Projecting the NFL Rookie of the Year awards isn't just about identifying the best players. A confluence of factors -- from raw talent, to the opportunity to start immediately, to being surrounded by the right cast of teammates -- is required for one rookie to rise above all others. Here is a look at six possibilities for the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
One could argue that no offensive skill player in the draft class is set up for success more so than Elliott. He has all sorts of talent around him, most importantly up front, where the Cowboys' offensive line will pave holes for him as consistently as any line in the NFL. He's an explosive rusher with a great feel for short-yardage and goal-line situations, and his receiving and blocking skills will keep him on the field for all three downs. Consider Elliott the preseason favorite.
Why Goff over Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz? Where to begin? Goff had significantly more experience in college and acquired it against a much tougher level of competition. He's also got more support. Goff will have last year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in the backfield behind him in Todd Gurley to take some pressure off, and he should have the better defense supporting him, as well. On a team without a star receiver, he'll need as much impact as possible from fellow rookies Pharoh Cooper and Tyler Higbee, but Goff has the best chance to start and succeed of any rookie quarterback. And while it might be true that quarterbacks generally don't deliver much as rookies, it's worth noting that a quarterback has taken the ROY award six times since 2004.
Of the draft's best wide receivers, Doctson's match with the Redskins provides the best combination of talent and opportunity. The way Doctson uses length and timing on fades and "jump balls" will make him a serious touchdown threat in the red zone. He'll have an up-and-comer in Kirk Cousins delivering the ball, and the fact that a tight end (Jordan Reed) led the Redskins in the three primary receiving categories last year (87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns) tells all you need to know about the club's need at receiver.
Henry is a sledgehammer of a running back whose college production last year (2,219 yards, 28 touchdowns) foretells an immediate impact. If DeMarco Murray can rebound from the worst per-carry average of his career (3.6 in 2015) and fend off Henry for a co-starter role, Henry's chances of winning the award dip significantly. Still, the Titans wouldn't have spent the No. 45 pick of the draft on Henry if they weren't prepared to make their rushing attack Henry's show, and he certainly showed the durability in the SEC to carry the load alone.
The former Ole Miss star might not have the vertical speed to be a deep threat, but he's effective enough with the ball in his hands to break tackles and make bigger plays out of shorter catches. The Vikings' receiving corps added nobody in free agency, and there is plenty of opportunity for Treadwell to step in and make an impact along with promising second-year pro Stefon Diggs. Treadwell's production will be tied to the development of QB Teddy Bridgewater, but as long as Bridgewater continues to improve, Treadwell could be squarely in the mix for ROY honors.
The former Utah star is a good fit in the Denver offense and enters a situation that could lend itself to plenty of carries. C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman aren't going to yield easily, and as a fourth-round pick, Booker will have to earn every rep. Still, for a Super Bowl title team, the Broncos' rushing attack ranked just 17th in the NFL last year. And with uncertainty at the quarterback position, a spark in the running game is imperative for the club to contend for a title defense.