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Becky G
Becky G
April 15, 2024

NFL ROTY Candidates

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The NFL gives out an award each year towards the end of the regular season to one offensive and defensive rookie. This award is called the Rookie of the Year award. This year the top candidates so far to receive this award are;

Defense: Devon Witherspoon; Cornerback from the Seattle Seahawks

Offense: Jahmyr Gibbs; Running back from the Detroit Lions

Both of these rookies have had an impressive performance in their first season in the NFL thus far and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. First, I’m going to talk about cornerback Devon Witherspoon. Witherspoon, who was drafted #5 overall so far in his rookie season, has 38 solo tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and one touchdown, along with 13 passes deflected. These stats are crazy good for a rookie, especially having three sacks as a cornerback with not even the full season being through yet. Seattle has needed to find a new defensive leader after the Legion of Boom disbanded starting in 2019. Since then, the defense has often been a big factor as to why they are losing games and haven’t been as competitive as they used to be in recent years. They’ve added many pieces to this defense in hopes of finding their new guy, but no one has had the star power this talented rookie has. That star power is exactly what this defense needed: a new leader or face of the defense. This rookie has far outshined any other defensive rookie in the secondary and has proven to be the most influential on the game so far amongst all rookies defensively.

The other rookie, Jahmyr Gibbs #12 overall pick, has been an offensive stud in the past 4-5 weeks. Early on in the season, Gibbs wasn’t used as commonly as fans wanted him to be. David Montgomery was the RB1 early on in the season, and fans were upset because they felt that Gibbs wasn’t getting enough target share for him being their #12 overall pick, who was supposed to help this offense greatly. Gibbs has 512 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, and a 5.2 yards per carry average. While these numbers may seem mediocre at this point in the season, Gibbs hasn’t seen production until the last five weeks, so these numbers aren’t that bad at all. While Gibbs doesn’t have as much competition for this award as Witherspoon with Jalen Carter, Gibbs has Jordan Addison as his main competition, whose production has slowed down noticeably due to quarterback Kirk Cousins getting injured and will be out for the remainder of the season. Gibbs has played a big role in this Detroit offense in the past few weeks and is projected to continue to do so. He is a shifty running back with lots of speed. This first-round pick is expected to do great things in Detroit. Both of these rookies have a great chance of winning their respective awards, and I look forward to watching them play out the rest of this season.

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Lucas Christopherson is an 11th grader at FGHS who has 2 dogs.

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