Young Saints in the race for Rookie of the Year
It hasn’t been since 2006 since two Saints rookies won rookie of the week awards. That’s already happened for two Saints rookies in 2017. Now they’re being talked about for bigger things.
Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated released an article this week outlining the front-runners for the 2017 Rookie of the Year award. Among the names included, two Saints rookies were carrying the torch for New Orleans.
Marshon Lattimore headlined the Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROY) candidates. He was followed by Tre’Davious White, Malik Hooker, Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt.
Lattimore has made his case as a DROY favorite this year thanks to his consistently dominant play. He has had the look of a shutdown corner in every game he’s played thus far. Against the Lions in week 6, Lattimore recorded 5 tackles, 2 pass breakups and a pick-six. He earned the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award on NFL.com as a result.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) is high on Lattimore as well. They rank him as the fourth-highest graded cornerback in the league through the first 6 weeks.
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Alvin Kamara also earned a special mention in Jonathan Jones’ Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY) rankings. He was mentioned behind Kareem Hunt, Deshaun Watson, Leonard Fournette, Tarik Cohen, and Juju Smith-Schuster.
The OROY award will almost definitely be decided between Fournette, Watson and early favorite Kareem Hunt. But the inclusion of Kamara is telling of his ability. Especially considering his limited snap counts.
Against the Lions in week 6, PFF ranked Kamara as the fourth most effective running back in the league. On the season, he is averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He also has a Pepsi Rookie of the Week award of his own, earning the nod in week 4.
Next: Saints racked up awards for Week 6 win over Lions
Lattimore and Kamara are the two crowning jewels of an outstanding Saints draft class in 2017. In any other year, Ryan Ramczyk may have been a candidate for ROY as well.That’s unlikely this year, given the performances of both Deshaun Watson and Kareem Hunt.
By any standard, this Saints rookie class has yielded amazing returns early on. The level of excitement amongst Saints fans is the highest it’s been in years.
At the very least, the Saints finally have a solid foundation on which to build their future.