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Nick Bosa Nearing Even Odds to Win NFL DROY; Devin Bush Listed at +275

John Perrotto

by John Perrotto in NFL Football

Updated Apr 11, 2020 · 5:43 PM PDT

Nick Bosa during a press conference
Nick Bosa was the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year immediately after the 2019 draft, and he's only shorter after a big Week 7 performance versus Washington. Photo by Thomson200 [public domain].
  • Nick Bosa is a near even-money favorite to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award
  • Devin Bush has made an impact with the Steelers, creating six takeaways
  • Patriots edge rusher Chase Winovich could enter the conversation if he gets more snaps

Nick Bosa opened as the favorite in the NFL DROY odds back on April 29 after the San Francisco 49ers selected him with the second-overall pick in the NFL Draft out of Ohio State.

With the season nearing the halfway point, Bosa is almost the odds-on choice to win the coveted hardware. He continues to be closely followed by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush.

2019 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Nick Bosa (49ers) +125
Devin Bush (Steelers) +275
Brian Burns (Panthers) +400
Josh Allen (Jaguars) +1200
Darnell Savage Jr. (Packers) +1500

Odds as of Oct. 23.

Bosa Coming Off Big Performance

Nick Bosa provided one of the cooler moments of the NFL season last Sunday. Following his game-ending sack of Case Keenum, the standout defensive end took a slide across the rain-soaked playing surface at FedEx Field following his team’s 9-0 road win over the Washington Redskins.

Bosa had plenty of reason to celebrate. In addition to the 49ers improving their spotless record to 6-0 – leaving them and the New England Patriots as the lone unbeaten teams in the NFL – Bosa had another big game.

The takedown of Keenum gave Bosa a career-best seven tackles, four of which were solo. Furthermore, the four solos were all for losses.

Bosa now has four sacks among his 16 tackles (12 solos) along with a forced fumble and a recovered fumble. Pro Football Focus rates him as the 14th-best edge defender in the NFL.

Bosa is a key cog for a 49ers defense that is second in the league in both points allowed and total yards allowed.

Bush Becoming Turnover Machine

Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Devin Bush has been considered Bosa’s chief competitor for DROY by the oddsmaker since early July. The Steelers moved up 10 spots in the first round in a trade with the Denver Broncos to select Bush (Michigan) with the 10th-overall pick.

Bush had a coming-out party of sorts in the Steelers’ last game, a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6 on Sunday Night Football. In addition to returning a fumble for the first touchdown of his career, Bush had four solo tackles, three assists, one interception, and one pass defensed.


Overall, Bush has been in on 52 stops this season (including 32 solo tackles) to go along with two interceptions, a sack, and four fumble recoveries.

The graders at PFF, though, aren’t impressed with Bush’s work. He ranks just 46th among 83 linebackers who have played enough snaps to qualify for the rankings.


16 Tackles 52
4 Sacks 1
1 Takeaways 6
82.9 PFF Overall Grade 57.7

Burns Has Been Consistent Pass Rusher

Another first-round pick, Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Brian Burns is also making a push for DROY with 4.5 sacks through six games. He was selected 16th from Florida State. He is expected to return to action this week against Bosa and the 49ers despite having minor right wrist surgery last week when the Panthers had a bye.

Burns has been consistent as he has one sack in four different games and his half-sack in another. He has a total of 11 solo tackles, four assists, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

He is the no. 38 edge player among 111 qualified, according to PFF.

Allen, Savage Remain In Picture

PFF isn’t so hot on Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen as he stands no. 68 in their edge grades. However, Allen has come on strong after a slow start and has four of his five sacks in his last five games.

Picked seventh overall from Kentucky, Allen also has 14 solos and seven assists in seven games along with a forced fumble.

While most of the top rookies play in the front seven, Green Bay Packers strong safety Darnell Savage Jr. is living up to his first-round pedigree in the secondary. The 21st-overall pick from Maryland, Savage has 15 solos, three assists, an interception, a forced fumble, and three passes defensed.

Savage is 28th among the 87 safeties ranked by PFF.

Don’t Count Out Winovich

A dark-horse candidate for DROY is Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich, a third-round pick from Michigan. Though his snaps have been limited because of the Patriots’ edge depth, he has four sacks.

Should Winovich’s playing time increase and he continues to get to the quarterback, he could wedge his way into the conversation. At +5000, he looks like a good value play.

Bush Is The Best Bet

Bosa is having an outstanding season but Bush is coming on strong. Voters like gaudy statistics and Bush has already caused six takeaways in the first six games of his career. It also doesn’t hurt that the Steelers, even at 2-4, get more national TV exposure than the unbeaten Niners.

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