NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year - Predictions & Odds 2020/2021

Defensive Rookie

  • Former Penn State linebacker turned Dallas Cowboy Micah Parsons is favored here
  • Dolphins’ new OLB Jaelan Phillips was named a second-team All-American at UCLA
  • Longshot for this prestigious honor is the Giants new cornerback Aaron Robinson

Bet on Defensive Rookie of the Year, Here!

The 2021 NFL Draft was rich with talented defensive players, and those who become out-of-the-gate starters could make a giant impact on the teams who took a chance on them and that may just earn them the league’s next Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

The oddsmakers see the Dallas Cowboys’ new linebacker Micah Parsons as the clear favorite to earn this coveted award, with the Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips ranked behind him and New York Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson the longshot on this list.

Best to get your bets in early to take advantage of these preseason odds, so here we offer a closer look at our predictions, odds, and picks of which of these young superstars will be the next NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Good luck!

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Odds taken September 13, 2021 from DraftKings Sportsbook

Player/Team/Position Odds
Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys, LB +600
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Jamin Davis, Washington FT, LB +800
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Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins, OLB +1000
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Kwity Paye, Indianapolis Colts, DE +1000
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Zaven Collins, Arizona Cardinals, LB +1400
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Aaron Robinson, New York Giants, CB +4000
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Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Predictions and Picks

The Cowboys defense is ripe for a turnaround and Micah Parsons could be a major factor in that, making him the favorite to take these honors home.

Pick:

Micah Parson

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Favorites to Win

Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys, Linebacker

This Penn State alum sat out the 2020 season due to concerns regarding the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, so all the excitement over him that caused the Cowboys front office to use their first-round selection (12th pick overall) was generated by his stellar 2019 performance.

During that season, Parsons, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound sophomore linebacker, posted 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and 109 total tackles, 14 of them for a loss, numbers that Dallas owner and GM Jerry Jones hope will show up at the pro level during Micah’s rookie season.

The Cowboys defense in 2020 was ranked a surprising 23rd overall, so Parsons has the chance to improve a squad that is historically excellent, and now that their franchise QB Dak Prescott is returning from injury, all eyes will be on Dallas in 2021, giving rookie Parsons and his teammates a bright spotlight under which to shine.

Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins, Outside Linebacker

The Miami Dolphins defense just got an upgrade by using their first-round draft pick (18th overall) to select Miami of Florida (and before that UCLA) outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips, a 6’ 5” 266-pound second-team All American linebacker who turned heads and lit up the ACC last season.

In ten games during a COVID shortened season, Phillips posted 8 quarterback sacks, defended 3 passes, had an interception, and was responsible for 45 total tackles, with 15.5 of those for a loss, numbers that impressed Miami’s front office and Dolphins fans alike.

The 21-year old from Redlands, California will join a Dolphins defense that was ranked 20th last year, so he has the chance to create a difference on a squad that needs some help, something that should give him a bit of juice towards earning the Rookie Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Jamin Davis, Washington FT, Linebacker

This twenty-two-year-old linebacker from Honolulu, Hawaii was a standout junior at Kentucky last season, his excellent play causing the Washington Football Team to use their first-round pick (19th overall) to select him to join a defense that was second-best in the league last year.

Davis stands 6’ 3” and weighs 234-pounds, and last season he led his Wildcats in tackles with 126 while also participating on the other side of the ball as a wide receiver catching three touchdowns and carrying the ball 11 times for 50 yards in his final season.

To win this rookie award, however, Davis would have to elevate himself into a key role on a squad that is already playing outstanding defense, so it would take some big numbers and a deep playoff run for Washington for him to be selected as the 2021 DROTY.

No Chance to Win

Aaron Robinson, New York Giants, Cornerback

The longshot for these rookie defensive honors is New York Giants new cornerback Aaron Robinson, who played three seasons of college football for the University of Florida after transferring from Alabama where he played his freshman season.

In his redshirt senior year, Robinson defended 6 passes, forced a fumble, and recovered one, had 41 total tackles, and was named second-team All-ACC which earned him the 71st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the New York Giants, who had the 12th ranked defense last season.

For Robinson to win the DROTY award, his new team would most likely have to make the playoffs and beyond with his play being a major factor in that journey, something that chances are the 5’ 11” 186 pounders is looking forward to helping make happen.

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Mike Lukas

Expert on NFL

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]