- Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn has seen his average NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds shorten significantly from +10000 to +1500
- Is Vaughn truly a contender for the award, or is he merely getting the Tom Brady bump?
- Analysis of this rapidly-changing betting line and thoughts on whether he’s a worthwhile play are assessed in the story below
If Ke’Shawn Vaughn rockets from the backfield with the same flash and dash that his odds of winning the NFL OROY have shortened, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may really have a find on the their hands.
When the betting lines were first issued toward the end of March, Vaughn was a virtual afterthought in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds at +10000.
Since then, he’s launched like Elon Musk’s SpaceX spacecraft. Currently, Vaughn is listed at +1500 in this betting market.
2020 NFL OROY Odds
|Joe Burrow||Cincinnati Bengals||+225|
|Clyde Edwards-Helaire||Kansas City Chiefs||+350|
|Cam Akers||Los Angeles Rams||+900|
|Khalil Mack||Chicago Bears||+1200|
|Jonathan Taylor||Indianapolis Colts||+1000|
|Tua Tagovailoa||Miami Dolphins||+1000|
|CeeDee Lamb||Dallas Cowboys||+1500|
|Ke’Shawn Vaughn||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1500|
|Jerry Jeudy||Denver Broncos||1600|
|JK Dobbins||Baltimore Ravens||+2200|
Odds taken June 13th.
There’s a history of Tampa Bay running backs carting off this award. Warrick Dunn was NFL OROY in 1997. Cadillac Williams earned the honor in 2005.
Opportunity Knocking for Vaughn
The Bucs are loaded at wide receiver. Both Chris Godwin (1,333) and Mike Evans (1,157) went over 1,000 yards last season.
To this talented group, Tampa Bay added All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. Oh, and a six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Tom Brady to get the ball to them.
In the backfield, though, the Bucs aren’t nearly as deep when it comes to talent. Ronald Jones was well down the list of the NFL’s leading rushers last season. He gained 724 yards. Jones went over the 100-yard mark in just one 2019 game.
Clearly, there’s opportunity here for Vaughn to get touches. If he combines those touches with productivity, the lead back’s role is there for the taking.
Kamara Similarities Apparent
Vaughn is a versatile back, and those are the types that Brady liked to have lined up behind him the most in New England. Vaughn can run the ball, and he can catch passes out of the backfield.
At 5-foot-10 and 214 pounds, he’s got the physique to efficiently find the end zone from the red zone. He led the SEC last season with 4.4 yards per carry after contact.
In college, Ke’Shawn Vaughn was a better prospect than Ronald Jones in a few key areas:
– Yards Created per attempt (5.41 vs. 3.97)
– Receiving yards per route run (1.2 vs. 0.9)
– Pass protection execution% (85% vs. 55%)https://t.co/abxVhlLFn8
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) April 30, 2020
And at 23 years of age, he’s also got the emotional maturity to deal with the ups and downs of life as an NFL rookie.
Vaughn will remind Brady of James White. He certainly looks to be the type to fit into the mold of Alvin Kamara. The all-purpose runner for the New Orleans Saints was the NFL OROY in 2017.
An NFL OROY Value Bet
Vaughn figures to start the season in a running back by committee scenario with Jones and Dare Ogunbowale. If he takes carries away from Jones and targets away from Ogunbowale, suddenly Vaughn is a serious NFL OROY contender.
Obviously, bettors are seeing that possibility as a reality. They’re also taking note of how Vaughn traditionally is the type of back that Brady embraces, and that he’s a good fit in the new Tampa Bay offensive scheme.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn was RB8 in my final rankings. Thought the offense around him never allowed him to really take a step forward, but the flashes of agility, long speed and pass catching ability were there. Really liked this choice from Tampa. https://t.co/8HY91m69CF
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) April 25, 2020
There are still some sportsbooks offering Vaughn at odds of +2000. For sure, that’s not as exciting as getting him at +10000 would’ve been but it’s great value nonetheless.
Don’t bet the farm on Vaughn but at that price, it’s hard not to think that a reasonable wager might prove to be worth the risk.