NFL 2023 Rookie Of The Year Best Bets After 1st Round Of Draft

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The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft concluded and DraftKings Sportsbook wasted no time releasing odds for the 2023 NFL Rookie of the Year.

FIVE IMPACT PLAYERS TO WATCH DURING DAY 2 OF THE NFL DRAFT, HEADLINED BY QBS & DBS

Let me stop you before you say something dumb like, “It’s too early to bet on the NFL”. It’s never too early to bet on the NFL. Plus, what’s the harm in just getting familiar with the odds to win 2023 NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year?

NFL 2023 Rookie of the Year

Offensive Rookie Of The Year

Betting odds for 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday, April 28th.
Betting odds for 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday, April 28th.

Atlanta Falcons RB Bijan Robinson (+300)

Most of the NFL talking heads are crushing the Falcons for drafting a running back in the top 10 including my homie, Dan Zaksheske. Even as a running back truther, I understand the criticism.

But, there is a reason Robinson went 8th overall Thursday night. He’s effing nasty. Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Robinson was the highest-graded prospect at the scouting combine on either side of the ball.

One of the arguments I’ve heard criticizing Atlanta for selecting Robinson is the Falcons were a top-five running team in the NFL last season. Atlanta ranked 4th in yards per attempt in 2022 and 3rd in total rushing yards.

RB Bijan Robinson poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected 8th by the Atlanta Falcons during the 1st round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.
Former Texas RB Bijan Robinson poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected 8th by the Atlanta Falcons during the 1st round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

My counter to that though is Falcons head coach Arthur Smith had a lot of success as the Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator with an alpha in RB Derrick Henry.

Perhaps Smith thinks Robinson can be Atlanta’s Henry and didn’t think highly of the available quarterbacks. And can you blame him? QBs Will Levis and Hendon Hooker both slipped past the 1st round.

Finally, I agree with Robinson being the favorite but the value just isn’t there for me. I’m not ready to invest in a measly 4-to-1 price for the NFL Rookie of the Year in April. Maybe if Robinson survives OTAs and preseason I’ll consider it.

Carolina Panthers QB Bryce Young (+475)

This is my pick to win the 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Young is in a good spot, playing for Panthers’ 1st-year head coach Frank Reich who is frankly underrated.

Reich went 44-33-1 as the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach from 2018-22. This was despite the Colts having five different starting quarterbacks at the beginning of those five seasons.

Former Alabama QB Bryce Young looks to pass during the Allstate Sugar Bowl vs. the Kansas State Wildcats at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Former Alabama QB Bryce Young looks to pass during the Allstate Sugar Bowl vs. the Kansas State Wildcats at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Granted, Young doesn’t have a ton of weapons to work with in Carolina. But, most NFL analysts rave about Young’s pocket presence and big-game poise. The biggest knock on Young is his small stature.

However, Young graded out really well in football cognitive tests and was the 2nd-best prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, per Next Gen Stats. I’m not betting Young to win this award for the same reason I’m passing on Robinson.

Best Value: Minnesota Vikings WR Jordan Addison (+1600)

Three years ago, I’d say: “No way you bet a wide receiver to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year”. The last two winners of that award have been WRs including Jets WR Garrett Wilson last year and Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase in 2022.

Addison’s teammate — WR Justin Jefferson — would’ve won the 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year if LA Chargers QB Justin Herbert didn’t have an all-time rookie season.

Jefferson has only gotten better since his rookie season. He won the 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year while leading the league in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) and catching 8 TDs.

USC Trojans WR Jordan Addison makes a grab during the Pac-12 title game vs. the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
USC Trojans WR Jordan Addison makes a grab during the Pac-12 title game vs. the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Addison should see a lot of one-on-one coverage because of Jefferson’s gravitational pull. His 2023 QB — Kirk Cousins — attempted the 3rd-most passes and accumulated the 5th-most passing yards with only Jefferson being his only WR threat.

Most importantly, Addison won the 2021 Fred Biletnikoff Award for college football’s best WR at Pittsburgh. His numbers tailed off in 2022 after transferring to USC because of all the other talented WRs on his team eating up his usage.

