The 2021 NFL Draft will feature some of the top talent from the college football scene being selected to play at the highest level of competitive football. While most eyes are purely plastered on the bevy of offensive talent in this draft class, including Clemson quarterback and first overall pick Trevor Lawrence, this draft features quite a bit of high-end defensive talent.
With a new era of defensive stars coming into the league, including Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, all eyes will be on which player will win the 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Are Parsons or Surtain a betting lock to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2021, though? Here are the top five current 2021 NFL DROY betting odds.
#5 – CB Patrick Surtain II (+1000)
The son of former Chiefs and Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain, Alabama corner Patrick Surtain II is looking to make his own name in the NFL. The younger Surtain is slated to be one of the top defenders off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft and has all the makings of a shutdown corner in the league. While Surtain is currently sitting with the fifth-best betting odds to win the 2021 NFL DROY award, he could be the best dark horse bet on this list.
#4 – EDGE Jaelen Phillips (+1000)
Jaelen Phillips has quickly shot up draft boards in the media and is seen by many to be one of the top edge rushers in this draft class. The Miami (FL) product battled injuries and even had medically retired from football at one point when he was with UCLA, but he has bounced back and shown that he belongs in the NFL. Depending on which team drafts Phillips, he may have a good shot at earning a starting role, putting him in prime position to be a candidate for the 2021 NFL DROY award.
#3 – EDGE Kwity Paye (+900)
When NFL teams select their defensive players, they look at size, speed, and tenacity. Michigan edge defender Kwity Paye has all of the above and currently has the third-best odds to win the 2021 NFL DROY award. Paye has great size and even better explosiveness for how big he is. Depending on the team that selects him, Paye should find himself starting as a rookie and will likely be a game-wrecker due to his first step explosiveness and run defense.
#2 – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (+700)
Notre Dame has produced a lot of great defensive talent over time and they have another potential star that will be drafted in 2021. Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is a fairly safe bet to win the 2021 NFL DROY award, as his scheme versatility and athletic ability will allow him to fly all over the field and make plays week in and week out. While he isn’t considered by many to be a top ten selection in the class, he might just end up being the best defensive player from the group.
#1 – LB Micah Parsons (+400)
Linebackers selected in the first round of the NFL Draft are generally hit and miss, but one linebacker that may end up being a big hit is Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. While off-field issues may cause him to drop out of the top ten, where he has been speculated to go for months, Parsons will likely have a huge impact on whatever team he lands with. He has the speed to go sideline to sideline and the ability to rush off the edge. Parsons might not be a lock to win the 2021 NFL DROY award, but he currently has the best betting odds to win.