2022 NFL Season Top 5 Defensive Backs
When a defensive back’s number is called, they better be ready to stifle any opposing passes their way against a much-improved crop of NFL wide receivers. Several shutdown corners and safeties deserve recognition as sleeper candidates to win this year’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, and we’re here to take a closer look at each of the five best DBs in the league to date.
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Top 5 Defensive Backs Heading into the 2022 NFL Season
Remember: Matt Patricia believed his culture was more important to the Lions than Quandre Diggs and Darius Slay.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) August 17, 2022
Both defensive backs are in the NFL’s top 100 in 2022. pic.twitter.com/btLvA79fn4
- 2022 NFL DPOY Award Odds: +4000
Widely regarded as the best safety in the NFL be it at strong or free safety, Los Angeles’ Derwin James stands above the rest of the defensive backs pack as the odds-on favorite to win the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award out of the entire group. The former 17th-overall pick recovered from a lost 2020 season by setting new career-highs of 75 solo tackles and three forced fumbles. The Chargers have one of the most stacked defensive rosters in all of football, and James is at the crux of the team’s success out of the backfield.
- 2022 NFL DPOY Award Odds: +5000
No cornerback in the NFL has been equally praised and reviled by fans than another standout from Los Angeles, this time in the form of Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The outspoken talent out of FSU is a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection who is coming off his best season in a Rams jersey, racking up 77 combined tackles and four interceptions (both new career-best marks). The two LA franchises have imposing defenses built at the ready heading into the new season, and Ramsey should have another fantastic campaign for the defending Super Bowl champs.
- 2022 NFL DPOY Award Odds: +6000/li>
Green Bay isn’t often praised for its defense, but the team’s shut-down zone defender in Jaire Alexander is slowly putting his team’s D back to the upper echelons of the league. The Packers came to terms with Alexander on a contract extension this offseason worth $84 million for four years. The 25-year-old Charlotte native has picked off an opposing pass in each of his first four seasons in the NFL and is ready to bounce back from a lost 2021 campaign due to a serious shoulder injury.
- 2022 NFL DPOY Award Odds: +6600
After leading the NFL with a whopping 11 interceptions in the 2021 season, Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs deserves more recognition as one of the best defenders in the pros regardless of position. Two of those 11 INTs were returned for a pick-six by the ‘Bama product who earned his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods last season and is one of the main reasons why the Cowboys remain the biggest beast in the NFC East. Diggs’ sleeper status as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate should not go overlooked by bettors as well.
- 2022 NFL DPOY Award Odds: +6600
Speaking of first-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson is another terrific defender who’s shadowed some of the league’s best receivers and finally got recognized in 2021 for his work by earning those pair of aforementioned accolades at the end of the season. As a product of New England’s reputable coaching program, Jackson will always be in the running for the DPOY award, as his 17 total interceptions over the past two seasons would attest, and with one of those INTs having been returned for an 88-yard touchdown just last season.
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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.
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