25 best Offensive Rookie of the Year winners ranked by playing career

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Pepsi)
Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Pepsi) /
1 of 26
Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert, Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images /

The Offensive Rookie of the Year award is one of the strangest in the history of the NFL. It has no bearing on predicting the future career of said NFL star. For every Justin Herbert we have slinging the ball up and down the field, we have a Cadillac Williams who was great in that first season but never saw the same success. It seems like there are as many average-to-bust careers of these dominant rookies as there are of the players who put up Hall-of-Fame worthy stats.

The weird thing about the Rookie of the Year award is the composition of position. While the quarterback position seems to dominate the MVP, running backs are the king of the rookie awards. Teams draft them with a better idea on how to use them in their rookie season, the player is usually in his peak coming right out of college, and playing running back comes with a lot less responsibility out of the gate than QB or even wide receiver or tight end. A running back needs to know what he has to do and has to react when someone else misses their assignment. He does not solely rely on others as a QB or receiver does.

This list shows some of the best careers in the sport. Not everyone came out of the gate dominant. Tom Brady was the fourth-string QB in his rookie season. Peyton Manning led the league in interceptions in his rookie season. Christian McCaffrey could only muster 435 yards rushing in his rookie season. However, for every player it takes some time to get going, there’s Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Ben Roethlisberger who were great from the jump.

For the record, we are using the AP Rookie of the Year which has been in existence from 1967 until now. So in case people looking for the likes of Gale Sayers, Keenan Allen, and Russell Wilson, they won different versions of this award! Now, without further ado, number 25.