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Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw’s DROY Odds Moving in Opposite Directions – Are Either a Good Bet?

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Mar 9, 2021 · 4:18 PM PST

Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young
Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) smiles after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart)
  • With NFL training camps underway, two DTs have made big moves in the Defensive Rookie of the Year odds
  • Carolina’s Derrick Brown has seen his average odds drop from +2475 to +2050 while San Fran’s Javon Kinlaw has gone from +2200 to +2525
  • Does either offer value in a race that rarely goes to interior lineman? Read below for our bets bet

There hasn’t been a lot of movement this summer in the odds for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, which is understandable. In a strange offseason where padded practices are the closest thing we’ll get to game action until opening weekend, fans have lost the chance to overreact to preseason performances.

Rose-colored training camp reports from local beat writers are the only insight bettors have into how the incoming rookie class looks, so it’s unclear why a pair of first round defensive tackles saw the biggest shift in odds between June and now. The Panthers’ Derrick Brown has climbed into the top five on the oddsboard, while the 49ers Javon Kinlaw has tumbled out of the top 10.

2020 NFL DROY Odds

Player Odds at FanDuel
Chase Young, Edge +220
Isaiah Simmons, LB +550
Patrick Queen, LB +1200
AJ Epenesa, Edge +2000
Derrick Brown, DT +2100
Jeff Okudah, CB +2100
Kenneth Murray, LB +2100
Akeem Davis Gaither, LB +2500
Grant Delpit, S +2500
Xavier McKinney, S +2500
CJ Henderson, CB +2600
Javon Kinlaw, DT +2600

Odds as of Aug. 21st

Is either player worth a wager after the recent shift in odds? Let’s explore.

Down Goes Brown’s Odds

The first defensive tackle taken in the 2020 NFL Draft,ย Derrick Brown’s early tape in Carolina is showing the type of violent hands and quick first step that scouts touted this spring. That might be what has helped his average odds drop from +2475 to +2050 for DROY.

Brown is reportedly winning one-on-one matchups consistently, a good sign, although one that shouldn’t carry much weight considering the state of the Panthers interior offensive line. Still, playing alongside Kawann Short and Brian Burns means Brown shouldn’t be seeing any double teams early, so if he can really handle NFL guards, he’ll have a chance to make plays.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Brown’s play has been good, but he didn’t pop last week like rookie Jeremy Chinn. Most coaches will take solid but not splashy play out of their defensive tackle. Voters for DROY? Not so much.

The Kinlaw of Gravity

The lineman out of South Carolina was eliciting a lot of comments early in 49ers camp; most of which were something along the lines of “Damn! He’s real big!”

At 6’5″, 319 lbs, Kinlaw already has the size to succeed in NFL trenches. But he’s the first to admit he has a lot to learn about the pro game after getting schooled by Laken Tomlinson in early practices. It’s unclear if that’s the main reason his average DROY odds rose from +2200 to +2525.


His desire to learn is a great sign for his career outlook, but as for his chances at DROY, he’ll need to be able to make a noticeable impact from Day 1. That doesn’t just mean getting to the QB on this loaded defensive line either. Raw sack totals are no longer enough to win this honor: ask Bradley Chubb or Jared Allen.

Instead, Nick Bosa won last year because he was able to dominate in all facets of the game, stopping the run just as well as he got after QBs. But even if Kinlaw is able to adequately replace DeForest Buckner’s production along the d-line, it’s not a great indicator for his chances that Bosa won last year: no team has ever had back-to-back DROY winners in the history of the award.

Are DTs Worth a Wager?

Ultimately, it’s difficult to recommend backing either player here, regardless of how you feel about how these prospects might pan out. The only defensive tackles to win this award in the last two decades were generational talents, Aaron Donald and Ndamakong Suh: unless you’re willing to bet Brown and Kinlaw are on that level, they should be stay-aways. Rookie DTs can have a great, productive year โ€” like Buffalo’s Ed Oliver โ€” and not even sniff a vote for DROY.

Instead, guys who rack up tackles and turnovers are going to come out on top here. For this odds range, taking a Kenneth Murray or a Grant Delpit would be the wiser move.

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