Now that’s a bummer. The Associated Press announced its finalists for the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award on Wednesday, but their list does not include New Orleans Saints standout Chris Olave. Olave led the Saints with 72 receptions for 1,042 yards in his first year as a pro. So who is up for consideration?
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy
Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III
New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson
Wilson finished the season with 83 catches for 1,103 receiving yards, just ahead of his old Ohio State Buckeyes teammate Olave (both players caught 4 touchdown passes). But Olave averaged more yards per reception (14.5 against Wilson’s 13.3) and yards per game (69.5 versus Wilson’s 64.9). It’s a bit of a snub.
Walker’s inclusion is fine. He logged 228 carries to gain 1,050 yards on the ground and scored 9 touchdown runs while catching 27 passes for another 165 receiving yards. The more glaring finalist is Purdy. This is a regular season award, and Purdy only had six real games’ worth of tape while averaging just 152.7 yards per game. The 49ers have made it to the NFC title game under his management, but they haven’t been winning because of him, and that postseason success shouldn’t factor into this award anyway.
Oh well. Maybe this can help motivate Olave into stepping up even further in 2023. The winner will be announced during the annual NFL Honors awards ceremony held before the Super Bowl.