As we move away from NFL draft mania and toward the start of the regular season (hopefully on time), hundreds of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed rookies hope to make a significant impact on their new team right out of the gate. A select few look to change the course of their team's season entirely. Those special few have a chance to be recognized at the end of the season as the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Who are those players? FanDuel Sportsbook released the following odds for Defensive Rookie of the Year:
FAVORITE (+350): Chase Young, Washington
An Ohio State Buckeye has won three of the last four DROY awards. Can Young make it four in five years and two in a row after Nick Bosa won in 2019?
Splash plays are what win this award, and Young is a sack monster that's going to play immediately. He joins a front seven in Washington that has a ton of first-round pedigree (Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Da'Ron Payne, and Ryan Kerrigan). He'll also be coached up by one of the best defensive minds in football, new Washington head coach Ron Rivera.
The current over/under on sacks for Young in 2020 is 8.5 with juice on the over. Nick Bosa won the award last season with nine sacks. Joey Bosa won the prize in 2016 with 10.5 sacks. Aaron Donald had nine sacks when he won DROY in 2014. If Young flirts with 9-10 sacks in 2020, as sportsbooks believe he will, he'll likely win this award.
CONTENDER (+850): Isaiah Simmons, Arizona Cardinals
It's a little surprising to see such a big odds gap between No. 1 and No. 2. However, that could work in bettors' favor. Simmons fell to the Cardinals at pick No. 8 and should quickly assimilate himself into an Arizona defense in need of a lot of help. They have some cornerstones in Patrick Peterson, Budda Baker, and Chandler Jones, but the drop off from there is precipitous. Simmons will have an opportunity to play all over the field, at linebacker and safety, in hopes he can make enough big plays to get the high-powered Cardinals offense back on the field. This is the favorite bet of fellow SI Gambling analyst Frankie Taddeo.
LONGSHOT (26/1): Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys
This is one that may be worth putting a few bucks on given the longshot odds. The Cowboys must fill the big void left by the departure of Byron Jones in free agency. While there are a handful of vets vying for that role, there's no one Diggs can't beat out. Diggs, a converted wide receiver, has tremendous ball skills and could prove to be a turnover machine for Dallas. The only way to take this award away from the rookie sack leader is to pile up picks. Diggs has the skill set to do it, is on a team that gets a ton of national attention, and could be a Day 1 starter. You can read more about how Diggs felt joining the Cowboys here.
The Play: Chase Young (+350) + small on Trevon Diggs (+2600)
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