Mid-Season Report: Offensive Rookie of the Year Candidates

With Week 9 over and done with, the NFL is officially halfway through the 2022 regular season. That means it's time to check in on the progress of various teams and players. Here are three young stars whose sensational debuts have them in contention for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Running Back Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans

The Houston Texans haven't had many reasons for excitement in their 1-6-1 start to the regular season, but the stellar play of running back Dameon Pierce should give them some hope for the future. The 107th overall pick has rushed for 678 yards at an impressive 4.6 yards per attempt in his eight appearances. At his current pace, he'll end the season with 1442 rushing yards, the most by a rookie since Ezekiel Elliot in 2016.

Running Back Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III hasn't quite put up the volume that Pierce has, but he has the benefit of playing efficient ball for a much more high-profile team. Walker has rushed for 570 yards at an excellent 5.1 yards per attempt, and his seven total touchdowns dwarf Pierce's four. The Seahawks also appear poised for a playoff run at 6-3, and they rank fourth in points per game. The extra attention bestowed upon his team will serve Walker well.

Wide Receiver Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave has been comfortably more valuable than the running backs on this list, but the nature of his position will likely make it difficult for him to match their production. Still, Olave leads all rookies in receiving with his eye-popping 616 yards in eight appearances, and he's doing it at a solid 8.6 yards per target. If the 3-6 Saints can keep their season from spiralling out of control, he should undoubtedly be in the conversation for OROY.

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