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2023-24 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Odds

The Defensive Rookie of the Year Award is always one of the most fun NFL futures bets to make. Bettors can wager on the NFL's future stars and get pretty good value, too. So, who is the favorite to take home the award this year and who is a dark horse worth watching? Here are the latest DROY and our favorite bets for the 2023-24 season.

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2023 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Odds & Picks


Will Anderson Jr., DE, Texans

Odds: +400 at DraftKings

While Sauce Gardner was a clear favorite all last season, this year's defensive rookie class is bit more competitive.

At Alabama, Will Anderson Jr. won several awards, such as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy twice, and he was a part of Alabama's national championship in 2020.

Anderson has the potential to make an outsized impact, even on a team like Houston, because of the team's competition this season. Will Anderson Jr. is a disruptor and has the size and speed to impact games immediately.


Jalen Carter, DT, Eagles

Odds: +700 at DraftKings

Carter comes to the defending NFC Champions riding the wave of back-to-back NCAA championships in Athens with the Georgia Bulldogs.

He was a unanimous All-American in 2022 before he was taken with the No. 9 in the 2023 draft. Carter slid on draft night and will likely use that as motivation given his pedigree at Georgia.

Carter was involved in a crash that police say was the result of street-racing and led to the deaths of a Georgia player and team staffer. Carter pled no contest to the related charges and is serving 12 months probation. He is facing two civil lawsuits stemming from the crash.


Christian Gonzalez, CB, Patriots

Odds: +950 at DraftKings

The Patriots flirted with several options on draft day before picking Gonzalez, a 6-1 corner out of Oregon, with the No. 17 overall pick.

His potential growth curve is significant, especially given that he just turned 21 in June. Working with Bill Belichick should help Gonzalez learn as quickly as possible.

The Patriots secondary will be young. Gonzalez will have plenty of opportunity to make a big impact.

Other Names To Watch: DROY Honors

  • Devon Witherspoon, CB, Seahawks, +1000: Witherspoon was a surprise pick by the Seahawks at the No. 5 spot in the first round. He will play - a lot. Pete Carroll won't be able to recreate the "Legion of Boom" with this year's roster. But many belived Witherspoon could make some big plays in the secondary.
  • Jack Campbell, LB, Lions, +1400: Taken by the Lions with the No. 18 pick in the first round, Campbell has a chance to succeed in a deep defensive scheme alongside fellow lineback Alex Anzalone with Aidan Hutchinson up front. The Lions were 29th against the run last season. Campbell hopes to change that.
  • Joey Porter Jr., CB, Steelers, +2500: The Steelers went back to the future when they drafted Porter in the second round of the 2023 draft. The 6-2 defensive back is the son of former Steelers (among other teams) linebacker Joey Porter.

AP NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Award Winners

Let's take a look at the previous winners of the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, starting with the most recent winner, Sauce Gardner of the New York Jets.

2022CBSauce GardnerNew York Jets
2021LBMicah ParsonsDallas Cowboys
2020DEChase YoungWashington Commanders
2019DENick BosaSan Francisco 49ers
2018OLBShaquille LeonardIndianapolis Colts
2017CBMarshon LattimoreNew Orleans Saints
2016DEJoey BosaLos Angeles Chargers
2015CBMarcus PetersKansas City Chiefs
2014DTAaron DonaldLos Angeles Rams
2013DESheldon RichardsonNew York Jets
2012LBLuke KuechlyCarolina Panthers
2011LBVon MillerDenver Broncos

Defensive Rookie Of The Year FAQs

Has A DROY Ever Won NFL MVP?

No player in NFL history has ever gone on to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year and the NFL MVP in the same season. The only two defensive players to win the MVP award were Alan Page (1971) and Lawrence Taylor (1986). Taylor is also the only player to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and the Defensive Player of the Year Award in the same season (1981). However, Micah Parsons for the Dallas Cowboys was close last year after receiving all 50 votes for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and finishing second in the Defensive Player of the Year award (five votes).

What Round Are Most DROYs Drafted In?

Almost all Defensive Rookie of the Year award winners are selected early in the NFL Draft. Since 2000, there have only been three non-first-round picks that have taken home the award. That list includes linebackers Shaquille Leonard, DeMeco Ryans, and Kendrell Bell. All three linebackers were second-round picks and, in fact, high second-round picks. The last player to win the award selected after the first two rounds was Erik McMillan in 1998. So, needless to say, it's usually not a good idea to bet on later draft picks to take home this award.

Has Any Defensive Position Not Won The DROY Award?

Every position has taken home the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. However, there are positions that are less likely to win the award. One such position is safety, as only two players in NFL history have ever won the award: Erik McMillan (1988) and Mark Carrier (1990). Defensive tackle is another position that doesn't win the award very often, as the only defensive tackle in the last decade to win the award was Aaron Donald (2014). In fact, since 2000, only Donald and Ndamukong Suh (2011) have won the award for the defensive tackle position.

Which Position Has The Most DROY Award Winners?

The position that has won the most Defensive Rookie of the Year awards is linebacker (27). However, that number is a bit inflated, including 3-4 outside linebackers, whose main job is to rush the passer. A pass-rusher has won the DROY award from 2019-22. The last true off-the-ball linebacker to take home the award was Shaquille Leonard in 2018.

Who Won The DROY Award In 2022?

The 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year was CB Sauce Gardner. Taken 4th overall by the Jets in the 2022 draft, Gardner led the NFL with 20 passes defense in 2022. Also, Sauce Gardner generated two interceptions and compiled 75 tackles. He allowed just two TDs. Detroit Lions' DE Aidan Hutchinson finished second.