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NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year 2024: Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu Early Favorites

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Updated January 10, 2024
10 min read
  • Will Anderson Jr. won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2023.

  • With no defensive players selected in the first 14 picks of the 2024 NFL Draft, Defensive Player of the Year figures to be wide open.

  • Dallas Turner of the Vikings opened as the favorite for 2023 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Year after year, the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award is one of the most unpredictable in the NFL. Of course, the top defensive players selected in the draft have high expectations. But you never know who is going to stand out the most during the season. You don’t even know what position the top defensive rookie will play. Past winners of Defensive Rookie of the Year have come from all three levels of the defense.

Will Anderson Jr. of the Texans won the award last year, although Jalen Carter made it close and Kobie Turner made a late push. But it’ll be a whole new batch of rookies in 2024 vying for the award. Somehow, a defensive player wasn’t selected until the no. 15 pick of this year’s draft. That leaves this rookie class without a clear and obvious favorite to take home the award in 2024.

With this award being so unpredictable, we wanted to help bettors to handicap it. That’s why we’ll be staying up to date all season on the top defensive performers and their odds to win Rookie of the Year. We’ll even give our updated pick for the most valuable bet, so keep checking back throughout the season.

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook. If you’re signing up with FanDuel for the first time, you’ll be eligible to receive $150 in bonus bets if you win your first bet. For more betting opportunities check out our curated list of the Best NFL Promo Codes.

PlayerTeamPositionOdds
Dallas TurnerMinnesota VikingsDefensive End+450
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Laiatu LatuIndianapolis ColtsDefensive End+500
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Quinyon MitchellPhiladelphia EaglesCornerback+1200
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Jared VerseLos Angeles RamsDefensive End+1200
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Terrion ArnoldDetroit LionsCornerback+1200
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Byron Murphy IISeattle SeahawksDefensive Tackle+1400
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Chop RobinsonMiami DolphinsDefensive End+1600
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Cooper DeJeanPhiladelphia EaglesCornerback+2500
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Nate WigginsBaltimore RavensCornerback+3000
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Darius RobinsonArizona CardinalsDefensive Tackle+3000
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Nfl Defensive Rookie Of The Year Predictions

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Predictions

There are so many different directions for the Defensive Rookie of the Year race to go. There are bound to be changes in how we handicap things throughout the season. Let’s take a look at where the current list of favorites stand and give you our pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2024.

Dallas Turner - Defensive End, Vikings (+450) at FanDuel

As consensus All-American and co-Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC at Alabama last season, Turner comes to the NFL with plenty of fanfare. He collected 10 sacks for the Crimson Tide last year and has the skill set to be a quality pass rusher in the NFL. The only question is whether he can push past Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel and earn a spot in Minnesota’s starting lineup. But if he can do that, Minnesota’s reputation for being aggressive should help Turner stand out as a pass rusher early in his career.

Bet on Dallas Turner (+450) at FanDuel CTA icon

Laiatu Latu - Defensive End, Colts (+500) at FanDuel

As the first defensive player drafted, Latu is an obvious candidate to be Defensive Rookie of the Year. Like Turner, he was an All-American last season after racking up 13 sacks and leading the nation in tackles for loss. Latu also took home both the Lombardi Award and the Ted Hendricks Award. Everything about him says Latu is ready to produce in the NFL. The caveat is that he’s playing behind a former first-round pick in Kwity Paye, as well as Samson Ebukam, who is coming off a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2023. That could make it hard for Latu to earn a lot of playing time on a strong Indy defense that retains much of its core from last year.

Bet on Laiatu Latu (+500) at FanDuel CTA icon

Quinyon Mitchell - Cornerback, Eagles (+1200) at FanDuel

The secondary was such a concern for the Eagles season that Mitchell should have the opportunity to make a difference right away and make a case for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He and fellow rookie defensive back Cooper DeJean are both projected to be in the starting lineup, which is a good sign for Mitchell. The concern for him is making the leap from playing in the MAC at Toledo to playing in the NFL. If there is a steep learning curve for him early in the season, it could hinder Mitchell’s DROTY chances.

