This is truly the season of speculation. Until training camp later this summer real NFL news will be sparse, despite the NFL's best efforts to be a year round entertainment factory.
Chase Goodbread of NFL.com recently posted an article that looked at the top 7 Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates. Jacksonville's own Leonard Fournette topped the list. Here's what Goodbread had to say:
The comparisons between Fournette's rookie year and Ezekiel Elliott's, particularly given that they were both chosen with the No. 4 pick, are inevitable. But the gap between the Jaguars' offensive line and the Cowboys' line Elliott starred behind is canyon-like. Nevertheless, Fournette will be fed plenty of footballs in Jacksonville, and if second-round pick Cam Robinson is an immediate success (probably at right tackle), Fournette will be better off for it. Bottom line, If he doesn't win OROY, it won't be for a lack of touches.
Goodbread is right, the comparisons between Fournette and Elliot are inevitable. He's also correct when saying the Cowboys' offensive line was far superior to the Jaguars current group, even if he did employ hyperbole to get his point across. And Cam Robinson starting at right tackle is a possibility, I suppose, but the Jaguars have publicly been very supportive of current starting right tackle Jermey Parnell. To me the most likely scenario for Cam Robinson is starting at left guard after where the Jaguars have a clear hole, after just losing out in a competition with Branden Albert for the starting left tackle job in training camp.
Back to Leonard Fournette - He should be the favorite for rookie of the year. He's a clone of Bo Jackson. He may not have the shiftiness of a Zeke Elliot, but he still has the big play potential. He has no lack of speed (he was clocked running faster in a game than any player in the NFL in 2016) and has power reminiscent of Earl Campbell. And like Goodbread wrote he will have no lack of opportunity for the Jaguars who will look to become a run first team.
Fournette, like every rookie, will face challenges in 2017 and he won't be without competition for the OROY award. Among others Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffery, Corey Davis, and Mike Williams will compete for the award.
Do you think Fournette has a shot at OROY? Let us know in the comments below.
Follow Jordan de Lugo on Twitter
THE GENJAG PODCAST