Will former Ohio State superstar defensive end Chase Young live up to his billing as the best player in this year’s draft right away in the nation’s capitol? Could do-it-all former Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons make every team that passed on him regret it in a big way after the super gifted star fell lower than expected in the 2020 NFL Draft? Last, but not least, could Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah shut down every opposing wide receiver he faces in his inaugural NFL campaign, much like did at Ohio State a year ago.? Let’s check the Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds.
Post Draft NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Predictions
While the start of the 2020 NFL regular season is still months away from getting underway, it’s never too early to start making plans for a successful betting season. With that thought in mind and the recent odds to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award on the board, let’s find out which first-year defensive players are looking good against their respective odds. First, let’s get started with a bit of history and trends.
A defensive lineman has won three of the last six Defensive ROY awards. Linebackers have this award won three times in the last seven years and eight of the last 15 years overall. A linebacker also took home this hardware five straight years from 2005-2009.
San Francisco has had three players win this award since 2007. The AFC and NFC have split this award evenly the last eight years. Only one cornerback has won this award since 2005 (Marcus Peters, 2015). Two defensive tackles have won this award since 2010 and only one defensive end has claimed this hardware since way back in 2002.
Chase Young: +400
The No. 2 overall pick in the draft is going to be an immediate starter – and impact player for Washington right off the bat. The former Ohio State standout has a rare mix of speed, power and tenacity that makes him look like a generational talent at defensive end.
Isaiah Simmons: +950
While some believe Chase Young was the best player in this year’s draft, many others will tell you that it is Isaiah Simmons that holds that distinction. Anyway, you can expect the eighth overall pick to out his thing down for the Arizona cardinals early and often this coming campaign as he sacks opposing quarterbacks, stuffs would-be runners and blankets both, tight ends and backs out of the backfield. Make no mistake about it, Simmons is my pick to win this award.
A.J. Epenesa: +1300
The 54th overall pick in the draft is going to an ideal situation as he joins a Buffalo Bills team that has a stupendous defense that finished the 2019 campaign ranked a stellar second in points allowed (16.2 ppg). The bad news is that he likely won’t start right away, but be part of a rotation in Buffalo’s already stout defensive line.
The former LSU linebacker went 20th overall to Baltimore and he’s another player that joins a great situation with a Baltimore ravens team that finished the 2019 season ranked an impressive third in points allowed (17.6 ppg). Unlike the aforementioned Epenesa, Queen is already listed as the starter at right inside linebacker. He’s going to make a bunch of plays for a Baltimore team that should be in the Super Bowl mix all season and that makes him a great choice to stun everyone and win this award.
Jeff Okudah: +2100
The former Ohio State cornerback and third overall pick by Detroit is seriously gifted and he’s definitely starting at right corner for the Lions right off the bat. Okudah will likely get his fair share of attempts at breaking up and intercepting passes, seeing as how the Lions finished dead last against the pass last season.
Kenneth Murray: +2100
The 23rd overall pick by the L.A. Chargers joins a great situation with the Bolts and even though the former Oklahoma star is currently listed as second on the Chargers depth chart at middle linebacker, I’m expecting that to change by the time the regular season opener rolls around as he overtakes starter Denzel Perryman.
Grant Delpit: +2300
The 44th pick in the draft joins a Cleveland Browns team that finished seventh against the pass but already has him listed as the starter at free safety. The former LSU star could be one of the biggest draft day steals too and he covers the run and pass equally well.
Xavier McKinney: +2300
The 36th overall pick in the draft will start right away at free safety for a New York Giants team that needs pass defense help in the worst way after finishing 28th against the pass a year ago. McKinney was the top rated safety in this year’s draft and was supposed to go off the board in the first round, so the G-Men may have a real steal.
Akeem Davis-Gaither: +2500
The former Appalachian State linebacker and 107th overall pick in the draft by Cincinnati might not be a name you know, but the Bengals have him penciled in as the backup at strong side linebacker and it could only be a matter of time before he replaces starter Jordan Evans. Still, Davis-Gaither is a long shot of epic proportions.
Derrick Brown: +2500
The seventh overall pick by Carolina joins a great situation with the Panthers as he’s already penciled in as the starting nose tackle. Brown will play early and often and he’s an amazing run stuffer. He’ll have a shot if he makes enough eye-popping plays like he did at Auburn.
Troy Dye: +2500
The former Oregon linebacker and 132nd overall pick by Minnesota might not see the field unless it’s on special teams. He’s currently listed as third on the Vikings depth chart at middle linebacker behind veterans Erick Kendricks and backup Cameron Smith.