2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds: Parsons Leads

Updated: May 23, 2021

Micah Parsons will join a talented linebacker corps on the Cowboys, but opens as the Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite anyway.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year betting is back, with DROY odds on the board now that we’re past the 2021 NFL Draft. Early leaders in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds include the latest addition to America’s Team, the draft’s top pass rushers, and a few cornerbacks that make for intriguing picks with their Defensive ROY odds. 

With preseason still a while away, here’s an early look at NFL Defensive ROY odds. 

2021 NFL Defensive ROY odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare NFL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Favorite to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Long thought of as one of, if not the, best defensive player in his draft class, it isn’t a surprise to see new Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons atop the odds board at +450. Though Parsons could be a part-time player to begin his rookie season, with Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch in place, he will be among the most flashy rookies on defense.

New Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Kwity Paye, who lands in a good situation with a talented defense where he can play alongside the fantastic DeForest Buckner, is next at +850.

A three-way tie at +900 follows the Top 2, including Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Karamoah, who’s high up on the board despite falling out of the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Joining Owusu-Karamoah at +900 are Washington linebacker Jamin Davis and former Miami Hurricane Jaelan Phillips, now a member of the Dolphins. 

NFL Defensive ROY betting trends

• Of the last 31 winners of the NFL DROY Award, an incredible 28 were drafted in the first round. Of the three winners that weren’t first rounders (DeMeco Ryans, Kendrell Bell and Darius Leonard), all were still selected within the Top-40 picks.

• Seven of the last 16 DROY winners played linebacker. Two others (Von Miller and Shawne Merriman) were listed at LB but would count as edge players in modern NFL defensive schemes. That said, that number is heavily inflated by four straight DROY-winning linebackers from 2006 to 2009. Over the last eight years, only one LB has taken home the award. 

• Four of the last five DROY winners played college ball for Ohio State. Three of those (the Bosa brothers and Chase Young) were edge rushers. 

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year history

A quick look at the NFL DROY winners since 2004, the position they played and where they were drafted.

Year NFL DROY Award Winner Position Drafted
2020 Chase Young EDGE Round 1, pick 2
2019 Nick Bosa EDGE Round 1, pick 2
2018 Darius Leonard LB Round 2, pick 36
2017 Marshon Lattimore CB Round 1, pick 11
2016 Joey Bosa EDGE Round 1, pick 3
2015 Marcus Peters CB Round 1, pick 18
2014 Aaron Donald DL Round 1, pick 13
2013 Sheldon Richardson DL Round 1, pick 13
2012 Luke Keuchly LB Round 1, pick 9
2011 Von Miller EDGE Round 1, pick 2
2010 Ndamukong Suh DL Round 1, pick 2
2009 Brian Cushing LB Round 1, pick 15
2008 Jerod Mayo LB Round 1, pick 10
2007 Patrick Willis LB Round 1, pick 11
2006 DeMeco Ryans LB Round 2, pick 33
2005 Shawne Merriman EDGE Round 1, pick 12
2004 Jonathan Vilma LB Round 1, pick 12

Where can I bet on NFL awards?

Most online books and casinos offer futures bets on NFL awards and odds generally begin to appear after free agency and the NFL Draft. Check out the NFL futures odds at the best sportsbooks available in your area.

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