2022 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Award Odds, Picks, and Winners

Each year, the NFL recognizes the best rookie defender with the Defensive Rookie Of The Year award.

Winning the award is a huge accomplishment and more times than not leads to a very good career.

Several rookies have put the league on notice in their first year. Last year, Micah Parsons made a splash in Dallas by emerging as one of the league’s top linebackers.

However, that’s not always the case.

For the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year contenders, their first year is arguably their most important, as teams will evaluate whether they have a star or quality starter at the position.

Below, we will give the top 10 contenders for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and predict which defensive player will win the award.

The Best Sportsbooks for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Odds

While Parsons won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season, two of the last three winners have been defensive ends.

According to the top online sportsbooks, pass rushers are expected to dominate the NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year award once again in 2022.

In fact, four of the top five NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year contenders are pass rushers.

No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson is the odds-on favorite to win the award after landing in Detroit with the Lions.

Kayvon Thibodeaux (+900), Kyle Hamilton (+1000), Travon Walker (+1000), and George Karlaftis (+1200) round out the top five favorites for the award at the top offshore betting sites.

For a breakdown of the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award odds, check out the list below.

NFL Rookies NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds Play
Aidan Hutchinson +400 BetOnline logo
Kayvon Thibodeaux +900 BetOnline logo
Trayvon Walker +1000 BetOnline logo
Kyle Hamilton +1000 BetOnline logo
George Karlaftis +1000 BetOnline logo
Ahmad Gardner +1400 BetOnline logo
Jermaine Johnson II +1400 BetOnline logo
Jordan Davis +1400 BetOnline logo
Quay Walker +1600 BetOnline logo
Devin Lloyd +1800 BetOnline logo
Derek Stingley Jr. +2000 BetOnline logo
Nakobe Dean +2000 BetOnline logo
Drake Jackson +2000 BetOnline logo
Trent McDuffie +2500 BetOnline logo
Kair Elam +2500 BetOnline logo
Sam Williams +2500 BetOnline logo
Andrew Booth Jr +2800 BetOnline logo
Devonte Wyatt +4000 BetOnline logo
Lewis Cine +4000 BetOnline logo
Daxton Hill +5000 BetOnline logo
Brian Asamoah +5000 BetOnline logo
Arnold Ebiketie +5000 BetOnline logo
Roger McCreary +5000 BetOnline logo
Jaquan Brisker +5000 BetOnline logo
Boye Mafe +5500 BetOnline logo
Malcolm Rodriguez +6000 BetOnline logo
Christian Harris +6600 BetOnline logo
Kyler Gordon +6600 BetOnline logo
Leo Chenal +6600 BetOnline logo
Jalen Pierre +6600 BetOnline logo

Top 10 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Candidates

Rookies have come in and made an immediate impact on defense from Week 1.

Last year, Micah Parsons set the league on fire, establishing himself as one of the league’s top defenders with the Dallas Cowboys.

Recent Defensive Rookie of the Year winners Chase Young, Nick Bosa, and Shaquille Leonard have also turned into some of the best defensive players in the NFL.

In 2022, the NFL’s rookie class has also some players that will be long-time starters and even stars in the league.

Read on for the list of top 10 contenders for the NFL DROY award.

Predicting Top 10 Defensive Rookie Of The Year Candidates

Now, we will get into the top 10 candidates to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Scroll down to learn more about the defensive players that made the list of NFL DROY contenders.

10. Derek Stingley Jr, Houston Texans (+2000)

Stingley will step in and be a Week 1 starter for the Texans.

He missed most of the 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury but he should be ready for Week 1.

Stingley had a reputation as a great coverage corner and his presence is needed Houston but it’s hard to know how he will perform after suffering a significant injury.

Injuries will remain a concern for Stingley but if he can stay healthy, he will have a bright future in the NFL as a shutdown coverage cornerback.

Houston’s defense is weak, which hurts Stingley’s chance of winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, but given his natural talent, he is still a top 10 contender.

9. George Karlaftis, Kansas City Chiefs (+1000)

George Karlaftis was the 30th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Despite being selected near the bottom of the first round, BetOnline gives him the fifth best NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds at +1200 .

This is a bit generous, considering Karlaftis is currently listed as a second-stringer on the Chiefs’ depth chart.

He may be a future star for KC but given that he is not even listed as a starter, he is unlikely to win the NFL DROY award.

8. Jermaine Johnson II, New York Jets (+1400)

Jermaine Johnson is another player that may be overvalued in terms of his Defensive Rookie of the Year odds.

The top offshore betting sites give him the seventh best chance to win the award, ahead of some players that we expect to make a much bigger impact in Year 1.

In our estimation, Johnson should not have better odds than Jordan Davis or Quay Walker, two players who will immediately start and make an difference for their respective teams.

Currently, Johnson is listed as a third-string DE on the team’s depth chart.

While the depth chart is not an exact indication of his playing time, it should be worrisome for bettors that he will open the season as a third-stringer.

Johnson could impress when given opportunities but at+1400 odds to win NFL DROY, he doesn’t offer bettors much value heading into the season.

