- Myles Garrett (+700) and Micah Parsons (+900) are frontrunners for the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
- Past DPOY winners T.J. Watt (+750) and Aaron Donald (+750) remain contenders for the award
- Joey Bosa (+2000) and Maxx Crosby (+2800) are incredible longshots after their teams acquired pass rushing help in the offseason
Defensive lineman or edge rushers have captured nine of the past 11 NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. However, it’s hard to say if this trend is here to stay or simply the result of a couple generational big men who were born to sack quarterbacks. For instance, Aaron Donald (3) and the Watt brothers (3 for J.J., 1 for T.J.) have won seven of the past 10 DPOYs between them.
Defensive Player of the Year
|Derwin James Jr.||+3300||+3500|
Four DPOY frontrunners
Myles Garrett (+700) jumped from 12 sacks in 2020 to 16 in 2021, adding 17 tackles for loss. The 26-year-old pass rusher has four straight 10-sack efforts. But, his numbers could backslide if Deshaun Watson is suspended for the season as the Browns’ opponents will almost never be playing from behind.
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt (+750) tied Michael Strahan’s NFL record with 22.5 sacks in 2021. He also led the league in QB takedowns and hits (39) and tied for first with 21 tackles for loss. Most impressively, the Steelers linebacker achieved all this while missing two full games and most of a third.
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) July 9, 2022
Aaron Donald (+750) has claimed three DPOYs in the past five years. While he missed out in 2022, the first-ballot Hall of Famer still enjoyed a helluva campaign, pushing his way through double-teams for 12.5 sacks. Not to mention his Super Bowl 56 trophy and the $40 million raise he secured from the Rams this offseason.
Micah Parsons (+900) ran away with Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last season, notching 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in his final 10 games alone. The 23-year-old sophomore certainly won’t lack for media attention as the centerpiece of the Dallas Cowboys’ defense.
Two tasty longshots
Joey Bosa (+2000) might not even be the best defensive player in his own family. After all, his younger brother Nick Bosa (+1500) outpaced him in both sacks (15.5 vs. 10.5) and QB pressures (49 vs 43) in 2022. Yet, with 2016 DPOY Khalil Mack now playing opposite of the elder Bosa on the Chargers’ defensive line, Nick should face significantly fewer double teams and be free to wreak havoc. The 27-year-old finished second in the league with seven forced fumbles last season.
Never a dull moment with Joey Bosa. 🤣
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) July 11, 2022
While Maxx Crosby (+2800) has only registered a pedestrian 15 sacks over the past two seasons, he led the NFL in hurries (77) and QB hits (20) in 2022, and finished second in total pressures (108) with a pressure rate north of 15 percent. The Raiders fourth-round pick in 2019 also had the highest pass rush win rate (26.8%) among all defenders with at least 100 attempts, so he’s definitely “due” for more sacks. (Don’t forget, he had 10 sacks in 10 games in his rookie season).
Finally, “Mad Maxx” should benefit greatly from Las Vegas’ addition of All-Pro Chandler Jones, who has 107.5 career sacks to his name.
Best Bet: T.J. Watt (+750)
Top Longshots: Joey Bosa (+2000) and Maxx Crosby (+2800)
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