Micah Parsons took the NFL by storm last season, leading the Dallas Cowboys in sacks and wreaking havoc all over the field. He was in the discussion to win Defensive Player of the Year, earning 10% of the votes.
While Parsons didn’t end up taking home that award, he was the unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year after an incredible season. But who will be the next Parsons? And who should you bet on to win the award this season?
To help guide you in our NFL predictions series, here are our Defensive Rookie of the Year predictions and betting tips.
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award Odds
The 2022 NFL Draft was loaded with defensive talent, so there are several intriguing options to bet on for Defensive Rookie of the Year. But who is the current favorite and who are some of the best values on the board?
All NFL odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook and current as of Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 1 p.m. ET.
- Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Detroit Lions (+500)
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, New York Giants (+550)
- Travon Walker, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars (+650)
- Quay Walker, LB, Green Bay Packers (+900)
- Jermaine Johnson, DE, New York Jets (+900)
- Derek Stingley Jr., CB, Houston Texans (+1000)
- Ahmad Gardner, CB, New York Jets (+1000)
- Kyle Hamilton, S, Baltimore Ravens (+1100)
- Devin Lloyd, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars (+1200)
- Nakobe Dean, LB, Philadelphia Eagles (+1400)
It’s worth noting that the last three winners of this award were all top-12 selections in the NFL Draft. The last player to win the award who wasn’t selected in the first round was Darius Leonard (pick No. 36) in 2018. Beyond that, the last Defensive Rookie of the Year drafted outside of the top 40 was Erik McMillan in 1988.
So if you are going to bet on a player to take home the award this season, bet on someone drafted early in the 2022 NFL Draft.
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NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award Prediction
Kyle Hamilton, S, Baltimore Ravens (+1100)
Wager: 1 Unit
The last safety to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award was Mark Carrier (1990) for the Chicago Bears. Safeties just don’t win this award very often, but Kyle Hamilton isn’t really a safety.
Hamilton is a 6’4, 220-pound box player who can cover like a defensive back and hit like a linebacker. In Baltimore’s defense, he is expected to line up near the line of scrimmage, playing a pseudo linebacker role.
- Check out our NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds & Predictions
Hamilton should play a ton of snaps as a rookie and he’ll be in position to make a lot of splash plays. He’s likely to lead the Ravens in tackles as a rookie and he should be an impact blitzer from Day 1.
The 11-1 odds really aren’t bad for arguably the best defensive player in the class. Plus, he should be on a very good defense that plays in a bunch of primetime games. That will certainly help his case.
Best NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Sleeper Bets
Lewis Cine, S, Minnesota Vikings (+4000)
Wager: 1 Unit
Instead of taking Hamilton at No. 12, the Vikings traded out of that spot and ended up with another safety, Lewis Cine, at pick No. 32. While Cine doesn’t have Hamilton’s size, he is the far better athlete and has big-game experience as one of the leaders on Georgia’s defense.
Cine is at his best when he’s near the line of scrimmage, so expect the Vikings to use him a lot on blitzes. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Cine led the Vikings in tackles this season and had several highlight players during his rookie campaign.
Daxton Hill, S, Cincinnati Bengals, (+5000)
Wager: 1 Unit
Daxton Hill was one of the most versatile defensive backs in the draft, playing safety and cornerback for the Michigan Wolverines. He fell to the Bengals at pick No. 31, filling Cincinnati’s need for another playmaking defensive back.
It’s unclear exactly what Hill’s role will be for the 2022 season, but his coverage ability along with his fearlessness as a tackler will get him on the field early. For a team that should be really good on defense again this season, Hill should get a ton of opportunities to shine in big moments.
Logan Hall, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6600)
Wager: 1 Unit
Logan Hall wasn’t a first-round pick, but the Buccaneers did select him with their first selection (No. 33) in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s an incredibly long and athletic defensive tackle that will be playing alongside Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks.
Hall isn’t much of a run-stopper yet, as his game is built on getting up the field and wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks. He should find some success as a rookie and could tally seven or eight sacks if he hits his Year 1 ceiling.
At 66-1, this is a pure value play considering where Hall was drafted and the situation he will be playing in this year. He could easily find himself in the DROY discussion by the end of the season.