Denver Broncos: Phillip Lindsay in Offensive Rookie of the Year Discussion
This year’s Denver Broncos draft class is looking like best in John Elway’s tenure and undrafted Phillip Lindsay is also making a huge impact.
Phillip Lindsay is more than just a feel-good local story. The Denver Broncos rookie sensation is now a national story.
The undrafted rookie is making a name for himself on the football field with tremendous play offensively and on special teams. In just a short time, he is proving to be the heartbeat of the offense.
Also, the versatility of his game is vastly unnoticed this rookie season. One of the best statistics in football is all-purpose yards. In college football running backs rack up the all-purpose yardage because they are the entire offense. Sometimes the skill set of the player does not translate to all-purpose production.
As it turns out, Lindsay is making the case that college tape can translate immediately to the NFL.
During his time with the Colorado Buffaloes, Lindsay started off as a special teams player and part-time running back. The carries piled up as the years went along. So did the production.
His junior and senior years proved what kind of all-around weapon he could be. Lindsay racked up 1,000-plus yards rushing in consecutive seasons, 493 receiving yards his junior year, 257 receiving his senior season, and back to back 1,700-plus scrimmage yards. Lindsay became a decorated player with the Buffaloes.
With the Broncos, Lindsay is pouring his heart into every carry and reception. Every touch is an opportunity to prove the mistake NFL executives made in not drafting Lindsay. The Denver Broncos drafted Royce Freeman and David Williams ahead of Lindsay. Remember that.
It was Lindsay that made the decision to play for the Broncos knowing full well the uphill battle he would face.
On the football field, Lindsay is proving to be as diverse a player as there is in the NFL this season. I mentioned the importance of all-purpose yards in college how some do not translate to the NFL. Lindsay is showing everything to the Broncos. He ranks in the top 10 of all-purpose yardage.
It might not seem like much but look at this company.
Todd Gurley, Tyreek Hill, Adam Theilen, Ezekiel Elliot, Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, Melvin Gordon, and Kareem Hunt all are ahead of Lindsay. Barkley is the more notable player to be recognized as Offensive Rookie of the Year on this list. However, think of the team he is with.
Sure, it is the New York Giants, but they stand at 1-6. The Denver Broncos have a 3-4 record. Not great, but much better than the Giants. The likeliest candidate is Baker Mayfield for the job he’s doing with the Cleveland Browns.
But there’s probably some arguments to be thrown around that Lindsay is as important to the Denver Broncos as Emmanuel Sanders. One, in particular, is the Baltimore Ravens game. The Broncos’ offense did not have their best game.
However, once Lindsay was ejected from the game on a questionable call, it sucked the life out of the offense. This tells me the team became deflated when Lindsay headed to the locker room.
Awards are given to players of the utmost importance to their teams. If that’s true, voters will be hard pressed to find a better candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year than Phillip Lindsay.