Bet on Quinyon Mitchell (+1200) at FanDuel CTA icon

Jared Verse - Defensive End, Rams (+1200) at FanDuel

As one of the top pass rushers in this year’s draft class, Verse is very much on the radar for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s certainly come a long way in a short time after starting his college career at the FCS level with Albany. But his nine sacks in back-to-back seasons for Florida State last year are a clear sign that he’s capable of succeeding as a pro. Verse’s biggest challenge will be moving from defensive end to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. However, he’s going to be an immediate starter for the Rams, who have a young and talented front seven that has something to prove. That should provide Verse with an opportunity to make his case for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Bet on Jared Verse (+1200) at FanDuel CTA icon

Terrion Arnold - Cornerback, Lions (+1200) at FanDuel

Detroit’s Brian Branch made a strong case for Defensive Rookie of the Year for much of 2023. The Lions have gone ahead and drafted another defensive back out of Alabama. That gives us reason to trust the Lions made a smart choice. The fact that Detroit traded up five spots to get Arnold means the team is high on him. The bar tends to be high for defensive backs winning Rookie of the Year honors. But Arnold figures to be a starter right away, and if he can match Branch’s performance from last season, he’ll be in the Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation.

Bet on Terrion Arnold (+1200) at FanDuel CTA icon

Byron Murphy II - Defensive Tackle, Seahawks (+1400) at FanDuel

As an interior lineman, Murphy has a somewhat narrow path to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year. But don’t forget he was just the second defensive player selected in this year’s draft. The fact that he beat out his teammate T’Vondre Sweat, who won the Outland Trophy, for Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, speaks volumes. But with Dre’Mont Jones, Jarran Reed, and Johnathan Hankins also on Seattle’s roster, Murphy will have to fight tooth and nail. He’ll also have to show his value in ways that go beyond stats, which are sometimes difficult for interior linemen to rack up.

Bet on Byron Murphy II (+1400) at FanDuel CTA icon

Who Will Win Defensive Rookie of the Year - My Pick

Jared Verse (+1200) at FanDuel

We expect a wide open race for Defensive Rookie of the Year this season. To be honest, Latu could be the best player of the bunch. But in terms of value, we like Verse to win DROTY. He’s proven himself as a pass-rusher at Florida State over the past two seasons and there’s no question he’s going to play a lot of snaps this year. Therefore, he has both the talent and the opportunity, which is critical because not all rookies get the latter. He could easily end up with 10-plus sacks this season, which would make Verse hard to beat for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Bet on Jared Verse (+1200) at FanDuel CTA icon

Who Won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2023?

Will Anderson Jr. of the Texans won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2023. While Jalen Carter and a few other standout players made it an interesting race throughout the season, Anderson edged out the competition.

Defensive Rookie of the Year History

Defensive Rookie of the Year has been awarded by the AP since 1967. A panel of 50 sportswriters votes to decide the winner with many past winners going on to have great careers in the NFL.

Past Defensive Rookie of the Year Winners

Past Defensive Rookie of the Year WinnerYear
Will Anderson Jr.2023
Sauce Gardner2022
Micah Parsons2021
Chase Young2020
Nick Bosa2019
Shaquille Leonard2018
Marshon Lattimore2017
Joey Bosa2016
Marcus Peters2015
Aaron Donald2014
Sheldon Richardson2013
Luke Kuechly2012
Von Miller2011
Ndamukong Suh2010
Brian Cushing2009

How to Choose the Best Sportsbook for Betting on Defensive Rookie of the Year

Before you place a bet on NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, make sure you’re using the right sportsbook. Every online sportsbook has different odds, different features, and different promos. This requires a little bit of research before finding the sportsbook that’s right for you.

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How to Read Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Barring a heavy favorite, every candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year will be assigned plus (+) odds. This means that the profit will be greater than the wager if that player wins. For example, if you get $100 on a player with +550 odds, you will profit $550. Of course, if one player is the clear favorite late in the season, he may have negative (-) odds. For instance, if a player has -400 odds, you will need to wager $400 in order to make a $100 profit.

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year FAQ

What Is the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award?

Who Was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2023?

What Position Does the Defensive Rookie of the Year Play?

How Is the Winner of the Award Decided?

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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

199 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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