- Bradley Chubb has recorded 6.5 sacks in his last four games
- But his odds to win 2018 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year are still rather long
- Find the best value bet for the DROY award
That noise you heard is Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb making his case for Defensive Rookie of the Year – it’s the breath quarterbacks have been exhaling as he’s been taking them down at an increasingly effective rate as we reach the halfway point in the season.
But it’s apparently not enough noise, as he still find himself well behind the top three contenders for the award. (See the Top 4 tab in the graph below.)
Sure, he moved from average odds of +1400 to +900. But the guy has racked up 6.5 sacks in the last four weeks, and is now tied for sixth in the NFL with 8 on the season.
Is the minimal movement in his Defensive Rookie of the Year odds warranted?
2018 NFL DROY Odds
|Derwin James||LAC||S||17th Overall||+130|
|Darius Leonard||IND||ILB||36th Overall||+175|
|Denzel Ward||CLE||CB||4th Overall||+350|
|Bradley Chubb||DEN||EDGE||5th Overall||+900|
|Jaire Alexander||GB||CB||18th Overall||+2000|
*Follow the link in the table to see all available options
Is taking a flier on Chubb now worth the wager? Let’s delve into the defensive side of things, starting with a case for the standout Bronco.
Chubb Making an Impact on Defense
Questions about his ability early in the season should have been reserved after just five weeks of play. At that point, Chubb had just 1.5 sacks and had been held without a sack in three of the five games.
Now? He’s the top-five pick we expected. He showcased this with a destructive three-sack performance against the Rams, the league’s most high-octane offensive unit.
Per @pfref, Bradley Chubb is just the sixth rookie with 8 or more sacks in his team’s first 9 games of his rookie season — and the first since Von Miller in 2011.
Julius Peppers, CAR, 2002
Hugh Douglas, NYJ, 1995
Santana Dotson, TB, 1992
Mike Croel, DEN, 1991
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 4, 2018
But with seven games to go on the season, he’ll have to push his number to somewhere near 15 or 16 sacks to be in the conversation, because the Broncos won’t be in any other discussion other than draft position.
And that’s probably what his main competitors (minus Denzel Ward – who is in the same position as Chubb with less fanfare) are holding over him.
James Playing a Key Factor on Surging Chargers
Quantifying impact is such a difficult task – particularly when discussing players at different positions with different responsibilities. But make no mistake: Chargers safety Derwin James is the real deal.
Derwin James has been PFF’s fifth-highest graded safety this season, and he’s done it while lining up all over the field. pic.twitter.com/pIShxTmEMI
— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) November 2, 2018
The Chargers have used James in many different ways, as seen by his 3.5 sacks on the year, and his six passes defensed and 37 solo tackles.
I’m not sure what’s more impressive by Derwin James here: the hit on 6-5, 254-pound Jared Cook, or the relentlessness after the hit to finish. pic.twitter.com/IeNIPsbONy
— Chris Hayre (@chrishayre) October 8, 2018
While Chubb has a three sack game against the Rams, James has been more solid and consistently great, and his biggest impact may be in the win column.
It’s safe to say he’s a key to the Bolts shedding that choker label and closing out games. At 6-2, they control their playoff destiny.
Leonard in Position to Lead Colts
Speaking of closing out games, the Colts have the makings of the 3-5 team with a legit run to the playoffs if they get it together.
Leonard is going to be a big part of that, and he has been already.
DARIUS LEONARD IS NOT HUMAN.
1 FORCED FUMBLE
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 16, 2018
The guy is a volume producer, as he leads the league in tackles with 88, racking up four sacks and throwing in three forced fumbles along the way.
He has been a boon for the Colts, who now have an anchor to what has been a pretty disappointing defensive unit in the Andrew Luck era.
The system is rigged for bigger named guys if Derwin James wins DROY.. he only has 55 tackles and 1 interception compared to Darius 88 tackles 4 sacks 3 forced fumbles #Colts
— Offseason 🥺 (@ColtsFan3132) November 8, 2018
A playoff appearance would seriously give Leonard RDOY cred.
One thing is for sure, as well as Leonard and James have played, nothing is certain yet in this chase. Which is why Chubb is a must bet at +900.
Leonard’s game-in, game-out statistical performance has him in position to take the crown, and he would be my favorite, so James will need some more game-defining plays on his resume to hold him off.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.