Jets’ Top Picks in 2022 Draft Coming Through
The Jets had two picks in the top 10 of last year’s NFL Draft, and they hit home runs with both. At No. 4, New York selected Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.
With the 10th pick, the Jets took wide receiver Garrett Wilson out of Ohio State, and he’s paid dividends as well.
Both are currently favored to win the Rookie of the Year awards for their respective sides of the ball.
Wilson Narrowly Ahead of Watson in Offensive ROY Award Odds
Wilson is ahead of a tightly bunched pack of two fellow wide receivers and a running back in the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year. A year ago, JaMarr Chase won this award as a wide receiver, and the time before that, Odell Beckham Jr. took home the honors in 2014.
Here are the updated odds with four games left in the regular season, courtesy of DraftKings.
|NAME||TEAM/POSITION||ODDS TO WIN OFFENSIVE ROY|
|Garrett Wilson||New York Jets WR||+190|
|Christian Watson||Green Bay Packers WR||+275|
|Kenneth Walker III||Seattle Seahawks RB||+300|
|Chris Olave||New Orleans Saints WR||+550|
As you can see from the following statistics, there isn’t much of a difference between Wilson and Saints WR Chris Olave.
Wilson, however, is playing on a team in the No. 1 media market in the country and is on a team fighting for playoff position. That will give him an edge with voters over a player who’s on a losing team.
The Ohio State rookie is 16th in the NFL in receiving yards with 791 in 13 games. Watson played sparingly and didn’t score his first touchdown for Green Bay until he broke out for three scores and 107 yards in a win over Dallas on Nov. 13. He has seven touchdowns in his last four games and also added a 110-yard effort against Philadelphia, so if he continues this surge, he could potentially overtake Wilson.
Kenneth Walker III is averaging 4.9 yards per carry for 649 yards and nine touchdowns for Seattle. Walker is in a time-share with Rashaad Penny, however, which has cost him about a third of the snaps, so it may not be enough to get the attention of most voters.
Sauce Gardner a Heavy Favorite in NFL Defensive ROY Award Odds
Sauce Gardner is competing with another top-five pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Aidan Hutchinson, however, is quite a bit behind on the odds board for this NFL award. A third candidate, Tariq Woolen, wasn’t selected until the fifth round.
Here’s a look at where things stand at BetMGM.
|NAME||TEAM/POSITION||ODDS TO WIN DEFENSIVE ROY|
|Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner||New York Jets CB||-500|
|Aidan Hutchinson||Detroit Lions DE||+500|
|Tariq Woolen||Seattle Seahawks CB||+600|
All three teams are just on the outside of the playoff picture with four games remaining, and Gardner and Hutchinson will both be on the field at MetLife Stadium for the Jets’ game with the Lions in Week 15.
His stats show 16 passes defended, 54 tackles, and two interceptions. But what stands out more for Gardner is the fact that Josh Allen didn’t target leading wide receiver Stefon Diggs one time while Gardner was covering him last week.
Woolen has actually grabbed six interceptions in 13 passes defended, which has put him in the hunt for this award.
Hutchinson has come alive as of late, much as the rest of the Lions team has in their five-wins-in-six-games stretch. Overall, he has seven sacks, 13 quarterback hits, 35 tackles, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions. It’s a well-rounded and great rookie season for someone who should be a consistent Pro Bowler, but Gardner has been one of the best overall at his position in the NFL.
NFL Awards Odds and Predictions for Rookie of the Year
If Hutchinson goes on a massive run and leads the LIons into the playoffs, it could change the conversation, but Gardner has garnered enough respect in the NFL in just 13 games that it will be hard to see him not winning this award.
Offensively, if Watson keeps pulling down multiple-TD, 100-yard receiving days for the Packers in the final month of the season, he could steal the award from Wilson. With the way the Jets are opening up the passing game with Mike White, however, we see Wilson being a large enough part of the offense to where he will with the award.
This will give the Jets the Rookie of the Year on both sides of the ball. This is a feat that’s only happened two times since the awards were issued in 1967. The most-recent occurrence is running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore. They took home the awards for the Saints after the 2017 season.