I agree with Seahawks rookie WR Jaxson Smith-Njigba (+650) having better odds to win this award. Yet Addison’s odds are too good to pass up.

BET: Vikings WR Jordan Addison to win 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (+1600)


Defensive Rookie Of The Year

Betting odds for 2023 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year from DraftKings as of Friday, April 28th.

This is generally a pass rusher’s award. Jets CB Sauce Gardner ended a three-year streak of sack artists winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. But, Sauce stepped into the NFL and was a shutdown CB from day one.

While I wouldn’t be surprised if Seahawks CB Devon Witherspoon (+900) had that kind of impact since Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is a defensive back whisperer. I’m certainly not betting on it.

Houston Texans edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. (+350)

This is my pick to win the award for best defensive rookie. Anderson is the clear favorite so this isn’t a hot take but I want it on the record. He is the 2nd-highest graded defensive prospect in this draft, per NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

Anderson was expected to be a top-five pick after his freshman season at Alabama. As a sophomore, Anderson had 17.5 sacks and 31.0 tackles for a loss. He was a 2-time SEC Player of the Year and unanimous All-American (2021-22).

Former Alabama DE Will Anderson Jr. rushes the QB vs. the Georgia Bulldogs during the College Football Playoff Championship held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Former Alabama DE Will Anderson Jr. rushes the QB vs. the Georgia Bulldogs during the College Football Playoff Championship held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

After picking QB C.J. Stroud with the 2nd pick of the draft, the Houston Texans traded up for the 3rd pick and took Anderson. Some people have knocked that decision. But, Anderson is one of the best defensive prospects in the last few years.

Despite my strong feelings for Anderson, I’m staying away from betting on him to win this award because Anderson has no help in Houston. And +350 isn’t a fat enough payout.

Las Vegas Raiders edge rusher Tyree Wilson (+800)

I like this pick for the Raiders. They have an All-Pro edge rusher on the other side of the line in DE Maxx Crosby who is a force-multiplier. Wilson is unlucky to face double teams because of Crosby.

Also, Wilson was the 3rd-highest graded defensive prospect at the 2023 scouting combine. That said, these odds are too short for Wilson who only had 17 sacks in four seasons at Texas Tech.

Former Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson holds a jersey with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft at Union Station.
Former Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson holds a jersey with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft at Union Station. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

And we know Wilson had a bunch of opportunities to rush the passer because the Big XII is the most pass-happy conference in college football.

Ultimately, the betting market is pricing Wilson like he’s a guarantee to make an impact in his rookie season. I on the other hand am a little skeptical. Or at least there’s enough doubt in my mind to avoid Wilson’s +800 price point.

Best Value: Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Nolan Smith (+1600)

Everyone who analyzes the draft loved what the Eagles did Thursday in the 1st round. They have dudes on offense and rightfully decided to invest in defense after a few defenders left in free agency.

Not only did Philadelphia draft DL Jalen Carter who was discussed as perhaps being the 1st defensive player drafted before character issues surfaced. But, they drafted Smith who scouts rave about.

Smith played on one of the best college defenses in recent history (Georgia). He’s a 2-time national champion and Smith ran a 4.39 40-meter dash at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, which is downright scary.

Georgia Bulldogs LB Nolan Smith lines up on defense during the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game vs. the Oregon Ducks at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Georgia Bulldogs LB Nolan Smith lines up on defense during the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game vs. the Oregon Ducks at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The reason why Smith fell at the end of the 1st round Thursday was that his college production was mediocre. Smith only had 12.5 sacks in four years at Georgia. But, that shouldn’t be a problem in Philly.

The Eagles had the 2nd-highest pressure rate in the NFL last season and lead the league with 70 sacks. Philadelphia is the runaway favorite to win the NFC as in the Eagles will be good.

If that’s the case, their opponents will be passing from behind, which will give Smith plenty of opportunities to sack the QB. Essentially, Smith should be a top-five favorite to win this award, not 8th by the odds. Hence the value.

BET: Eagles DE Nolan Smith to win 2023 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (+1600)


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Written by Geoff Clark

Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events.

Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB.

Clark graduated from St. John University.

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