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In 2015, Rams running back Todd Gurley was named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. Gurley received 27 of 50 votes, edging out Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (17). Amari Cooper (Oakland) had 4 votes, while Tyler Lockett (Seattle) and David Johnson (Arizona) each received 1 vote.

From 1967 to 2006, nine of the 40 Offensive Rookie of the Years wound up leading their draft class in AV.1 And all nine of those players were running backs: Franco Harris, Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, Edgerrin James, and Clinton Portis.

The table below shows every AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, along with the career leader in AV from that draft. Here’s how to read it, using 2000 as an example. 2005 as an example. That year, Cadillac Williams was the AP OROY, and had 8 points of AV as a rookie. He finished his career with 26 points of AV, while the career leader in offensive AV from the 2005 Draft is Aaron Rodgers, who has 112 points of career AV.

YearAP OROYRookie AVCareer AVCareer AV LeaderCareer AV
2015Todd Gurley88
2014Odell Beckham1123Same23
2013Eddie Lacy1032Same32
2012Robert Griffin1832Russell Wilson65
2011Cam Newton1976Same76
2010Sam Bradford933Antonio Brown60
2009Percy Harvin1143Matthew Stafford64
2008Matt Ryan1496Same96
2007Adrian Peterson1188Same88
2006Vince Young933Jahri Evans103
2005Cadillac Williams826Aaron Rodgers112
2004Ben Roethlisberger11108Philip Rivers121
2003Anquan Boldin1084Andre Johnson95
2002Clinton Portis1571Same71
2001Anthony Thomas1026Drew Brees147
2000Mike Anderson1336Tom Brady160
1999Edgerrin James21113Same113
1998Randy Moss17123Peyton Manning177
1997Warrick Dunn1595Orlando Pace100
1996Eddie George1276Marvin Harrison124
1995Curtis Martin10101Same101
1994Marshall Faulk16133Same133
1993Jerome Bettis1279Will Shields114
1992Carl Pickens555Jimmy Smith94
1991Leonard Russell525Brett Favre155
1990Emmitt Smith8129Same129
1989Barry Sanders13120Same120
1988John Stephens822Randall McDaniel118
1987Troy Stradford1022Rich Gannon98
1986Rueben Mayes1128Jim Everett87
1985Eddie Brown1158Jerry Rice159
1984Louis Lipps1055Boomer Esiason105
1983Eric Dickerson1590Dan Marino144
1982Marcus Allen18103Same103
1981George Rogers1145James Brooks84
1980Billy Sims1557Anthony Munoz132
1979Ottis Anderson1380Joe Montana123
1978Earl Campbell1367James Lofton100
1977Tony Dorsett16107Same107
1976Sammy White1151Steve Largent102
1975Mike Thomas1247Walter Payton127
1974Don Woods1334Mike Webster116
1973Chuck Foreman1381Dan Fouts122
1972Franco Harris13101Same101
1971John Brockington1353Ken Anderson121
1970Dennis Shaw819Terry Bradshaw105
1969Calvin Hill1172O.J. Simpson98
1968Earl McCullouch629Ron Yary96
1967Mel Farr1041Gene Upshaw109

What sticks out to you?

  1. Since no undrafted player has ever won Offensive or Defensive Rookie of the Year, I have limited this analysis to only drafted players for administrative convenience. []
  • Josh Sanford

    By my count (without looking up some guys from the early 70s), 32 RBs have won the award. 11 of those held on to the top spot. We (used to) love our RBs! But what caught my eye were the three RBs who didn’t burst onto the scene but nevertheless had killer careers.

  • No footnote on the ridiculousness of the Carl Pickens ORoY award?

    • Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous. Then again, the pool was awfully thin that year. He won by two votes, 22-20 over Dunbar.

    • Richie

      Good call. I was going to challenge your comment. I remembered Pickens as a pretty good player for a couple years. Which is true.

      However, I did not realize that he didn’t do much as a rookie. 326 receiving yards and 1 TD? He did tack on 229 yards as a punt returner, and had a 95-yard punt return TD. Is that TD what got him the award? Do punt return stats count towards Off ROY? Pickens’ season-high was 47 receiving yards.

      What the heck was going on? True, there wasn’t much competition, but it looks like Vaughn Dunbar or Amp Lee would have been better choices.

    • pwm
  • Tom

    What sticks out to me is 1998 – combined AV of 300 for Payton Manning and Randy Moss for their careers. Wow…

  • Roger Kirk

    What sticks out. 1) No O-lineman is going to win ROY, so perhaps it’s unfair to include them in the comparison. 2) QBs take longer to develop than RBs, or at least they used to, so it’s unsurprising that several of them later surpassed the RB who won ROY. 3) While Terry Bradshaw was even worse than Dennis Shaw in 1970, Duane Thomas not winning ROY that year suggests he was alienating sportswriters even then.

    • sacramento gold miners

      Duane Thomas was a gifted back, and may have a HOF caliber career. But he also alienated teammates, coaches, and there were also rumors of a drug problem. Cowboys had no choice but to jettison Thomas, who never regained his form of the early 70s. By the time he got his head straight, a comeback failed in 1977 or 1978.

      • Roger Kirk

        Just to elaborate, in his rookie year 1970 Thomas rushed for 803 yards at a league-leading 5.3 yards per carry but the ROY award went to Dennis Shaw, a QB with 10 TDs and 20 interceptions, so there may have been a few alienated voters. The following year, at least according to Wikipedia, even Roger Staubach believed Thomas, not Staubach, would have gotten Super Bowl MVP if not for his relations with the media.

  • Chris Driedger

    Sam Bradford and Vince Young have the same rookie AV and career AV.