With the first two days of the 2023 NFL Draft now in the books, it’s time to take a look at the Defensive Rookie of the Year market. Let’s dive right in.
>> READ: Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
Defensive Rookie of Year Bets
Will Anderson +350
Will Anderson was the first defensive player selected in the draft, and he should be the favorite in this race. Your biggest concern with an Anderson bet, apart from there being little to no value, is he’s already the primary pass rusher on this team.
It will be easier for opponents to specifically game plan for Anderson than any of his pass-rushing competitors in this race. That wasn’t a problem for Aidan Hutchinson last year, who would have won the DROY in most years, but it’s a negative factor you should be aware of.
Tyree Wilson +800
Tyree Wilson might not see a double team his entire rookie season because he plays on the same front as Maxx Crosby. That, paired with his high draft capital, makes him an intriguing option in this race. If Wilson opens at a better price at another sports book during the next few weeks, Ryan will be betting on him.
Jalen Carter +800
It’s remarkable the rest of the league allowed the Philadelphia Eagles to get a player like Jalen Carter. Defensive tackles aren’t usually productive enough to win this award, but a high-end talent like Carter is among the favorites for a reason. The Eagles still have an extremely deep defensive line rotation, so Carter could be eased in early this season.
Devon Witherspoon +900
Sauce Gardner won the Defensive Rookie of the Year behind a historic cornerback season in 2022. That said, cornerbacks don’t often win this award, as the DROY is primarily won by top-of-the-draft pass rushers. Devon Witherspoon is currently a pass at +900.
Christian Gonzalez +1000
The same thesis for Witherspoon applies to Christian Gonzalez, who was one of the better value selections in the first round. Both Gonzalez and Witherspoon are worth monitoring this offseason, but we’re not interested in betting on either cornerback in this race, at these prices.
Lukas Van Ness +1200
Barring an injury, Lukas Van Ness looks like he’ll be a rotation player for most of his rookie season, as the Packers already have a formidable defensive front in place.
Nolan Smith +1600
Nolan Smith has enough ceiling to lead this rookie class in sacks, but he’ll likely begin his first year as a rotation player behind the Eagles' current collection of talented edge rushers.
Myles Murphy +2000
Myles Murphy is an interesting longshot, as he could realistically push Sam Hubbard for early playing time. At a minimum, Murphy is the third man in an edge rotation for a contending Bengals team. In a best-case scenario, Murphy sees more reps than Hubbard on passing downs early in the season.
Will McDonald +2000
Similar to Van Ness, Will McDonald likely starts his career as a rotation player that doesn’t start. Both situations are worth monitoring, but neither warrants an early bet given their situations.
Felix Anudike-Uzomah +2000
There’s a path to early playing time in Kansas City for Felix Anudike-Uzomah, who will rarely draw extra attention from opponents given the presence of star DT Chris Jones. Ryan would prefer to bet on Murphy as a mid-range longshot at this juncture.