Two New York Jets rookies have some of the best odds to win the NFL’s 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year award
The New York Jets figure to be heavily involved in the discussion surrounding the NFL’s 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year award. They have two players who rank among the top 10 favorites to win the award, per betting odds at FanDuel.
Cincinnati cornerback Sauce Gardner, chosen fourth overall by New York in this year’s draft, is tied for the fifth-best odds at +1400. Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson, chosen 26th, is tied for the seventh-best odds at +1600.
Here are the current favorites to win Defensive Rookie of the Year at FanDuel:
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, NYG (+550)
- Aidan Hutchinson, DET (+600)
- Travon Walker, JAX (+1000)
- Kyle Hamilton, BAL (+1000)
- Ahmad Gardner, NYJ (+1400)
- Derek Stingley, HOU (+1400)
- Nakobe Dean, PHI (+1600)
- Jordan Davis, PHI (+1600)
- Jermaine Johnson, NYJ (+1600)
- Quay Walker, GB (+1600)
Gardner’s odds are a bit low relative to his draft position. He was the fourth defensive player chosen but has the fifth-best odds. Three of the four players with better odds were chosen ahead of him, with the exception being Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton, who was picked 14th overall (seventh among defenders).
It makes sense that Gardner’s odds are relatively low when you consider his position. Cornerbacks do not win this award very often. Only eight of the 55 all-time winners (15%) were cornerbacks. The last cornerback to win it was Marshon Lattimore of the Saints in 2017.
However, it’s even more unlikely for a safety to win the award, so it’s interesting that Hamilton is seen as a greater favorite than Gardner. Only two safeties have ever won it, with the most recent being Mark Carrier of the Bears in 1990. This makes Gardner an intriguing play when you consider his odds relative to Hamilton’s.
On the other hand, Johnson’s odds are higher than expected based on his draft position. Johnson was the 11th defensive player chosen but is tied for the seventh-best odds. This is likely because defensive linemen are a common choice to win this award. Nearly half of all DROY winners (26/55, 47%) were either an interior defensive lineman or an edge rusher. This includes five of the past nine winners.
For Gardner to win this award, he will need to post a gaudy number in the interception column. The eight cornerbacks to win DROY combined for an average interception total of 6.3 in their rookie season, with a minimum of 3 interceptions.
For Johnson to take it home, he must stockpile plenty of sacks. The last five edge rushers to win DROY combined for an average sack total of 10.2 in their rookie season, with a minimum of 7.5 sacks.