Despite receiving heavy criticism for their selections during the 2023 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions are 2-1 on the season, and that is largely in part due to their rookies showing out early on. Tight end Sam LaPorta is breaking NFL records three games into the season, while Brian Branch is looking like the best player on the entire Lions defense at times. Though Jahmyr Gibbs has had his ups and downs so far, he’s still averaging an impressive 4.5 yards per carry and is only getting better the more he touches the ball. I guess you could say the kids are alright in Detroit.
Today’s Question of the Day is...
Which Lions rookie has the best chance at winning rookie of the year?
My answer: Brian Branch.
Currently, the best odds for any of the Lions’ rookies to win rookie of the year is still Jahmyr Gibbs, currently at +1500 on DraftKings Sportsbook. But I think Branch (+2000) might have a better shot because the competition doesn’t look as tough on the defensive side, and unless Gibbs’ usage ramps up, I don’t think he’s going to put up better volume stats than guys like Bijan Robinson or C.J. Stroud.
If Branch can continue to make plays like he has been, he has a decent shot at winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, and the only players currently with better odds ahead of him are Jalen Carter (current favorite), Will Anderson and Christian Gonzalez. While Carter has been a total monster on the interior, it’s tough for a defensive tackle to win DROY, and it hasn’t happened since Aaron Donald in 2014.
LaPorta’s chances seem even slimmer than Gibbs, but his odds at +5000 are enticing. Oddly enough, Bryce Young, who has missed a game already and has only thrown for 299 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions through the first three weeks still has better odds at +4000. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to throw down a couple bucks on LaPorta hoping that he can continue to break records.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.