2021 Defensive ROY Prediction: Bet Picks For 2021 NFL Rookie Of The Year

Last Updated: May 26, 2021

Here’s The Game Day’s 2021 Defensive ROY Prediction and Bet Picks for 2021 NFL DROY. See what our pick is for wagering on this 2021 NFL futures bet for 2021 NFL Defensive ROY.

While the 2021 NFL Draft was not the strongest class for defensive players, there were still some very talented youngsters in this group, who have the potential to come in and make an immediate impact on their respective teams.

The first defensive player was not picked until the eighth overall selection and there were only three defensive players taken in the top 15 choices.

Although the first two defensive players taken off the board were cornerbacks, the last two seasons have seen edge rushers capture this award. And this year, the trend is already leaning towards that way when checking out some of the early lines.

The Game Day is here to give you a look at some of the favorites to take home the Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy in 2021.

2021 Defensive ROY Prediction: Bet Picks For 2021 NFL Rookie Of The Year

2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Futures Bets & Prediction

  • Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys (+400)
  • Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami Dolphins (+650)
  • Jamin Davis, LB, Washington Football Team (+900)
  • Kwity Paye, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts (+900)
  • Zaven Collins, LB, Arizona Cardinals (+1200)
  • Patrick Surtain II, CB, Denver Broncos (+1200)
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Cleveland Browns (+1400)
  • Jaycee Horn, CB, Carolina Panthers (+1600)
  • Greg Newsome II, CB, Cleveland Browns (+2000)
  • Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, New York Giants (+2000)
  • Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Buffalo Bills (+2000)
  • Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Baltimore Ravens (+2500)
  • Caleb Farley, CB, Tennessee Titans (+2500)
  • Trevon Moehrig, S, Las Vegas Raiders (+2500)
  • Eric Stokes, CB, Green Bay Packers (+2500)

Odds and lines for 2021 Defensive ROY Prediction: Bet Picks for 2021 NFL DROY provided by BetMGM. BetMGM has a welcome offer for a Risk-Free Bet of up to $600. Use promo code THEGAMEDAY or click here to sign up for a new account.

2021 Defensive ROY Prediction Sleeper Bet: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (+1400)

One name to keep an eye on as a sleeper pick for 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The Notre Dame product, who shockingly fell all the way to No. 52 overall to the Cleveland Browns on day two of the NFL draft, could be looked at as a potential steal.

Despite having the 21st ranked passing defense in the NFL last season, the Browns had the 11th most sacks with 38. They have now added a player in Owusu-Koramoah, who had seven sacks and 24.5 tackles for a loss for the Fighting Irish across two seasons.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is one of the best 2021 Defensive ROY Predictions and Bet Picks for 2021 NFL DROY

Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (28) lines up as a favorite among Pat’s the 2021 Defensive ROY predictions. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

2021 Defensive ROY Prediction Strong Bet: Jaelan Phillips (+650)

Next up is University of Miami’s edge rusher Jaelan Phillips, who was selected with the 18th pick by his college’s hometown Miami Dolphins.

Phillips was also the first edge rusher selected in the draft, which is not shocking given his upside. Despite appearing in only 10 games in his first two collegiate seasons with UCLA, Phillips transferred to Miami in 2019. And after sitting out all of that season due to eligibility rules, he started all 10 games for the Hurricanes in 2020 and put up a monstrous eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss.

The soon-to-be 22-year-old will be battling it out for the starting weakside linebacker job with promising youngster Andrew Van Ginkel on Miami’s defense. Regardless, Phillips should see significant playing time on Brian Flores’ defense, which led the NFL with 29 takeaways last season.

Phillips draws early comparisons to Las Vegas Raiders sack leader Maxx Crosby. He also has been pegged as an elusive pass rusher with a devastating first step.

Although he had some concussion, ankle, and wrist issues in college, Phillips is seemingly healthy and still has the second-best odds to take home the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2021.

Owusu-Koramoah also captured The Butkus Award in 2020, which is given out to the best linebacker in college football. In addition to the Butkus Award, the 21-year-old took home the honors of ACC Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-ACC, and the Unanimous All-American Award last year.

The linebacker draws comparisons to All-Pro safety Derwin James given his versatility and playmaking ability. While there is some concern regarding his size and discipline on the field, Owusu-Koramoah has explosive traits, and a rare skill set that helps him excel in coverage, and as a run stopper and pass rusher.

Above all else, Owusu-Koramoah is seen as a game-changer that will help an already talented Browns defense from the second he steps onto the field.

2021 Defensive ROY Prediction Best Bet: Micah Parsons (+400)

Lastly, we have our favorite in versatile Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who is one of the more intriguing characters from this year’s draft class.

Despite sitting out of the 2020 season due to Covid-19 concerns, Parsons was one of the most explosive defensive players in college football playing for Penn State from 2018-19.

In 16 career games for the Nittany Lions, Parsons was a superstar totaling 6.5 sacks, and 191 tackles with 18 coming for a loss. The soon-to-be 22-year-old ran a blistering 4.39, 40-yard dash at his pro day, which is almost unheard of for a linebacker.

Parsons draws comparisons to Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack. He also has the ability to rush the passer and play both inside and outside linebacker.

What makes Parsons, so attractive is that his best attribute is shooting through gaps in order to make plays in the backfield given his elite speed and athleticism. Parsons is also a talented blitzer and an excellent tackler with great wrap-up ability.

The Cowboys had the 24th ranked defense in the NFL last year, but the addition of Parsons makes their linebacker group that much scarier next to Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. When surveying 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates, Parsons is the best pick to make at +400.


Pat Ragazzo

Pat Ragazzo is the New York Mets beat reporter for Sports Illustrated/Fan Nation, residing in Hoboken, NJ. Pat also contributes to SI/FN’s Yankees’ site Inside the Pinstripes on a weekly basis. In addition to writing on MLB, Pat contributes to Heavy’s New York Giants’ vertical and The Game Day’s football and baseball coverage as well.

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