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  • Who are the top contenders for the 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award?
  • Micah Parsons is back to being the favorite to win NFL DROY
  • See the NFL DROY odds for all contenders

Follow along as we track the odds to win the 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. The graphs below were created by taking the average odds from several of our most trusted sportsbooks.

Top NFL DROY Contenders

  • [October 11] Micah Parsons is back to being the NFL DROY favorite. Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa has seen his odds improve significantly, as he’s just outside of the top ten contenders.
  • [October 4] Some sportsbooks are listing Micah Parsons as the favorite to win NFL DROY after Week 4, while others list the Cowboys linebacker as the co-favorite alongside Patrick Surtain II. Parsons is seeing his NFL DROY odds improve after recording another sack in Week 4.
  • [September 27] Chargers corner Asante Samuel Jr has seen his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds improve from an average of +3400 to as short as +1200 at some sportsbooks after recording an interception in Week 2 and 3. Patrick Surtain II remains the favorite to win NFL DROY, however.
  • [September 21] After recording his first career interception in Week 2, Patrick Surtain II is now the favorite to win NFL DROY. Kwity Paye and Jaelan Phillips have seen their odds worsen as neither has recorded a sack through their first two games.
  • [September 14] Despite only playing 26% of the Broncos defensive snaps in Week 1, Patrick Surtain II is now listed as the co-favorite, alongside Micah Parsons, to win NFL DROY. Surtain will see plenty of extra snaps moving forward, however, after Denver placed Ronald Darby on the IR.

2021 NFL DROY Odds

Player Pos Team Odds
Micah Parsons ILB DAL +300
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ILB CLE +700
Patrick Surtain II CB DEN +800
Odafe Oweh Edge BAL +800
Asante Samuel Jr CB LAC +1000
Jamin Davis ILB WAS +1000
Gregory Rousseau Edge BUF +1200
Joe Tryon Edge TB +1600
Azeez Ojulari Edge NYG +2500
Osa Odighizuwa DT DAL +2500
Eric Stokes CB GB +3000
Jaelan Phillips Edge MIA +4000
Zaven Collins ILB ARI +4000
Kwity Paye Edge IND +4000
Greg Newsome II CB CLE +4000

*Odds as of October 18

And some more notes on past odds movement:

  • [September 8] Buccaneers rookie Joe Tryon has seen his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds improve from +3600 to +2350 heading into the season, vaulting him into the top ten contenders.
  • [August 16] One of the surprises of the first-round of the 2021 NFL Draft was the New Orleans Saints selecting Payton Turner with the 28th pick. The defensive end opened with NFL DROY odds of +10000 after being drafted – he did not have odds prior. However, Turner has been turning heads at Saints camp and has seen his odds improve to +2500. Fellow rookies Patrick Surtain and Jamin Davis continue to impress in the preseason and have both seen their odds improve. Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is seeing his odds worsen a little, but remains the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
  • [June 17] With mandatory training camps opening, Jamin Davis has seen his NFL DROY odds improve from an average of +1525 to +925, and now has the fourth-best average odds.
  • [May 3] Entering a very crowded Cowboys linebacking corps, who already added Micah Parsons in the first round, Jabril Cox saw his NFL DROY odds fall from +3450 to +4075. Joe Tryon, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick, saw his odds improve from +4375 to +3875.
  • [April 30] Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s NFL DROY odds fell significantly after not being drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, going from the second-best odds at +700 all the way to +2000 at some sportsbooks. Azeez Ojulari also suffered the same fate, not hearing his name called on the first night, resulting in his odds fading from +1300 to an average of +2200. Caleb Farley did come off the board in the first round, but still saw his odds fall from +1200 to +2100 after being taken by the Titans at 22nd-overall. Zaven Collins is the player who benefited most from his new team, seeing his odds improve from +1400 to +1100 after being selected by the Cardinals.
  • [April 23] Micah Parsons has opened as the favorite to win 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Penn State product is not expected to be the first defensive player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he is expected to make plays from Day 1 for the team who does draft him. The two players with the best odds are both inside linebackers who can play sideline to sideline. Patrick Surtain II is favored to be the first defensive player taken, and just cracks the top five in opening DROY odds.

Looking for the latest NFL odds? – Get current spreads, totals, and moneyline odds for all upcoming games this week here.

Past NFL DROY Winners

Year DROY Winner
2020 Chase Young
2019 Nick Bosa
2018 Darius Leonard
2017 Marshon Lattimore
2016 Joey Bosa

Top DROY Contenders at Each Position

  • Three of the last five DROY awards have gone to edge rushers
  • Chase Young (2020), Nick Bosa (2019), Joey Bosa (2016) and Von Miller (2011) are the only four edge players to win the award in the last 15 seasons, though
  • Darius Leonard (2018) is the only inside linebacker to win the award since 2013
  • The award has only gone to a safety twice – the last was in 1990 (Mark Carrier)

Past NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Winners by Position

Position DROY Awards in Last 15 Years
Edge Players 4
Inside Linebackers 6
Interior Defensive Linemen 2
Defensive Backs 3

Top DROY Contenders by Draft Round

  • 13 of the last 14 DROY awards went to first round picks (Darius Leonard won as a second round pick in 2018)
  • 12 of the last 14 winners were selected in the top 15 of their draft – Marcus Peters went 18th overall, Leonard was 36th
  • Chase Young (2020) and the Bosa brothers (Nick in 2019 and Joey in 2016) are the only three players in the last nine years to win DROY after being the first defensive player selected in the draft

Archived DROY Odds: 2020, 2019, 2018

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After working in TV, Matt turned his focus towards numbers, specifically odds. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's Editor-in-Chief, credited with creating our futures trackers, SBD's score predictor, SBD Sharp, and his own model for calculating NFL SOS, among other products.