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2019 NFL Rookie Props for Defensive Players: Bosa & Allen Co-Favored to Record First Sack, Darnell Savage Jr & Byron Murphy Co-Favored for First INT

Nick Bosa being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers at the 2019 NFL Draft
Nick Bosa was the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Photo from @BSO (Twitter).
  • Which top defensive prospects from the 2019 NFL Draft will make a quick impact?
  • Will Nick Bosa or Josh Allen come out of the gate flying, or will they have a slow start like Bradley Chubb?
  • And which secondary star will be the first to intercept a pass: Byron Murphy, Darnell Savage or someone else?

We’re embarking on the darkest stretch of the annual football calendar. With the 2019 NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, there’s nothing substantial happening until preseason action picks up in August.

From now until then, you’ll hear reports from rookie camps and offseason workouts of which players are looking good (spoiler alert: it’s all of them). But we’re a long way from knowing which new players will be ready to make an impact, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Hence these wide open props.

Which 2019 NFL Rookie Will Have the First Interception?

Which NFL Rookie Will Record the 1st Interception?  Odds
Darnell Savage Jr. (Packers) +225
Byron Murphy (Cardinals) +225
DeAndre Baker (Giants) +250
Greedy Williams (Browns) +250
Jonathan Abram (Raiders) +300
Rock Ya-Sin (Colts) +300
Sean Bunting (Buccaneers) +500

*Odds taken 05/01/19

For both this and the odds to get a first sack, the prop is based on minutes into the game so there’s no advantage or disadvantage to betting a player who plays on Thursday or Monday night.

However, based on history, these props won’t come down to just a few minutes here or there. Last year, Denzel Ward was the only rookie to snag an interception in the opening week of the season: getting two picks off of Ben Roethlisberger.

In 2017, Malik Hooker was the first big name secondary prospect to reel in an interception, notching one in Week 2. (TJ Watt and defensive tackle Nazair Jones were the only rookies with a season opening pick). In a season that saw corners Marshon Lattimore and Tre’Davious White ultimately battle for DROY, it just goes to show this prop isn’t about who will have the best career; it’s about who will have an opportunity to make a play early.

This prop isn’t about who will have the best career; it’s about who will have an opportunity to make a play early.

Considering the expanded role of the nickel, it doesn’t matter that a few of these prospects won’t be the shutdown number one from the get go, they’ll all see plenty of field. In fact, for a player like Byron Murphy joining a secondary with Patrick Peterson should lead to more quarterbacks throwing his way. And since situation is important for this prop, so to is their early opponents.

So Who Has a Good Matchup?

Darnell Savage makes sense as a co-favorite: not only did he get four interceptions in his final season at Maryland, he draws the rather careless Mitch Trubisky in Week 1. However, that’s not the most enticing matchup over the early season.

Looking at opponents, it’s hard not to get “Greedy” and back Andraez Williams at +250. He should have a chance at a few ducks over the season’s first two weeks: he’ll draw  Marcus Mariota or Ryan Tannehill in Week 1 (the duo combined for a 2.8 interception % last year) and Sam Darnold (a 3.6 INT %) in Week 2. At an early glance, that’s the value I like on this prop.

Pick: Greedy Williams (+250)

Which 2019 NFL Rookie Will Have the First Sack?

Which NFL Rookie Will Record the 1st Sack?  Odds
Josh Allen (Jaguars) +150
Nick Bosa (49ers) +150
Quinnen Williams (Jets) +200
Clelin Ferrell (Raiders) +200
Ed Oliver (Bills) +300
Rashan Gary (Packers) +400

Similar to before, this likely won’t be a nail-biter of a prop, but it also may not be settled after Week 1.

Last year, the rookies that registered a sack in the first week were not traditional pass rushers. It was Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds, and Derwin James for highly drafted guys along with a pair of fourth round picks. First rounders like Bradley Chubb didn’t break through until Week 3 (so much for slow starts).

In 2017, it was only TJ Watt who had success right out of the gate.

But while Nick Bosa is likely to be the class of this group, based on the early matchups, I like the winner of this prop to come out of the Jets-Bills Week 1 tilt.

A Battle of Athletic Freaks and Poor Blocking

For two franchises that are constantly the butt of jokes, no one was laughing at the first-round picks for both the Jets and Bills. By eschewing needs (which is something you can do when you suck everywhere) Buffalo and New York wound up with two of the most disruptive and athletic players in the draft.

Both teams might also still have pretty poor blocking. And although Buffalo could have an entirely new starting five along the offensive line next year, with both teams playing young dumb quarterbacks that hold the ball for too long, this could be a very nice welcome to the NFL for Ed Oliver and Quinnen Williams.

Pick: Quinnen Williams (+200) and Ed Oliver (+300) 

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