What will it take for Buffalo Bills rookie running back Zack Moss to win Offensive Rookie of the Year?
The Buffalo Bills have never had a running back win Offensive Rookie of the Year and only one player, Dennis Shaw in 1970, has won the award in franchise history. Could that change this coming season with third round draft pick Zack Moss?
The former University of Utah running back is a powerful running back that may not be the biggest but he is compact and doesn’t go down easily. When he was drafted he was expected to be the between the tackles, goal-line type back to compliment Devin Singletary, who is more of the elusive, shifty type runner.
However, during training camp Zack Moss has really impressed in a number of areas that should help expand his role and possibly even create a 50/50 split with Devin Singletary. He has shown that he is good pass catcher as evident in this video by Jon Scott. He was also complimented for his pass protection by Sean McDermott during a recent video call with the media.
Pass protection may not be a factor when evaluating the potential winner for Offensive Rookie of the Year but if he continues to improve here, the Buffalo Bills coaching staff would feel more confident keeping him on the field.
What has to happen for him to win Offensive Rookie of the Year?
There is certainly still a lot that would need to go right for Zack Moss to win Offensive Rookie of the Year but it isn’t necessarily out of the discussion. The running back position has recently dominated this award, winning it three out of the last five years with Saquon Barkley in 2018, Alvin Kamara in 2017 and Todd Gurley in 2015.
As it is with any rookie, or player for that matter, it is going to come down to opportunity to make an impact and get touches. The three running backs that have won the award recently all had over 200 touches with Kamara at 201, Gurley at 250 and Barkley at 352. They also all finished with over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and Kamara was the only one not to surpass 1,000 rushing yards.
In addition they all had double digit touchdowns as a rookie with Gurley finishing with 10, Kamara at 13 and Barkley once again leading the way with 15.
It isn’t unrealistic to think that Zack Moss could get close to, or surpass, that 200 touch total considering Frank Gore finished last year with 179 carries. It also is possible for Zack Moss to get close to double digit touchdowns considering he will be the primary back close to the goal line.
There will be plenty of competition for this award this year, especially considering the running backs in this draft class with players like Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins and De’Andre Swift. The good news is that all three running backs are going to be in a similar situation as Moss having to share a backfield with an established running back.
It may require a little luck but it isn’t unrealistic to think that Zack Moss could be in the discussion, or even win, Offensive Rookie of the Year this coming season.