- Quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis are the +500 co-betting favorites to win the 2022 NFL OROY heading into the Thursday, April 28 NFL Draft
- Last year’s winner was Cincinnati Bengals wideout Ja’Marr Chase
- Six of the top-12 contenders for 2022 NFL OROY are wide receivers
QB or not QB appears to be the question on the minds of oddsmakers when it comes to the 2022 NFL OROY odds. Entering the first day of the NFL Draft on Thursday, Appril 28, quarterbacks Kenny Pickett of Pitt and Malik Willis of Liberty are set as the co-favorites to win the award at +500.
On the surface, this seems like a tenuous wager at best. There’s no guarantee either QB will be any early selection on draft night. As well, depending on which team makes the selection, the chances of either player starting as a rookie appear remote.
2022 NFL OROY of the Year Odds
|Malik Willis-QB (Liberty)||+500|
|Kenny Pickett-QB (Pitt)||+500|
|Breece Hall-RB (Iowa State)||+800|
|Treylon Burks-WR (Arkansas)||+1000|
|Garrett Wilson-WR (Ohio State)||+1000|
|Drake London-WR (USC)||+1000|
|Kenneth Walker III-RB (Michigan State)||+1200|
|Jameson Williams-WR (Alabama)||+1200|
|Desmond Ridder-QB (Cincinnati)||+1400|
|Sam Howell-QB (North Carolina)||+1600|
|Chris Olave-WR (Ohio State)||+1600|
|Jahan Dotson-WR (Penn State)||+1800|
|Matt Corral-QB (Ole Miss)||+2000|
|Isaiah Spiller-RB (Texas A&M)||+2500|
|Skyy Moore-WR (Western Michigan)||+3000|
|George Pickens-WR (Georgia)||+3000|
|Kyren Williams-RB (Notre Dame)||+4000|
|Carson Strong-QB (Nevada)||+4000|
|Trey McBride-TE (Colorado State)||+5000|
|John Metchie III-WR (Alabama)||+5000|
|Jalen Tolbert-WR (South Alabama)||+5000|
|James Cook-RB (Georgia)||+5000|
|Christian Watson-WR (North Dakota State)||+5000|
|Dameon Pierce-RB (Florida)||+5000|
Odds as of April 28th at DraftKings Sportsbook
That being the case, if you insist on getting a bet down early, the best play at this stage looks to be to go with a running back or wide receiver. Iowa State running back Breece Hall is the third betting choice at +500.
Running backs have won NFL OROY twice over the past six seasons. However, it was a wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals, who ran off with the honor in 2021.
Receiving Plenty of Attention
There’s plenty of speculation that NFL teams are looking to trade up in the draft order to get their hands on one of the top wide receiver prospects available in this year’s class.
The last two draft classes were dominated by quarterbacks. Based on the 2022 NFL Draft odds, it could be argued that on the offensive side of ball, this is the year of the wide receiver.
Imagine being as cool as Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. pic.twitter.com/E98UWDzSZx
— Sky Sports NFL (@SkySportsNFL) April 28, 2022
Treylon Burks of Arkansas, Garrett Wilson of Ohio State and USC’s Drake London at are set at +1000 in the opening NFL OROY odds. Alabama’s Jameson Williams (+1200), Ohio State’s Chris Olave (+1600) and Penn State’s Jahan Dotson (+1800) are also among the top-12 contenders.
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Wideouts a Bigger Factor Than In Past Years
Prior to Chase, Odell Beckham Jr with the 2014 New York Giants was the previous wideout to win NFL OROY. Chase was the third wide receiver to earn the honor since 2009 and only the fifth since 1993.
Only once have wide receivers been named NFL OROY in successive seasons. That was Louis Lipps of the Pittsburgh Steelers (1984) and Eddie Brown of the Bengals (1985).
— Mick Shaffer (@mickshaffer) April 28, 2022
However, changes in the game that are opening up more and more to the passing game are putting young receivers into roles of prominence once almost exclusively reserved for rookie running backs.
Though they didn’t win the award, Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings and Chase Claypool of the Pittsburgh Steelers were prominent contenders for NFL OROY in 2020.
NFL ROY Betting Trends
Each of the last four winners of the NFL OROY were selected among the top six choices on draft day.
Where do you want to see Garrett Wilson end up tonight? pic.twitter.com/gL7vplEDAY
— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) April 28, 2022
Two of them finished among the top four in the Heisman Trophy voting and one was part of a national championship squad during their final year of college ball.
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