Home > All > Best Odds to Win 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Best Odds to Win 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Are you placing a bet on the NFL on who will win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors?

Today’s post is a must-read because we are counting down the hottest Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates in 2021. So before you place that early-season bet, check out today’s post for greater insight as to who has the best chance to win the honor. 

Are you ready to discover who we are hot on? Keep reading for more information. 

Micah Parsons, LB – Dallas Cowboys: +475

How good is Micah Parsons?

So good the Cowboys drafted him despite having Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith on the roster. Yeah, scoff all you want at Vander Esch being injury-prone and Smith underperforming. They’re still solid players that can start for any NFL team. 

And not just that; Parsons has the potential to be a game changer for a defense that did little right in 2020. Especially early in the season. Parsons will perform well from Week One-onward. But he has a chance to single-handedly turn around the Cowboys’ defense in 2021. 

If the defense performs at a halfway decent pace, expect Parsons to run away with Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Barring injury in Week One, he’s the safest early-season bet. 

Jamin Davis, LB – Washington Football Team: +900

Jamin Davis was drafted to replace the recently-retired Thomas Davis (no relation). And Davis is walking into an ideal situation, as the Washington Football Team had the second-best defense in football that for some reason, no one talked about in 2020. 

They also have the best defensive line in the NFL, perhaps by far. And this time last season, while everyone mocked Washington for a seemingly porous roster, they still respected the team’s defensive line that did not disappoint. 

Now, Washington has drafted a blue chip tackler in Davis. And odds are, he will capitalize time and again from a dangerous push upfront. When he does, he may compete with Micah Parsons on the rival Cowboys for Defensive Rookie of the Year. 

Jaelen Phillips, Edge – Miami Dolphins: +1600

When you think of the Miami Dolphins’ defense, you think of the shutdown corner in Byron Jones and the ballhawk in Xavien Howard. You don’t think of edge rushers, and since the Brian Flores era began in 2019, many have come and gone from Miami. 

Jaelen Phillips can be here to stay. The only concern with Phillips is that he “retired” in December 2018 after his sophomore season of college football after a concussion and a freak accident. So despite his overall skill, he is an ultra-high risk bet despite his +700 odds. Higher risk than reward here. 

However, since returning to football in 2020 he has been injury-free and productive. So Phillips is still a good bet, but he comes with a high buyer-beware tag. 

Kwity Paye, Edge – Indianapolis Colts: +1600

It’s shocking that Kwity Paye is not listed higher. Yes, he and fellow draftee Dayo Odenyingbo are coming into the league at the same time. But old school Colts fans hope they will bring back memories of a dynamic duo that was Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis from the 2000s. 

Paye holds the edge over Odeyingbo because of his draft status and he will get the first crack at becoming the team’s primary edge rusher. Given the presence of DeForest Buckner, it will grant Paye a lot of opportunities while opponents attempt to stuff the All-Pro defensive tackle. 

Paye may not be the biggest name on this list. But he’s worth consideration since he’s walking into what may be the league’s most aggressive defense. 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB – Cleveland Browns: +900

Owusu-Koramoah will immediately upgrade a linebacker unit in Cleveland that was the bane of the team’s existence in 2020. The Browns defense was so bad, they gave up more points than the offense scored en route to an 11-5 record and their first playoff victory since they returned to the league in 1999.

Obviously, they had to fix one of the league’s worst defenses so they went out and signed 2 solid defensive backs before luring Jadeveon Clowney to pair with former #1 overall pick, Myles Garrett. 

They also drafted Greg Newsome for the secondary, but considering the logjam at cornerback and the weakness of the linebacking unit, the buck stops with Owusu-Koramoah, the team’s second-round pick. 

Owusu-Koramoah has a chance to lead the unit from Week One and if he becomes the tackling machine the Browns need him to be, watch his odds skyrocket as the season progresses. Sure, he’s a long shot to win the award; but like many Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates, he’s in a prime situation. 

Patrick Surtain II, CB – Denver Broncos: +450

You may remember his dad, Patrick Surtain Sr., who played in the NFL from the late 1990s until the late 2000s. Surtain may or may not be as good as Surtain Sr., but he has the potential to be the team’s best corner since Champ Bailey came to town 16 seasons ago. 

Surtain boasts ideal size for a corner, at 6’2, 200lb, allowing him to challenge the league’s larger targets; something most cornerbacks have a hard time with. He’s also fast enough to keep pace with the smaller receivers, given his 4.42 speed in the 40-yard-dash. 

Surtain should also have a lot of help, considering the dynamic duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb at Edge. The duo will put constant pressure onto opposing quarterbacks which will force errant throws and allow Surtain to capitalize. 

Even if he doesn’t record a high number of turnovers and pass deflections. If he allows a low completion percentage and few yards per pass attempt and catch, he may sneak up and win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors and earn status as a shutdown corner. 

His odds are longer because he’s not in the most ideal situation. But he has the potential to capitalize on the chances given to him. 

Jaycee Horn, CB – Carolina Panthers: +1100

You may remember Jaycee Horn’s father, Joe Horn. The elder Horn played receiver for the New Orleans Saints and became famous for his cell phone touchdown dance in the early 2000s. 

Jaycee Horn, like Surtain listed in the above section, boasts ideal size at 6’1, and 200lb. He’s also a shade faster than Surtain, allowing him to keep up with opposing receivers. Given his 19 reps on the bench press at his pro day, he’s almost as strong as many offensive linemen, indicating that he can jam opponents. 

Horn has everything you look for in an NFL defensive back, with hands like a receiver, the physicality of a safety, and the speed of a smaller defensive back. This combo makes him more of a potential-based bet than anything else. 

Obviously, his odds are far longer because he’s walking onto a defense that was among the worst in the league in 2020. However, there is opportunity. If Horn can become a standout player on the Panthers’ defense, his odds to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year will greatly increase. 

He’s a good bet if you enjoy betting on the edge a little. 

Zaven Collins, LB – Arizona Cardinals: +1200

Zaven Collins’ NFL career got off to the wrong start after he was arrested in June for reckless driving. However, this appears to be an outlier for Collins, who has done everything right since. 

When the Cardinals drafted Collins, they opted for the best player on the board as opposed to need, since they already had Isaiah Simmons and Jordan Hicks pegged in at linebacker; two solid players. 

However, Simmons is arguably the league’s most versatile defensive player and the Collins pick allows him to play safety, corner, and even edge rusher. Hicks will take over for Simmons when the latter lines up elsewhere, allowing Collins to become the team’s only full-time starting inside linebacker. 

Collins is a versatile player, himself, and if he had gone to a larger school (Tulsa), odds are, he would have been a higher selection. Either way, Collins is a longer shot to win Defensive Rookie of the Year because of the logjam the Cardinals have at linebacker. 

But when he performs well, you will see his odds to win grow in his favor throughout the NFL season. 


NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is perhaps the hardest sector to place a bet. You may have already done so, or you may wait a little into the season before you place your bet to see if the above odds change any. 

Regardless of your strategy, the above players have the best chances of winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year as we head into Week One of yet another NFL Season. It should be an interesting season nonetheless, regardless if your chosen player pulls through with this coveted award. 

Leave a Comment