We still have to wait a couple days to find out who wins Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year at the NFL Honors show, but New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has already won a different trophy. Barkley announced on Thursday that he had been named the Pepsi Rookie of the Year.
Pepsi Rookie of the Year is chosen by an online public fan vote, with the contestants being those players who were named Pepsi Rookie of the Week during the season. Barkley was awarded that honor in Week 6, when he had 13 carries for 130 yards and a touchdown, plus nine catches for an additional 99 yards during a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The other winners were as follows:
- Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns (Week 1, Week 5,)
- Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts (Week 2, Week 8)
- Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (Week 3, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 14, Week 16, Week 17)
- Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (Week 4, Week 10)
- Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Week 6)
- Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (Week 11)
- Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos (Week 13)
- Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 15)
Interestingly, Baker Mayfield did not win the overall vote despite being named Pepsi Rookie of the Week a league-high seven times. Mayfield was one of three Browns to win the award, as he and teammates Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb dominated the award throughout the season by taking home 11 of 16 possible Rookie of the Week claims.
Barkley was one of five non-Browns to win Rookie of the Week, and he ultimately took home Rookie of the Year -- this version, at least -- as well for a season in which he ran for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns while also catching 91 passes for 721 additional yards and four more scores. Barkley ended up leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage and setting all kinds of rookie records, but the Giants still limped to 5-11 record and will pick at No. 6 in the 2019 NFL Draft.