NFL Press Release
The National Football League announced the five finalists for the 2018 Pepsi Rookie of the Year award. Fans can vote for one of five players on NFL.com/rookies through Monday, January 21 at 3:00 PM ET to determine the 2018 Pepsi Rookie of the Year.
The 2018 Pepsi Rookie of the Year award will be recognized in Atlanta during Super Bowl LIII festivities and online at NFL.com/rookies.
The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances through the 2018 NFL season. Each week, five nominees were chosen for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week and fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Those results were used to help determine the finalists. A closer look at the finalists:
• New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley
A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history. Barkley recorded 91 receptions in 2018, the most by a rookie running back in league annals.
• Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb
Chubb finished with 1,145 scrimmage yards, the third-most among rookie running backs and totaled 10 touchdowns during the 2018 season. Chubb set a franchise rookie record with 996 rush yards and totaled four games with at least 100 rushing yards this season, tied for the second-most by a rookie in 2018.
• Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard
Leonard led the NFL with 163 tackles, the most by a rookie since Luke Kuechly in 2012 (164 tackles). Leonard recorded seven games with at least 10 tackles, tied for the most in the league and was the only player in the NFL with 100 tackles and seven sacks in 2018.
• Denver Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay
Lindsay ranked second among rookies with 1,037 rushing yards and became the third undrafted rookie since 1970 with 1,000 rushing yards. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Lindsay is the first undrafted offensive rookie to the be selected to the annual All-Star game.
• Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield
Mayfield led all rookies with 3,725 pass yards and had 27 touchdown passes, the most by a rookie in league history. Mayfield threw at least one touchdown pass in all 13 of his career starts and became the third QB in the Super Bowl era with a touchdown pass in each of his first 10 career starts.
This is Pepsi’s 17th year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the 16th year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year award.