Could the Auburn running back be the first Lions offensive player to win the Award since Barry Sanders?
The Detroit Lions took the sixth running back and the 14th skill offensive skill position player off the board in the 2018 NFL Draft when they selected Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson in the second round. So if Johnson were to win Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, he would have beaten out over a dozen of potential candidates that were chosen before him.
But that’s exactly what Kay Adams of “Good Morning Football” is suggesting could happen. During a segment on Thursday’s show, Adams chose Johnson as her dark-horse candidate for not just Offensive Rookie of the Year, but overall Rookie of the Year.
Who is @heykayadams' dark horse Rookie of the Year candidate?— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 4, 2018
"I see a lot of comparisons to Le'Veon Bell?
: @gmfb pic.twitter.com/IoxDmYSZPD
“With a team that was dead-last in rushing yards per game last season—and with Reggie Bush being the last guy to have a 100-yard game, I think [Kerryon] does that feat,” Adams said.
It’s been a while since the Lions have had anyone earn such accolades. There is no official NFL Rookie of the Year award, but former Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2010. It should come as no surprise that the last time the Lions won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award was 1989 with Barry Sanders.
But Adams thinks Johnson has all of the tools to make a run at the award this year. “He was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Super fast, breaks tackles, super patient runner,” Adam said.
If Johnson were to actually win the award, it would be a huge upset. As of May 1, the Lions running back wasn’t even listed among the 12 players with the highest Vegas odds to win the award, according to OddsShark.com. Even a running back taken after him, Derrius Guice, has better odds. But at least Johnson has one believer in Kay Adams.