He should not be listed as the seventh best option, ahead of some players that will start week 1.

7. Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens (+1000)

Kyle Hamilton is a player that could easily contend for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.

However, he is currently listed as the second-string safety at the moment, which could slow down his early season production.

Depending on how he’s used in Week 1 and beyond, he could land higher on this list as the season moves along.

Baltimore drafted Hamilton with the 14th pick in the first round, which indicates he will not be a backup for long. Hamilton joins an already strong Baltimore defense that was ravaged by injuries last season, which should put the rookie safety in a position to make plays early in his career. However, by the time he gets a chance to be a starter, it may be too late to for him to put up that kind of season-long numbers that it will take to win the award.

Hamilton is a huge addition to an already good defense and given playing time, Hamilton will make an impact.

6. Jordan Davis, Philadelphia Eagles (+1400)

The Eagles got a steal at number 13, drafting Jordan Davis.

The rookie is expected to be a huge factor in the Eagles’ defense but a lot of the things that he brings to the table may go unnoticed to the average NFL fan.

As a big nose tackle, Davis will help tremendously against the run and is the type of player that could consistently command double teams from opposing offenses.

The rookie’s big frame should also help against the pass, as he will take up two offensive linemen, freeing up a pass rusher to get to the quarterback.

However, Davis’ path to winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year may be a challenging one.

Davis joins an already solid defense and will make the Eagles better, but since nose tackles don’t put up eye popping numbers, they rarely get the kind of recognition that they deserve on defense.

The Eagles ranked top 10 in rushing yards allowed per game last year and adding Davis will likely propel them into the top five against the run.

Davis is going to have a good rookie season as part of a strong defense, which should be enough to make him a contender for DROY.

Who Will Be The Top-Five Contenders For DROY?

Quay Walker will kick off the top-five list of contenders for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He will step in as a starting LB for a good Green Bay Packers defense.

Check out our list of the top-five DROY candidates in the NFL ahead of the 2022-23 season below.

5. Quay Walker, Green Bay Packers (+1600)

The Packers spent their two first-round picks on defense.

Walker was their first choice and will immediately slot in at the starting linebacker spot to open the season, giving him a chance to put up big numbers on a strong Green Bay defense.

The Packers’ rookie is an explosive, athletic defender and a sideline-to-sideline playmaker that can make an impact on the game in a number of different ways.

He is in a perfect position to thrive and will be considered a strong NFL DROY candidate.

At +1600 odds, Walker is our top sleeper candidate and value pick to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

4. Ahmad Gardner, New York Jets (+1400)

The New York Jets had three first-round picks in this year’s draft. Ahmad (Sauce) Gardner was their first selection and the Jets took him fourth overall.

Gardner is another player that projected as an immediate Week 1 starter that will have a very bright future in the league.

He has good size and speed to be a shutdown corner and is an instinctive defender that will be a ballhawk in NFL. Gardner also displays very good bump-and-run skills, which gives him a good chance of turning into a shutdown corner.

Despite being selected No. 4 overall, Gardner has the sixth-best chance to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year at +1400 odds.

That is far too low for one of the draft’s most talented prospects.

The Jets’ defense is looking to drastically improve, and by drafting Gardner, they have a shutdown corner that will boost their weak pass defense.

If New York’s defense can show some life in 2022, Gardner will be a major reason why and should be considered a very good bet to win the award.

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants (+900)

Kayvon Thibodeaux was a steal for the Giants at pick number 5 in this year’s NFL Draft.

He will be a starter from day 1 and have an immediate impact on a Giants defense that desperately needs a pass rusher.

The only reason Thibodeaux is not listed as a top-two contender is that he could miss the first game or two with an MCL injury.

If he were to enter the season at full health, he would be a strong candidate to be listed with the best NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds.

In addition to being a pass rushing threat, Thibodeaux is also a very good run defender but is still a bit raw in term of his instincts at the position. This means with good coaching and experience, he could be a potential star in the NFL.

BetOnline gives him the second-best odd to win the award at +900.

Thibodeaux is going to be a monster in the NFL and is a strong contender to win NFL DROY despite missing a few games.

2. Travon Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars (+1000)

Many NFL Draft analysts were surprised when Travon Walker was the first overall selection over Aidan Hutchinson in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Walker was a five-star recruit out of Upson-Lee High School in 2019.

He was named to the Freshman All-SEC Team in his first year in Athens.

Walker started all 15 games for the National Champion Georgia Bulldogs in 2021.

A strong run defender, Walker also possesses the kind of relentless motor that leads to getting to the quarterback on a consistent basis.

BetOnline has him tied for third with Kyle Hamilton at +1000 to win the award.

If Walker’s first preseason game was any indication, he could rack up sacks and pressures as a rookie, which could put him in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation.

The No. 1 overall pick will help the Jags win more games and the defense will flash improvement as well, making Walker a strong candidate for NFL DROY at +1000 odds.

The 2022 Defensive Rookie Of The Year Will Be…

1. Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions (+400)

The odds on favorite to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is Detroit Lions’ defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

BetOnline gives Hutchinson the best chance to win the award at +400.

