- DE Aidan Hutchinson and S Kyle Hamilton are the co-favorites to win Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2022
- Hutchinson is the betting favorite to be the number one pick, but landing in Jacksonville would not help his DROY prospects
- Read below for DROY analysis, plus a longshot option to target in the futures market
The NFL Draft is still two weeks away, but Defensive Rookie of the Year odds have already been posted. We may not know where these top prospects will land, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of some mispriced options in the futures market.
2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds
|Derek Stingley Jr.||+1000|
|Jermaine Johnson II||+1200|
|Andrew Booth Jr.||+2000|
Odds as of April 12th at DraftKings
Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson, the betting favorite to be the first overall pick in the draft, opened up as a co-favorite in the DROY odds along with Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. Both are considered sure-fire prospects, but there are questions on whether or not they can put up the type of numbers needed to win this award.
Fade the Top of the Board
Let’s start with Hutchinson. The 6-6, 265 pounder earned a 94.5 defensive grade last year from Pro Football Focus, the highest since Ohio State’s Chase Young during the 2019 season. He earned college football’s top defensive end honors after recording 14 sacks and is one of the safest picks on the board.
Aidan Hutchinson: GAME CHANGER 〽️ pic.twitter.com/sZIU6T6hjr
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 8, 2022
However, there are questions about his ceiling at the next level. Hutchinson reportedly lacks a wide arsenal of pass rushing moves, something which is critical for success against NFL tackles. That will eventually come in time, but it could limit his sack production as a rookie. Also working against him is the fact that he’s likely going to wind up in Jacksonville.
The Jags lack another elite pass rushing option to complement Hutchinson along the defensive line, which could allow opposing teams to focus even more of their pass blocking attention on Hutchinson.
As for Hamilton, there’s no denying his freakish talents. He’s an elite mix of size and speed at 6-foot-3, and is extremely versatile. Last season, he played 63% of his snaps at safety, but also spent 26% of his snaps in the slot, and 9% at linebacker.
"He just might be the best player in the 2022 NFL draft."
Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton could be special at the next level 🙌 pic.twitter.com/G8cxSKTK4D
— ESPN (@espn) April 11, 2022
He has the ability to excel in both run and pass defense, but he’s never put up big counting stats. Hamilton didn’t record a sack at the collegiate level and recorded only two tackles for loss last season. He did pick off four passes as a freshman, but managed just four additional INT over his sophomore and junior seasons combined.
Considering the freak numbers that Micah Parsons put up last year en route to winning the award (13 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 12 stuffs), it makes sense to target a higher ceiling.
Pass on Stingley Jr
LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr, the man with the third shortest odds to win DROY, would be one of those high ceiling prospects to target if not for one glaring issue. He can’t seem to stay healthy.
Derek Stingley Jr. has what it take to be a NFL ⭐️
— PFF (@PFF) April 11, 2022
After a freshman season in which he recorded six interceptions and earned PFF’s highest coverage grade among corners, he’s been decimated by injuries. He played just 10 games over his final two collegiate seasons and is fresh off Lisfranc surgery.
He reportedly didn’t experience any setbacks in his pro day but teams are going to be wary about drafting him with a high pick, and we should also feel uneasy about only laying +1000 for him to win this award. If that price was twice as long it would be a different story.
Take a Chance on Dean
Which brings us to Georgia’s Naboke Dean. The linebacker plays with the same type of speed and toughness as Parsons showed for the Cowboys last year, he just measures a bit smaller.
I’m gonna die on the Nakobe Dean hill and I’m just fine with it! pic.twitter.com/eajMyzgQft
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) April 11, 2022
At 6-foot, 225 pounds Dean is undersized although you’d never know it by how he plays. Dean was PFF’s highest graded linebacker last season, playing on college football’s number one defense. He racked up 72 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles and a return touchdown en route to winning the nation’s top linebacker award. He looks like a steal at +1600.
Pick: Nakobe Dean +1600