There’s a reason the top three odds choices to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year are either ends or linebackers. Colts linebacker Darius Leonard won the award in 2018. In 2019, 49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa took home the hardware and in 2020 Washington player Chase Young won the ROY. Then last year, Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons got the trophy. Is a linebacker or defensive end this season’s top choice? See below for 2022 NFL Defensive ROY odds and free picks.
2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds
Oregon Defensive Lineman with the highest career pass rush win rates— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 10, 2022
🦆 Kayvon Thibodeaux: 18.9%
🦆 Brandon Dorlus: 15.1% pic.twitter.com/NLgIani9Dx
- Aidan Hutchinson +500
- Kayvon Thibodeaux +550
- Travon Walker +700
- Kyle Hamilton +800
- Quay Walker +800
- Jermaine Johnson +900
- Derek Stingley Jr. +900
- Devin Lloyd +1000
- Ahmad Gardner +1000
- Nakobe Dean +1600
- Jordan Davis +1800
- George Karlaftis +2000
- Kaiir Elam +2200
- Trent McDuffie +2500
- Andrew Booth Jr. +2500
- Devonte Wyatt +2800
- Daxton Hill +3300
- Roger McCreary +4000
- Lewis Cine +4000
Top Pick to Win the 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year Award
Although we’d love to make a cornerback the top pick, the last corner to win defensive ROY was New Orleans Marshon Lattimore in 2017. Lattimore was exceptional that season and there weren’t any linebacking or end rushing players that turned heads.
This season, Travon Walker, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Aidan Hutchinson could have monster seasons. Thibodeaux, especially, projects as having a dominating first year in the NFL.
Kayvon will play the weakside linebacker position for the New York Giants, which means he may only have to beat a running back when blitzing the quarterback. Also, Thibodeuax has drop coverage skills. So there will be times when he can either blow up a throw to the running back or even intercept the football.
Second Top Pick to Win the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award
The 6’ 7” and 264 pounds former Michigan star finished second behind Bryce Young in Heisman Trophy voting. The man can play for sure, but the problem with choosing Hutchinson first is that although he can win the award, he won’t have help on Detroit’s defense the way Thibodeaux will have help playing in New York.
Thibodeaux will play behind Jihad Ward, Dexter Lawrence, and Lawrence Williams. Opponents must double Williams while still worrying about Ward and Lawrence. Teams that play Detroit will double Hutchinson because he’s the Lions’ best pass rusher. So Aidan will have to work harder than Kayvon to make an impact.
Third Top Pick to Win the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award
The Jaguars drafted Travon Walker with the first pick in the NFL Draft. Then, the Jags drafted Devin Lloyd later in the first round. Lloyd produced more with the Utah Utes than Walker did with the Georgia Bulldogs. The linebacking standout won’t attract as much attention as Josh Allen or Walker.
Lloyd should roam free to blitz the quarterback, drop back in zone coverage, or rush up to blast opponents in the run game. Devin has a real shot to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Underdog Pick to Win the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award
Kansas City coaches have already penciled in the Purdue defensive end standout as a starter. Karlaftis will join a defensive line that includes Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, and Frank Clark.
It’s impossible not to chip Clark, one of the better ends in the league, which means Karlaftis could end up one-on-one versus an offensive lineman on most plays. The former Boilermaker has more than enough talent to dominate.
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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.