Chances are the 2011 NFL offensive rookie of the year will have one or another local connection. Bodog.com has released odds for this season's NFL Draft crop, with Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton heading the list at 5/1. Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones is very close behind at 11/2, with Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green completing the top three at 13/2.
Not to be a homer, as I'm on the fence at best about the trade that landed Jones, but I think he and New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram have the best shots at the award. Five of the last six years have seen the award go to a top-10 pick, but usually that's meant awarding a player who helped turn around a bad team. What happens when a good team scores a top prospect?
Both Jones and Ingram look to be the final pieces to otherwise complete offenses, according to some. Jones could certainly eclipse Michael Jenkins' 777-yard career high as Atlanta's No. 2 WR, while Ingram is an instant starter and potential 1,000-yard back.
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