Because the New England Patriots lost several key veterans this offseason - specifically on the defensive side of the ball - they will ask some of their rookies from the 2020 draft class to take on a large workload this upcoming season. But how does that help New England's rookies in their pursuit for Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors? Not very much.
BetOnline released their odds for who will be named the Defensive Rookie of the Year for the 2020 season. The list included 56 names, and had three Patriots rookies on it.
Here are New England's rookies that are named in the odds, along with the odds of them becoming DROY:
S Kyle Dugger: +3300
LB Josh Uche: +3300
OLB: Anfernee Jennings: +5000
To put those players' odds into perspective, Dugger and Uche are in a nine-way tie at +3300, and are listed 33rd and 32nd in the odds, respectively. Jennings is in an eight-way tie at +5000, and is listed at 40th in the odds.
Because Dugger, Uche and Jennings were drafted on Day 2 of the draft, Vegas automatically docks those players because of where they were drafted. Dugger is coming out of a Div. 2 school, so despite being the 15th defensive player selected in the draft, he is much lower in the odds than 15th. Uche was the 27th defensive player selected in the draft, so the odds have him performing better than his peers coming out of this year's draft class. Jennings was the 43rd defensive player selected in the draft, so the same goes for the Alabama product.
Dugger is expected to play a limited role on defense in 2020, which will hurt his chances of earning DROY honors. Patrick Chung - who is the man Dugger is expected to eventually replace - still has a grasp on the starting job, which will require Dugger to play more of a situational role next season on defense. That's why personally I think Uche and Jennings have better chances than Dugger does of winning DROY honors.
With Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins departing in free agency, Uche and Jennings will seemingly fill the voids left by those two players. Because of that, they will have larger workloads in their rookie seasons compared to their rookie peers, which will lead to more production, and seemingly better odds to win DROY. Uche's overall athleticism and ability to rush the passer and play off the ball will give him a chance to stuff the stat sheet, which should give him the best odds to win DROY amongst his rookie peers in New England.