NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award- Top 12 Predictions and Betting Odds

Defensive Player of the Year 2020/2021 Odds

The odds for the “Defensive Player of the Year” are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Defensive Player of the YearDraftKings
Aaron Donald+700
Nick Bosa+1000
Khalil Mack+1200
J.J Watt+1200
TJ Watt+1200
Stephon Gilmore+1600
Joey Bosa+2000
Derwin James+2000
Chandler Jones+2000
Von Miller+2000
Jadeveon Clowney+2500
Myles Garett+2500
Danielle Hunter+2500
Jamal Adams+3300
Shaquil Barrett+3300
DeForest Buckner+5000
Minkah Fitzpatrick+5000

For the full list head to DraftKings Sportsbook.

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At the end of every NFL season since 1971, the Associated Press has presented their Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award for the most outstanding defensive player in the league for that season, and it has become a prestigious and enviable honor that players on that side of the ball strive to earn.

NFL gamblers looking for some early action will be pleased to know that at this point in the offseason, the oddsmakers have already released their predictions and odds of which athletes they feel have the best chance of earning this award during the 2020 season.

Defensive Player of the Year 2020 – Top 12 Predictions

12) Myles Garrett

TeamCleveland Browns
PositionDefensive End
Size6’4”, 272 pounds
Pro Years3
2019 Stats Line29 total tackles (11 for a loss), 10 sacks, 18 quarterback hits and 2 forced fumbles
Odds to Win DPOY+2500

Myles Garrett’s 2019 season was shockingly cut short after he was severely punished for using Pittsburgh Steelers’ backup quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet as a weapon against him.

Garrett is a young player who shows incredible promise, his speed matched only by his strength and ability to get around offensive lineman, and now his return should be fueled by his desire to make up for the lost time.

11) Jadeveon Clowney

TeamSeattle Seahawks
PositionDefensive End
Size6’5”, 255 pounds
Pro Years6
2019 Stats Line31 total tackles (7 for a loss), 3 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, 2 fumble recoveries and 4 forced fumbles
Odds to Win DPOY+2500

3x Pro Bowler in the NFL, Jadeveon Clowney has been opposing quarterbacks’ worst nightmare since he entered the league in 2014.

Last season in 13 games, Clowney led the league in forced fumbles with four and he even snagged a pick-six for a 27-yard touchdown, so if he can stay healthy in 2020, he could have the kind of season that merits a DPOY nod, which would be the first one of his NFL career.

10) Von Miller

TeamDenver Broncos
PositionOutside Linebacker
Size6’3”, 250 pounds
Pro Years9
2019 Stats Line46 total tackles (10 for a loss), 8 sacks, 20 quarterback hits, and 2 passes defended
Odds to Win DPOY+2000

The talented veteran Von Miller is about to play in his tenth NFL season, and if he were to win an AP DPOY award, it would be his first.

With a healthy Bradley Chubb returning in 2020, expect less double-teams on Miller, giving him plenty more opportunities to make big plays and post impressive stats, a definite prerequisite for winning a DPOY award.

9) Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

TeamArizona Cardinals
PositionDefensive End
Size6’5”, 265 pounds
Pro Years8
2019 Stats Line53 total tackles (11 for a loss), 19 sacks, 26 quarterback hits, 3 fumble recoveries, and a league-leading 8 forced fumbles
Odds to Win DPOY+2000

Quarterbacks’ knees shake when they hear the name Chandler Jones, the man who had 19 sacks last season, second only to Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had 19.5 of them.

Jones’ Cardinals had the worst-ranked defense last season, so as they gradually improve as a unit, expect the 30-year-old Jones to get even more chances to prove his defensive worth.

8) Derwin James

TeamLos Angeles Chargers
PositionStrong Safety
Size6’2”, 215 pounds
Pro Years2
2019 Stats Line34 total tackles (3 for a loss) and a pass defended
Odds to Win DPOY+2000

Derwin James suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and was limited to just five games last season, his second year in the league.

Expect a healthy James to return and have a repeat of his rookie season, when he had 105 total tackles and 3 interceptions which put his name on the map as a strong potential DPOY candidate.

7) Joey Bosa

TeamLos Angeles Chargers
PositionDefensive End
Size6’5”, 280 pounds
Pro Years4
2019 Stats Line67 total tackles (18 for a loss), 11.5 sacks, 31 quarterback hits, and a forced fumble
Odds to Win DPOY+2000

The older of the two Bosa brothers, Joey has been a force to be reckoned with ever since he joined the league four seasons ago.

With his ability to sack (he’s got 40 total in 4 seasons) and hit the quarterback, Bosa will be a favorite to win the DPOY award for many seasons to come.

6) Stephon Gilmore

TeamNew England Patriots
PositionCornerback
Size6’1”, 202 pounds
Pro Years8
2019 Stats Line53 total tackles, 6 interceptions (two of those were pick-sixes), 20 passes defended and a fumble recovery
Odds to Win DPOY+2000

Stephon Gilmore was an absolute monster in the Patriots’ secondary last season, and despite opposing quarterbacks doing their best to avoid throwing anywhere near him, he still managed to snag a league-leading 6 interceptions.

Only J.J. Watt has ever won back to back DPOY awards, but if anyone could do that again it would be Gilmore playing once again on New England’s famously stingy defense.

