Steelers T.J. Watt Opens 3rd in 2020 Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Noah Strackbein

PITTSBURGH -- 2019 Defensive Player of the Year runner-up T.J. Watt is predicted to fall even lower in the award standings this upcoming season. The linebacker opens the 2020 NFL season with 11/1 odds to win the DPOY honor, according to 

Watt ties his brother J.J. with 11/1 odds. The Houston Texans defensive end missed eight games last season with a torn pectoral but finished with four sacks and two fumble recoveries.

The Watt brothers sit behind Los Angeles Ram and Pittsburgh native Aaron Donald (7/1) and San Francisco 49ers 2019 Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa (9/1). Donald won the award in consecutive seasons in 2017 and 2018. Bosa edged Steelers Devin Bush as Defensive Rookie of the Year winner last season. 

Watt finished second in DPOY honors in 2019 behind New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Watt tallied 14.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recovers and two interceptions compared to Gilmore's six interceptions and 20 pass deflections. 

The linebacker ranked first at his position in Pro Football Focus' rankings. The fourth-year edge rusher earned a 91.3 grade ahead of Calaias Campbell (90.3) and Bosa (89.8). 

Many Steelers pushed for Watt to take home the award last season, including running mate Bud Dupree and team captain Cameron Heyward who said Watt "better" win the award after Watt was awarded Defensive Player of the Month last November. 

With most of the defensive returning, Watt should be in the same system he was last season, leaving his chances high when football returns to action.