Now that the NFL Draft has come to an end, football fans are now turning their attention toward the start of the 2021 season. One of the exciting parts about an upcoming season is making predictions on who’ll win awards, from the Super Bowl to individual ones, including who’ll win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Last year’s award was won by Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young, you recorded 44 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown. Now, the defensive players from this year’s NFL Draft class will be looking to follow in his steps.
BetOnline has already released their early odds on who’ll be the 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. At +400, they’re favoring Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who was drafted 12th overall.
While Parsons opted out of the 2020 college football season, his statistics in previous years were enough for the Cowboys to take him 12th overall at the draft. The Penn State product produced registered 191 combined tackles, 18 sacks and 6 forced fumbles in 26 games during his collegiate career. He’s also a former first-team All-Big Ten player and the 2019 Butkus–Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year. With recently Sean Lee retiring, Parsons will have a lot of responsibility in his first NFL season.
2021 NFL Odds: Defensive Rookie of the Year
Odds via BetOnline as of Monday, May 3
- Micah Parsons (+400)
- Jaelan Phillips (+750)
- Jamin Davis (+750)
- Kwity Paye (+900)
- Jaycee Horn (+1000)
- Patrick Surtain II (+1100)
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (+1200)
- Zaven Collins (+1200)
Full odds list available at BetOnline.ag.
Could Phillips or Davis Win the Award?
While Parsons may be the favorite to be the league’s top rookie this season, he’s not the only one who has a chance. Miami Dolphins OLB Jaelan Phillips and Washington Football Team LB Jamin Davis both have +750 odds to win the award.
Phillips was taken 18th overall by the Dolphins after spending one sole season at Miami. He had played for UCLA in previous seasons, but he really stepped up his game with the Hurricanes. The 2020 college football season saw Phillips record 45 total tackles (of which 15.5 were for a loss), 8 tackles, 3 passes defended and an interception. He even was named both second-team All-ACC and All-American last season, so the Dolphins hope he can translate that to the NFL.
On the other hand, Davis has the same odds as Phillips to win. Not to be outdone, he had 102 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and three interceptions, including one that was returned for a Pick-6. If he becomes the 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year, the WFT would be the first team to win the award in back-to-back seasons in NFL history.
NFL Odds: Paye Looking to Leapfrog Competition
The Indianapolis Colts filled a hole in their defense when they selected Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye (+900) at No. 21. Most fans and experts alike were moved by Paye and his mother’s story about all the sacrifices she had to make getting him to where he is. His draft night was capped off when he told his mom that she was retired now that he made the NFL.
Now, Paye will look to continue inspiring others as a member of the Colts. One of the first ways he can do that is by winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Fortunately for him, he’ll have the chance to play a lot of downs as the team’s former defensive end, Justin Houston, remains a free agent.
After 28 games across four seasons for Michigan, Paye finished with 97 total tackles, 11.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He was also a second-team All-Big Ten member in each of the last two seasons.