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Kenny Pickett Sees Rookie of the Year Odds Skyrocket

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Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Heading into the regular season finale, Kenny Pickett has the fourth-best odds (+1800) to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Pickett began the season as the consensus odds on favorite to win OROY with 9/1 odds.

Since the Week 12 game against the Indianapolis Colts, Pickett has shown significant improvement and appears to be the Steelers’ future franchise quarterback that they were looking for. Pickett’s OROY odds have skyrocketed due to his game-winning drives in the last two weeks, jumping from 33/1 to 18/1.

Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t sold on Pickett earlier in the year (as were many), as Pickett struggled with interceptions and wasn’t showcasing anything spectacular. His numbers are still not where they need to be, but his back-to-back game-winning drives indicate a clutch gene and an impeccable grit and competitiveness, which was always a part of Pickett’s game dating back to college.

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III is the favorite to win OROY at -140. Walker, who was selected at 41st overall out of Michigan State, has rushed for 936 yards on 199 carries (4.7 average) and a whopping nine touchdowns in his rookie campaign. New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (+210) and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (+450) are also ahead of Pickett.

Pickett leads all rookies in passing with 2,209 yards. Purdy, a seventh-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, ranks second with 1,196 yards. Purdy is 4-0 as a starter and has played in just six games. Purdy is the fourth rookie quarterback to start his career 4-0 since starts were first tracked in 1950. The last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft joined Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Phil Simms (1979) and Mike Kruczek (1976) on that list.

George Pickens has +1000 odds to win OROY, which is tied for 11th best. Pickens began the year with +1000 odds, behind only Pickett. Among rookie receivers this year, Pickens ranks fourth in receptions (49) and receiving yards (729). The Steelers passing game has been lethargic this year, but Pickens has displayed great contested catch abilities. Pickens has 18 contested catches this season, which is the most Pro Football Focus has ever charted by a rookie in a single season (2016-present). Pickens is also averaging 14.9 yards per catch (second among rookie receivers).

In 12 games, Pickett has completed 232 of 360 passes (64.4%) for 2,209 yards with six touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 76.5. Pickett ranks 32nd in quarterback rating, 28th in passing yards, 33rd in touchdown percentage (1.7), 35th in touchdown passes and 21st in completion percentage. Pickett’s pedestrian numbers won’t lead him to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. Nevertheless, it’s still encouraging to see the development and progress he’s made compared to earlier in the year.

 

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