5. Christian McCaffrey, RB/WR, Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey is a dynamic talent, able to affect the game as both a runner and receiver. He should be an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses to defend and there’s little to no-doubt that he is going to be an asset for the Carolina Panthers, so why isn’t he higher on this list? The biggest reason for that is the competition on the roster. Jonathan Stewart isn’t what he once was but he’s still a solid starter while fellow rookie Curtis Samuel has a similar skill set to McCaffrey and may actually be a bit more explosive. Don’t get me wrong, McCaffrey is incredibly promising, however, he may not have the opportunities available to really be the top offensive rookie.
4. Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills
Perhaps a bit of a surprise on this list, Zay Jones has both the talent and opportunity to be a contender for offensive rookie of the year. Sammy Watkins has been injured and inconsistent throughout his entire career and the Bills lack depth behind him and Jones. Throw in Jones’ penchant for making tough grabs as well as the sheer volume of targets he’s likely to see and you have the makings of a very good season.
3. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
The first receiver off the board in the 2017 NFL Draft, Corey Davis steps into the Titans offense as the Titans starting receiver opposite Eric Decker. Davis, who has smooth route-running skills and exceptional athleticism figures to quickly establish himself as a top weapon for promising quarterback Marcus Mariota. Tennessee’s offense was electric at times last season, and with a potential rookie of the year contender like Davis joining the receiving corps, they will likely be even more explosive this season.
2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Franchise legend Adrian Peterson is gone, and with little talent behind him at the position, expect Dalvin Cook to immediately start for the Vikings. On a team that was simply putrid on the ground last season, Cook should be able to come in and improve both the running game and with check-down king Sam Bradford running the show at quarterback, Cook should have a big receiving season as well. As long as the off-field problems are behind him and he can improve his ball-security from his college days, Cook should be a top contender for offensive rookie of the year.
1. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Not even Blake Bortles expects Blake Bortles to have a good season as the Jaguars quarterback and that puts more pressure on the running game, led by No. 4 overall pick Leonard Fournette. Luckily for the Jaguars, Fournette should be more than able to handle the extra defensive attention. Throughout his college career, Fournette wowed with his power and athletic ability, and despite the fact that defenses will be able to stack the box against him, I fully expect Fournette to put up monster numbers in an offense that will likely run through him.
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