Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons are the early favorites for the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards after the first round of the 2021 NFL draft Thursday night.
DraftKings Sportsbook provided a look at the top contenders based on the initial betting odds:
Lawrence was the Jags' choice with the first overall pick. He's been a prized prospect since high school—247Sports rated him as the sixth-best college football recruit in its history—and only further enhanced his status as a future franchise quarterback during his time at Clemson.
The 21-year-old Tennessee native completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 10,098 yards with 90 touchdowns and just 17 interceptions across 40 appearances in three years with the Tigers. He added 943 rushing yards and 18 scores on the ground.
Now he takes over a Jacksonville offense that has enough talent for him to enjoy a strong rookie season.
Running back James Robinson is coming off a strong debut campaign in which he scored 10 touchdowns in 14 games, and the Jaguars used their other first-round pick on Lawrence's Clemson teammate Travis Etienne, who should bring a more dynamic element to the backfield.
The Jags also feature a potent receiver trio in Marvin Jones Jr., DJ Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys were frequently linked to one of the draft class' top cornerbacks, Jaycee Horn or Patrick Surtain II, leading up to the draft. They decided to trade down two spots when both of those DBs were off the board and still managed to nab Parsons, a well-rounded, instant-impact linebacker, at No. 12.
Parsons is the marquee arrival to a defense that ranked 28th in points allowed per game (29.6) last season and should play a large enough role to put up big numbers right away.
Neither Lawrence's nor Parsons' statuses as the initial favorites come as a surprise, but the battle for Rookie of the Year should really come into focus when training camp gets underway and it becomes more clear which first-year players are primed to take on a lot of snaps.
For all the latest betting information and reaction, check out B/R Betting.
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