Welcome to the April edition of the Hot-Take-o-Meter. The main focus of this is the recently-drafted players.
Stage 1: Siberia
Joe Burrow is the massive favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and he has as many weapons as any rookie quarterback has had in recent years. He should have a fabulous campaign.
Stage 2: Chicago in February
An LSU or Ohio State player will win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The idea here is that a former teammate of Joe Burrow’s will win DROY while Burrow wins OROY. The obvious answer for this hypothetical is Chase Young, but other dark horses include Kristian Fulton, K’Lavon Chaisson, and Patrick Queen.
Stage 3: Boston in June
Jonathan Taylor will lead the class in rushing yards.
The third running back off the board in the draft, Taylor has landed in a great situation. Indianapolis has a stellar offensive line, a new quarterback, and a talented defense. If Philip Rivers can stay away from the turnover bug, the Colts should be leading in enough games for Taylor to rack up in upwards of 1,000 yards on the ground.
Stage 4: Atlanta in June
Jerry Jeudy will become the 24th rookie to break the 1,000-yard plateau for receivers.
Eight players have joined this club since 2010 including fellow Alabama product Amari Cooper and 2019 draft pick A.J. Brown. Compared to the other first-round picks, Jeudy seems to be in an ideal location. He is a better fit in Denver than Henry Ruggs is in Las Vegas and CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, and Jalen Reagor will likely be lost in the wash behind Pro Bowl pass-catchers and productive running backs. Jeudy will be the second option in the passing attack but there is a solid chance that Courtland Sutton consumes more of the red zone work while Jeudy works between the 20s.
Stage 5: Phoenix in August
Chase Young will get to 11 sacks.
In 2019, the sack high watermark for rookies was Josh Allen at 10.5. Only 18 rookies have gotten to 11 sacks (most recently Bradley Chubb), but Young should make a play at it. Unlike other top pass rushers, Young is surrounded by semi-talented defensive linemen. If Young can capitalize on his opportunities, he could put his name up around the legendary rookie seasons of Jevon Kearse and Reggie White.
Stage 6: Sauna
Burrow is almost certain to start all 16 games. Love is unlikely to start, but Tagovailoa and Herbert could throw a wrench into the prediction. As of now, the Dolphins and Chargers have Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor entrenched as starters, respectively. Both teams have had good free agency periods and solid drafts, so if they were to start cold, there could be calls to change over to the rookies.
Stage 7: Crematorium
At least five rookies will make the Pro Bowl.
Last season, four rookies made the Pro Bowl (Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Mecole Hardman, and Deonte Harris). Burrow, Taylor, Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Simmons, and Javon Kinlaw could one-up that mark. Rookie Pro Bowlers are generally a crapshoot and they are often special teamers, but these five guys should be immediate impact players for decent teams.
Stage 8: Satan’s Favorite
A Day 3 pick will match Maxx Crosby’s 2019 sack output (10).
While it is open to Rounds 4-7, look out for Curtis Weaver (Miami) and Bradlee Anae (Dallas), both selected in the fifth round. While neither offers the highest of ceilings, both should be reasonably productive early. Anae is surrounded by solid pass rushers which could limit his snaps, but if he gets on the field, he will have help. Weaver should see more snaps and more opportunities to get after the quarterback, but Miami’s secondary will need to be sturdy.
Stage 9: The Sun
This feat, most recently done twice by Sony Michel in the 2019 playoffs, has occurred six times since 2010. The Chiefs and Ravens are among the most likely teams to make the playoffs, and Edwards-Helaire or Dobbins could be fresh for a big day in the playoffs.
Stage 10: Heat Death of the Universe
A running back-wide receiver duo from the same school will beat out the production of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Justin Jefferson.
This one is out there as Edwards-Helaire and Jefferson will likely be productive in their rookie seasons. Some other schools in contention are Arizona State (Brandon Aiyuk and Eno Benjamin), Florida (Van Jefferson and La’Mical Perine), and Wisconsin (Jonathan Taylor and Quintez Cephus).