Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara and the NFL’s Rookie of the Year race

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Kareem Hunt
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Kareem Hunt /
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Leonard Fournette

Leonard Fournette’s incredible pro potential has been a water cooler subject for so long that it feels like he must be near the end of his rookie contract, yet that’s just how long we’ve been waiting to see him bring his bruising style to the pro level. The Jacksonville Jaguars decided to take pressure off of Blake Bortles by grabbing Fournette at No. 4 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, and there’s certainly no buyer’s remorse at this point. Fournette has been as good as advertised.

On the year, Fournette has 923 rushing yards on 231 carries, which makes him a lock to cross the 1,000 yard mark as a rookie assuming he remains healthy. He’s also found the end zone 8 times overall in 2017. In key games, Fournette has shown that he can dominate an opponent, such as his 181 yard performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which helped to give the Jags a very surprising 30-9 victory over one of the AFC’s best teams.

More than anything else, the balance he provides the offense and the rest he allows the defense to get has helped the Jaguars turn in such an impressive season. They’re already a lock for the playoffs at 9-4 and have a one-game lead over the Tennessee Titans for the AFC South crown. Fournette has turned in a heckuva rookie year and the Jaguars should be a tough out for anyone at this point.

Chances of winning OROY: 5%