Offensive Rookie of the Year: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback
Winning MVP wasn’t enough for the ‘Dangerous One.’ Baker Mayfield also takes home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the Browns as he was clearly the best of many young stars on this roster. He set the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a season — with only 13 starts — and also set the club record for most passing yards in a rookie season.
There were many who hated the pick as Mayfield was seen as “too-short” despite being just an inch shorter than several great players like Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, etc. Dorsey understood that there was nothing to those concerns and was proven right in making this somewhat controversial pick. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him win this same award in the NFL, but for now, he will take it home here.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Denzel Ward, Cornerback
The Browns second pick also raised some eyebrows. Cleveland had to choose between defensive end Bradley Chubb and cornerback Denzel Ward. There’s no easy pick there and it wasn’t a case of right and wrong. Instead, Dorsey looked at need as a tiebreaker. With Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah on the roster, they decided to go with the Ohio State corner and he ended up being a great pick for them.
Ward missed three games, but still finished with 53 tackles, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries — not to mention a blocked field goal in their upset over Baltimore. His great speed kept him close to whoever he was covering and his instincts helped the Browns create several turnovers. The future is bright for both these young stars who win these coveted awards.