Published: Feb. 1, 2018 at 09:00 a.m.
Updated: Feb. 2, 2018 at 09:22 a.m.

2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year debate: Alvin Kamara nabs most votes


The night before Super Bowl LII, the NFL will salute its best players and plays from the 2017 season with "NFL Honors," a star-studded football and entertainment event hosted by Rob Riggle from the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Here's the broadcasting information for Saturday night's festivities:

-- 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network: Super Bowl Saturday Night, featuring all the red-carpet coverage.
-- 9 p.m. ET on NBC: 7th Annual NFL Honors

One of the awards that will be presented on Saturday: Offensive Rookie of the Year for the 2017 season. Who gets your vote?

Kareem Hunt was the main reason for Kansas City's 2017 success
You can make a case for New Orleans' Alvin Kamara, but he was one half of a dangerous backfield tandem (along with Mark Ingram). Kareem Hunt, on the other hand, was the most important player in the Chiefs' offensive success. When he was at his best, that team won. When he wasn't receiving enough touches, Kansas City often lost.

Oh, yeah: Hunt also led the league in rushing.
Alvin Kamara did Gale Sayers things -- end of discussion
I don't want to be dismissive of Kareem Hunt. He was excellent this year. But Alvin Kamara totally revamped the Saints' offense. And he was the first rookie since Gale Sayers to have at least five rushing touchdowns, five receiving TDs and a special teams score. Since Gale Freaking Sayers. Not to mention, he split backfield touches with Mark Ingram and was still a G.
If not for the injury, Deshaun Watson could've been MVP
If Deshaun Watson would've stayed healthy, he might've been my pick for MVP. He was that good. The Texans had an immediate shift on offense and showed a ton of promise in those games vs. New England and Seattle.
Kamara's versatility gives him the edge
The game looks too easy for Alvin Kamara. He was dynamic in the run game and Drew Brees' favorite target at times. This kid could be a slot starter on most teams.
Kamara took New Orleans to the next level
Alvin Kamara overtook Kareem Hunt in the second half of the season. Kamara made the Saints' offense nearly impossible to stop. Not to mention, he totaled more than 1,500 scrimmage yards, scoring 13 touchdowns in the process.
Hunt stuffed the stat sheet and took care of the football
Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rushing while averaging 4.9 yards per carry -- tied for third-best in the league among qualifying running backs. He also had just one fumble on 272 attempts. To put that in perspective, consider that MVP candidate Todd Gurley fumbled five times in 279 attempts. Hunt was a better receiver than most thought he would be (53 catches for 455 yards and three scores).

I also considered JuJu Smith-Schuster and Alvin Kamara here.
The Saints' dual-threat dynamo flexed his muscles late in the season
It was a close race back midway through the season, but Kamara ran away with this one down the stretch.
Hunt's presence allowed Alex Smith's game to skyrocket
Kareem Hunt is a highly productive running back and led the NFL in rushing with 1,327 yards. The Toledo product can do it all as an RB: run inside, run outside, catch the ball out of the backfield. He gave the Chiefs balance in the offense, which helped Alex Smith enjoy his best season as a quarterback.
Kamara made a future Hall of Famer absolutely expendable
This was a tough call for me between Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara, but I'm going to go with the latter. For the fantasy geeks among us, he was a waiver-wire hero. But even more than that, his presence on the roster made the Saints realize that future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson was expendable. That alone should be worth some sort of accolade.
Watson immediately improved the Texans' offense
Most people are going to take one of the running backs in this category, but I have to hand it to Deshaun Watson. He was phenomenal in his six starts (20 total TDs), and the Texans improved immensely when he was in the game. We truly saw his impact when he got hurt, too -- the team finished 1-9 in games he didn't start.
Kamara's consistent greatness puts him over the top
Kareem Hunt was a revelation to start the year, but Alvin Kamara's consistent greatness, eye-popping plays and statistical success IN A TIMESHARE make him the winner for me.
The Chiefs have a special talent in No. 27
I'm sticking with my midseason pick, Kareem Hunt. He took the league by storm early on and finished his rookie campaign with 1,327 rushing yards, 455 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns.

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