Saints' Alvin Kamara wins Offensive Rookie of the Year

The most electric and elusive talent in the New Orleans Saints' renowned 2017 draft class is taking home some hardware.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year at NFL Honors on Saturday. Kamara (28 votes) beat out Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt (21) and Texans QB Deshaun Watson (1).

Drafted in the third round out of Tennessee, Kamara was the fifth running back taken behind Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon. He was selected 19 spots ahead of Hunt. Kamara was the last of a fantastic foursome selected by New Orleans in 2017 (Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, Marcus Williams). He and Lattimore became the first teammates to sweep the Rookie of the Year honors since Lions first-years Mel Farr and Lem Barney did so in 1967.

Kamara entered the league as the third wheel in a crowded running back room, with veteran Mark Ingram and future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson garnering most of the preseason attention. But when Peterson, not Kamara, proved to be the odd man out and was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in midseason, Kamara took off.

Thrilling onlookers and terrorizing defenses with his slippery running style and breakaway speed, Kamara racked up 14 total touchdowns (8 rush, 5 rec, 1 return) in the regular season, and added two during New Orleans' postseason run. In doing so, Kamara joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) as the only other rookie in league history to have at least five rushing TDs, five receiving TDs and a kickoff-return TD.

Kamara's 6.1 yards per carry led all running backs with at least 120 attempts; the next closest was Patriots runner Dion Lewis (5.0). Kamara led all halfbacks in receiving yards (826) and trailed only Le'Veon Bell in receptions (81). He capped off the year with his first of what will be many Pro Bowl appearances and also won the fan-voted Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.

Kamara oozed confidence in his first season in professional football, and it showed on and off the field. After he was through leaping over defenders and slicing through their arm tackles, Kamara often made appearances on "21st & Prime" alongside his backfield buddy Ingram.

The rookie also embraced his new surroundings during a year of transition. As chronicled in Sports Illustrated, Kamara spoke of how much he relished New Orleans' "feel-good vibe" and how he enjoyed walking home from games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, one with the fans, on his way to the city's many fine eating establishments and equally renowned clubs.

"I'm enjoying the motherf-----g bountiful harvest," he said after one win. "We win, I'm turning up."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content