The next person on the list has a +900 odds to win the DROY, which means Hutchinson is an overwhelming betting favorite.

Unlike most rookies, Hutchinson won’t have to travel far from home while playing in the NFL.

With the Lions, Hutchinson will stay in the state of Michigan, where he played in college with the Wolverines.

The Plymouth, Michigan native will have the chance to play in front of family and friend at every Lions home game, which could be an additional motivational factor for him.

At Michigan, Hutchinson set the  single-season sack record with 14 sacks as a senior in 2021.

As an edge rusher, he was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy and is expected to make an instant impact on an already improving Lions’ defense. He was the only defensive player among three quarterbacks to be named a Heisman Trophy finalist, which tells you the kind of impact that he can have on a football game.

Two of the last three NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year winners have been pass rushers, so it makes sense for Hutchinson to continue that trend.

Take Hutchinson to win win the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award (+400).

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award Winners

The list of NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award winners features some of the league’s best defensive players.

The last three winners: Micah Parsons, Chase Young, and Nick Bosa have all turned into stars for their respective teams.  Aaron Donald, Marcus Peters, and Shaquille Leonard are among the defenders that have taken home the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in the last decade.

For a complete breakdown of the past NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year winners, check out the list below.

Season Player Team Position
2021 Micah Parsons Dallas Cowboys Linebacker
2020 Chase Young Washington Football Team Defensive end
2019 Nick Bosa San Francisco 49ers Defensive end
2018 Shaquille Leonard Indianapolis Colts Linebacker
2017 Marshon Lattimore New Orleans Saints Cornerback
2016 Joey Bosa San Diego Chargers Defensive end
2015 Marcus Peters Kansas City Chiefs Cornerback
2014 Aaron Donald St. Louis Rams Defensive tackle
2013 Sheldon Richardson New York Jets Defensive end
2012 Luke Kuechly Carolina Panthers Linebacker
2011 Von Miller Denver Broncos Linebacker
2010 Ndamukong Suh Detroit Lions Defensive tackle
2009 Brian Cushing Houston Texans Linebacker
2008 Jerod Mayo New England Patriots Linebacker
2007 Patrick Willis San Francisco 49ers Linebacker
2006 DeMeco Ryans Houston Texans Linebacker
2005 Shawne Merriman San Diego Chargers Linebacker
2004 Jonathan Vilma New York Jets Linebacker
2003 Terrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens Linebacker
2002 Julius Peppers Carolina Panthers Defensive end
2001 Kendrell Bell Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
2000 Brian Urlacher Chicago Bears Linebacker
1999 Jevon Kearse Tennessee Titans Defensive end
1998 Charles Woodson Oakland Raiders Cornerback
1997 Peter Boulware Baltimore Ravens Linebacker
1996 Simeon Rice Arizona Cardinals Defensive end
1995 Hugh Douglas New York Jets Defensive end
1994 Tim Bowens Miami Dolphins Defensive tackle
1993 Dana Stubblefield San Francisco 49ers Defensive tackle
1992 Dale Carter Kansas City Chiefs Cornerback
1991 Mike Croel Denver Broncos Linebacker
1990 Mark Carrier Chicago Bears Safety
1989 Derrick Thomas Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker
1988 Erik McMillan New York Jets Safety
1987 Shane Conlan Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1986 Leslie O’Neal San Diego Chargers Defensive end
1985 Duane Bickett Indianapolis Colts Linebacker
1984 Bill Maas Kansas City Chiefs Defensive tackle
1983 Vernon Maxwell Baltimore Colts Linebacker
1982 Chip Banks Cleveland Browns Linebacker
1981 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Linebacker
1980 Buddy Curry & Al Richardson Atlanta Falcons Linebacker
1979 Jim Haslett Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1978 Al Baker Detroit Lions Defensive end
1977 A. J. Duhe Miami Dolphins Defensive end
1976 Mike Haynes New England Patriots Cornerback
1975 Robert Brazile Houston Oilers Linebacker
1974 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
1973 Wally Chambers Chicago Bears Defensive tackle
1972 Willie Buchanon Green Bay Packers Cornerback
1971 Isiah Robertson Los Angeles Rams Linebacker
1970 Bruce Taylor San Francisco 49ers Cornerback
1969 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle
1968 Claude Humphrey Atlanta Falcons Defensive end
1967 Lem Barney Detroit Lions Cornerback

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Winners by Position

Rookies at some positions seem to be better equipped to make an immediate impact in the NFL.

Since the award was introduced in 1967, linebackers have won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year 26 times, by far the most of any position.

However, that has changed over the last decade, as only four linebackers have only won the award in the last 10 years.

Two  of the last three winners have been defensive ends, but DEs have only won the award 12 times, while cornerbacks have won the NFL DROY eight times.

Check out the chart below for a breakdown of the NFL DROY Award winners by position.

Position NFL DROY Winners
Linebacker 26
Defensive end 12
Cornerback 8
Defensive tackle 7
Safety 2

 

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