4 - Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins

It’s a shame that Terry McLaurin hasn’t had a quality quarterback under center to feed him the rock because he is consistently getting open with superb route running against man coverage. He has the kind of smoothness and nuance to his game that you just don’t see in rookies. McLaurin is still on pace for about 900 yards and nine touchdowns on the year, despite the rest of the team’s offensive woes. (Last Week: 4)

5 – Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

It’s been an up and down couple of weeks for Minshew Mania, as his performance Sunday was his second game in four weeks where he threw zero touchdowns and at least one interception. His last two wins were against dreadful defenses – the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals. One has to wonder if the Jaguars will hand the reins back to Nick Foles upon his return. (Last Week: 3)

Defensive Rookie of the Year Race

1 – Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

Thursday night was a quiet performance for Bosa, but it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s completely taken this league by storm with his dynamic pass rush ability in the first half of the season. He needs to be in consideration for defensive player of the year, let alone rookie of the year. Right now, it’s a one-man show for DROY honors. (Last Week: 1)

2 – Josh Allen, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars

If it wasn’t for Nick Bosa playing like the 2019 defensive player of the year, then Josh Allen would be getting a TON of national media attention right now. He has seven sacks on the year through nine games, and he continues to show why Jacksonville got an absolute steal with the seventh overall pick. The scary part is that Allen still has so much more room to grow as a pass rusher, and I think he has double-digit sack potential written all over his career. (Last Week: 2)

3 – Devin Bush, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Devin Bush has been phenomenal for the Pittsburgh Steelers through the first nine games of the season. The Steelers made a gamble by trading up to the 10th overall pick for Bush, but it looks like one of the best moves of the draft right now. Bush is playing at a Pro Bowl level, and he looks like the future face of the Pittsburgh defense for years to come. (Last Week: 3)

4 – Devin White, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Devin White has really started to come alive in recent weeks, especially against Seattle on Sunday. He finished the game with 12 tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles. Not to mention, one of those fumbles should have been a touchdown for Tampa Bay, if the referees didn’t call the play dead. White continues to show glimpses of why he’ll be a stud in this league for a long time. (Last Week: N/A)

5 – Brian Burns, EDGE, Carolina Panthers

It’s been a quiet stretch of games for Brian Burns, who had the hottest start of any rookie in the 2019 class this season. Ever since he suffered his wrist injury, he just hasn’t looked the same. However, he still has the juice and volume sack potential to get things back on track for his rookie year. (Last Week: 4)

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.