Updated Rookie of the Year Odds Heading into Week 17

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIDecember 26, 2012

Updated Rookie of the Year Odds Heading into Week 17

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    With only one week remaining in the NFL regular season, there isn't much more the rookie class can do to impress the masses. Even if Justin Blackmon goes off for 300 yards and four touchdowns in Week 17, he isn't going to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

    In fact, both the Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year races have been narrowed down to three people each. Plenty of rookies have been outstanding this season, but the following players have stood out from the rest.

    Here are the updated Rookie of the Year odds heading into Week 17.

Best of the Rest

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    The following offensive and defensive players have been so good over the course of the year, but they are no longer considered legitimate candidates to bring home Rookie of the Year honors this season.


    Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns

    Richardson has been the focal point of the Browns offense all year long. While he hasn't been as dominant as many expected, he is still having a quality season for Cleveland.

    He needs only 50 rushing yards to eclipse 1,000 yards on the season. He'll only get better as time passes and should continue to lead Cleveland for the foreseeable future.


    Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

    No rookie has been as undervalued as Morris has for Washington this season. Of course, it is hard to really shine when the other stud rookie on your team is a guy named Robert Griffin III.

    However, Morris has been just as effective as Griffin this year, as he's on pace to rush for over 1,500 yards on the season. With Griffin and Morris, the Redskins have quite the core to build around.


    Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    While Martin's play has dropped off some in recent weeks, he has still been one of the best offensive rookies this season.

    He's been extremely effective in both the run and pass game and already has nearly 1,800 total yards on offense. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers have struggled down the stretch, and Martin's hopes to win Offensive Rookie of the Year are all but over.


    Harrison Smith, FS, Minnesota Vikings

    Few rookies have been as impressive as Smith has been for the Vikings this year. He's exceeding all expectations this season and proved any doubters about him being a first-round pick completely wrong.

    Smith's huge hits and ability as a playmaker have revitalized the Minnesota defense and have them on the verge of making a surprise trip to the playoffs.


    Lavonte David, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Much like his teammate Martin, David's chances at winning Rookie of the Year are all but gone due to the overall struggles of Tampa Bay.

    However, to say David hasn't been exceptional this year would be a major error. He's easily one of the best young linebackers in the game and should anchor Tampa Bay's defense for a long, long time.

Defense: Janoris Jenkins, CB, St. Louis Rams

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    Season Statistics: 72 total tackles, four interceptions, four defensive touchdowns

    Odds: 8/1

    As the season is coming to a close, Janoris Jenkins is playing some of the best football of his rookie season.

    In Week 16, Jenkins was once again brilliant with six tackles and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He continues to make any quarterback that decides to throw his direction look absolutely foolish.

    With Jenkins on one side and Cortland Finnegan on the other side, the St. Louis Rams have to be extremely excited about the future of their secondary.

Offense: Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

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    Season Statistics: 3,100 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, five interceptions, 752 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns

    Odds: 5/1

    After missing only one week after a brutal knee injury, Robert Griffin III came back to play a very impressive game in Week 16.

    He was his usual accurate self, completing 66.7 percent of his passes. The biggest surprise from his win over the Philadelphia Eagles was the fact that he only had two rushes the whole game.

    The fact that Griffin could win a game without needing his legs must have been a major relief for the Washington Redskins considering the injury issues that Griffin has had. Washington needs to do everything in its power to keep Griffin healthy, especially with the playoffs right around the corner.

    While Griffin has been absolutely electrifying this year, the two players with better odds than him have simply been more impressive.

Defense: Casey Hayward, CB, Green Bay Packers

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    Season Statistics: 52 total tackles, six interceptions, one forced fumble

    Odds: 3/1

    Casey Hayward had the best odds to win Defensive Rookie of the Year heading into Week 16, but was outplayed by the No. 2 candidate from last week.

    However, Hayward and the Green Bay Packers were still quite impressive in their win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 16. The Packers only gave up seven points on the day, and Hayward finished the game with six total tackles and one pass defended. 

    What will ultimately keep Hayward from winning this award is the fact that he plays a position that isn't as popular as other defensive positions. While Hayward still has great odds to win this award, it won't be easy.

Offense: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

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    Season Statistics: 4,183 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, five rushing touchdowns

    Odds: 3/1

    The one thing that could ultimately win Andrew Luck the Offensive Rookie of the Year award is the fact that he has seven game-winning drives this season. He also has four fourth-quarter comebacks on the season.

    Of course, it also helps to throw for the most yards ever in a season by a rookie.

    What could cause Luck to lose this award is the fact that he has struggled with turnovers over the course of the season.

    His 18 interceptions are tied for the most in the league, and his 23 overall turnovers are tied for the second most in the league. In Luck's defense, he is asked to make way more difficult throws than any other quarterback on this list.

    Luck was the favorite to win this award heading into the season, and he has great odds to fulfill those expectations.

Defense: Bobby Wagner, ILB, Seattle Seahawks

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    Season Statistics: 130 total tackles, two sacks, three interceptions

    Odds: 2/1

    The Seattle Seahawks have been on an absolute tear in recent weeks, and it appears as if they'll have both the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year on their roster this season.

    We'll start with Bobby Wagner, who has been extremely impressive in his rookie season. His 130 total tackles on the season is currently the eighth most of any player and third most for a rookie.

    However, it isn't just the statistics that make Wagner a favorite to bring home some hardware this season. The fact that he is capable of making an impact against both the run and the pass, and that he always finds himself around the football, is the real reason Wagner will win this award.

Offense: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

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    Season Statistics: 2.868 yards, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, three rushing touchdowns

    Odds: 2/1

    After throwing for four touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers, Russell Wilson remains the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

    He continues to play outstanding football, especially late in the season. In fact, the Seattle Seahawks have scored 150 points in their past three games, thanks in part to the incredible play of Wilson.

    The fact that the Seahawks still have a chance at winning the NFC West is a testament to the play of Wilson. He may not be as popular as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but he's been the better player down the stretch and absolutely deserves to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.