Grab an Edge to Boost Odds
The Georgia Bulldogs made all sorts of history with the number of players from their national championship team selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. The love for the former Georgia products didn’t end when the 15th and final member of the 2021 Georgia squad was selected in the three-day draft.
According to the NFL betting lines, four of the top 12 candidates for the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award were members of Georgia’s devastating defensive unit.
Travon Walker, Quay Walker, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean are among those players expected to compete for the honor of the best rookie defender in the NFL. Proving that all candidates are not created equal, 14 of the last 15 winners of the award were first-round picks. The lone exception came in 2018 when second-round pick Darius Leonard, a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, beat out Chargers safety Derwin James.
Here is a breakdown of the top NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates.
Edge Rushers Leading Way
A year ago, it was Micah Parsons’ pass-rushing brilliance that made the Dallas Cowboys standout the runaway winner of the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
With three of the top five selections in the 2022 NFL Draft being edge rushers, it should be a surprise to just about nobody that the sportsbook considers pass rushers to be the top candidates to be named the top defensive rookie in the NFL in 2022.
Aidan Hutchinson might have been passed over when it came to the No. 1 overall pick, but he is leading the way at +500 in the odds to be named the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, who was taken by the New York Giants with the fifth overall pick, is running almost neck-and-neck with Hutchinson with odds of +550. They are followed by No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker of the Jacksonville Jaguars (+700) in the NFL Draft player odds.
Jermaine Johnson (+950) is tied for the fourth-best odds. He is followed by George Karlaftis (+1800). Drake Jackson (+3500) is the first edge rusher not selected in the first round to appear in the Las Vegas odds.
Walker and Hutchinson will be forever linked together simply because either of them could have been the first overall pick in any NFL Draft player analysis. The race for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year will be just one of the chances for the top two selections in the 2022 NFL Draft to have their impact as rookies compared.
Lloyd Poised to be Big Hit
Former Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd might have slid a little further than anticipated among the players selected in the NFL Draft but according to the NFL betting lines, he is expected to be a strong rookie of the year candidate.
Lloyd, who joins Walker in what will be a revamped Jacksonville defense, leads all linebackers with odds of +950 to be the top defensive rookie in the NFL. Linebackers won the award nine times in a 10-year span. Defensive linemen or edge rushers have won five of the last eight defensive rookie of the year awards.
Lloyd’s competition for top rookie linebacker could come from a couple of members of the national champion Georgia team as Quay Walker of the Green Bay Packers comes in at +850 and Philadelphia Eagles third-round pick Nakobe Dean at +1600.
Strength in Numbers in Secondary
When it comes to the top players in the NFL Draft, keep an eye on the defensive backs as eight of the top 19 candidates for the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year according to the Las Vegas odds will play in the secondary.
It begins with Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton, who comes in at +850 and was highly projected in the NFL Draft player analysis.
Derek Stingley and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner were the top two defensive backs selected in last month’s draft and they both are at +1000. Trent McDuffie (+1600), Kaiir Elam (+1700), Andrew Booth (+2200), Daxton Hill (+3500) and Lewis Cine (+4000) are other members of the secondary to keep an eye on.
Davis Ready to Tackle Next Challenge
It was hard to miss the mammoth Jordan Davis in the middle of that Georgia defense and he is in the spotlight once again. Davis comes in with the best odds at +1500 among interior defensive linemen for the rookie of the year accolades.
Unless one of the edge rushers is moved inside, Davis might be the only defensive tackle in the mix. When it comes to other defensive tackles to keep an eye on, DeMarvin Leal, Logan Hall and Travis Jones all come in at +6000.Follow us on Twitter