5) T.J. Watt

TeamPittsburgh Steelers
PositionOutside Linebacker
Size6’4”, 252 pounds
Pro Years3
2019 Stats Line55 total tackles (14 for a loss), 14.5 sacks, 36 quarterback hits, 2 interceptions, 8 passes defended, 8 forced fumbles (led the league) and 4 fumble recoveries
Odds to Win DPOY+1200

T.J. Watt is the younger brother of J.J. (see next) and is every bit the beast but with a body that has yet to be pounded by years of being in the NFL the way his older brother has.

About to start his 4th NFL season, T.J. has a decent shot at a great year in 2020 since his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger finally looks set to return and take the pressure off his defense and put his team back in postseason contention.

4) J.J. Watt

TeamHouston Texans
PositionDefensive End
Size6’5”, 288 pounds
Pro Years9
2019 Stats Line24 total tackles (4 for a loss), 4 sacks, 21 quarterback hits, 2 fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble
Odds to Win DPOY+1200

Injuries have been a huge roadblock for J.J. Watt, but despite only playing in half the games last season, he still managed to post some respectable numbers.

While still recovering from his torn pec, Watt returned to play last season and was immediately impactful, so expect a healed-up version to return in 2020 and make a serious fourth run at this DPOY award.

3) Khalil Mack

TeamChicago Bears
PositionOutside Linebacker
Size6’3”, 269 pounds
Pro Years6
2019 Stats Line47 total tackles (8 for a loss), 8.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits, 5 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 4 passes defended
Odds to Win DPOY+2000

The 29-year-old Mack stayed healthy last season and put in a good performance with his Chicago Bears, though his production seemed to drop a bit from the prior season.

Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s defense only allowed opponents to score 18.6 points per game (4th least), and Mack was a huge part of that successful smothering Bears attack.

2) Nick Bosa

TeamSan Francisco 49ers
PositionEdge
Size6’4”, 266 pounds
Pro Years1
2019 Stats Line47 total tackles (16 for a loss), 9 sacks, 25 quarterback hits, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, an interception and 2 passes defended
Odds to Win DPOY+1000

Last season, Nick Bosa won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year as he and his 49ers worked themselves all the way to the Super Bowl.

Expect this younger Bosa to make a run at the DPOY award, since his team’s defense, coordinated by the talented Robert Saleh, seems set to make another stellar showing like last season when they were ranked the second-best squad in the league.

1) Aaron Donald

TeamLos Angeles Rams
PositionDefensive Tackle
Size6’1”, 280 pounds
Pro Years6
2019 Stats Line48 total tackles (a league-leading 20 for a loss), 12.5 sacks, 24 quarterback hits, 25 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 2 passes defended
Odds to Win DPOY+700

Considered one of the greatest interior defensive linemen of all time, Donald has already won this award back in 2018 when he led the league in sacks (20.5) and tackles for loss (25).

Given the strength and ever running engine of Donald, the 28-year old, who hasn’t missed a game in two years, is a good bet to win this award any season he is healthy.

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Defensive Player of the Year FAQ

What is the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award?

When the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award is mentioned in conversation, typically it is the one presented by the Associated Press that is being referred to.

The AP has been presenting its NFL DPOY award since the 1971 season, and it is handed out at the annual NFL Honors ceremony held the day before the Super Bowl.

There are, however, other versions of this award.

What other organizations give out a DPOY award?

In addition to the Associated Press, a DPOY award is also given out by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and some of the various sports magazines, like Football Digest, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Focus.

There is also a committee of 101 of the top NFL sportswriters who have, as a group, been voting for a DPOY for each conference since the 1969 season.

A few other DPOY awards have come and gone, like the ones presented by the Newspaper Enterprise Association (from 1966-1997) and the United Press International (from 1975 to 1006).

Which position tends to win DPOY the most?

Linebackers have won the DPOY award 16 total times, which is the most of any defensive position on the field.

Next in line are the defensive ends, who have won the award 13 times, and then nine defensive tackles, six cornerbacks and five safeties.

Two players have won the DPOY award and the league MVP award in the same season – Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971 and New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986.

Who was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019?

Last season, for the sixth time ever, a cornerback was chosen as the AP Defensive Player of the Year – New England Patriots Stephon Gilmore, who had an incredible season as he led the league in several categories.

On top of 53 total tackles and a forced fumble, Gilmore led the league in interceptions, with six, returning two of those for touchdowns.

Gilmore also led the league in passes defended with 20, helping his Patriots’ pass defense to become the second-best in the league after allowing opponents to throw for just 180.4 total yards per game during the regular season.

Has a rookie ever been given the DPOY Award?

In the history of the award, only one DPOY has been presented to a first-year player.

That happened in 1981 when future Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor was a rookie playing for the New York Giants and had what is considered one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history.

Taylor had an interception and a fumble recovery plus 9.5 sacks during that regular season (plus 2 sacks in the playoffs), but there is no way to know how many tackles he had since the league didn’t keep official track of them until 2001.

Which players have received the most DPOY awards?

The greatest number of times any one player has been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in the history of the award is three, and two players have accomplished that.

The first one is New York Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who was the only player to ever receive the award in his rookie season (see above), plus he also earned the honor in both his 1982 and 1986 seasons.

The other incredible player to receive the DPOY award three times is Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who received it in 2012, 2014 and 2015, and since he is still currently playing in the league he has a chance of earning it yet another one (or more) before he retires.

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