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After months of scouting, interviews and combine measurements, NFL teams were finally able to draft their newest cornerstones this past week. Now, it’s all about getting them ready to excel in Year 1.
After taking a deep dive at William Hill Nevada’s odds for 2021-22 Offensive Rookie of the Year yesterday, let’s flip to the defensive side of the ball.
“This defensive class wasn’t nearly as hyped up as offense, the first defensive player was taken eighth,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “So this market won’t draw the same level of action as Offensive Rookie of the Year, especially since people already prefer betting on offense. This feels like the type of field where after 3-4 games, one of these 40/1 or 50/1 long shots will be super live.”
Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is currently the +600 favorite. Parsons opened at +500, and even with his odds slightly rising, he still remains atop the board. Another linebacker, Browns second-round pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, along with Colts defensive lineman Kwity Paye are tied for the second-lowest odds at +800.
Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II is the first defensive back listed at 10/1, joining Dolphins pass rusher Jaelan Phillips there. Titans cover man Caleb Farley is next at 12/1. Three players follow at 14/1: Panthers corner Jaycee Horn as well as Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari and Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins. Horn was the first defensive player selected in the 2021 NFL Draft after Carolina snagged him with the No. 8 pick.
“Edge rushers are more high profile, but if a corner steps up and plays, I think one would have a good shot at winning Defensive Rookie of the Year,” Bogdanovich said. “I think corner is the second-hardest position in football behind quarterback. If Horn or Surtain II steps up and has a really good year, they should win the award.”
Washington’s top pick, linebacker Jamin Davis, is at 16/1. The first safety listed is Trevon Moehrig-Woodard, who is at 20/1. Then two more first-rounders, Greg Newsome II and Gregory Rousseau, highlight the four players displayed at 25/1.
Four 2021 first-round picks have odds of 40/1 or higher to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, including Eric Stokes (40/1), Odafe Oweh (40/1) and Joe Tryon (40/1). The first-rounder with the longest odds on the board is Saints defensive lineman Payton Turner, who is listed at 100/1.
Check out William Hill’s odds for 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year below.