2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Picks: Micah Parsons Is The Pick

Micah Parsons was the first linebacker picked in the 2021 NFL draft. The Dallas Cowboys scooped up Parsons with the 12th pick after a trade that gave the Philadelphia Eagles the 10th pick in the draft in exchange for the 12th and 84th picks. With that trade, Dallas selected Parsons, who was the top-rated defensive player on the board, at No. 12 after the Eagles and Chicago Bears went with offensive players at No. 10 (DeVonta Smith) and No. 11 (Justin Fields). The move worked well for Dallas.

Parsons was not the preseason favorite to win accolades as NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year. The nod for the award went to Jamin Davis, who the Washington Football Team selected at No. 19 in the draft.

Before we dive into the DROY contenders, check out our tips for betting on NFL football games and the latest betting odds for the NFL rookie of the year.

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Micah Parsons-1800-900
Patrick Surtain II+1000+700
Jaelan Phillips+2500TBA
Jayson Oweh+2500+1500
Gregory Rousseau+5000+4000
Azeez Ojulari+5000+3000

Jamin Davis

Davis is no longer on the list of players being considered for Defensive Rookie of the Year. That doesn’t mean he can’t work his way back into the rankings because he has been getting more playing time than he had been at the start of the season. Any way you look at it, it seems as if expectations were too high for the raw talent of Davis in the preseason picks. He has talent, but he’s more of a project than he is a rookie phenom.

Micah Parsons

It’s going to take a miracle or a catastrophe to knock Parsons from his perch atop the Defensive Rookie of the Year odds. In his Thursday Night Football performance against the New Orleans Saints, Parsons notched five tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and two QB hits.  According to ESPN, “Parsons is the 1st player with 70 tackles and 10.0 sacks through his team’s 1st 12 games since James Harrison in 2010. He’s on pace for over 100 tackles and 14.0 sacks this season. The last player to do both was Bruce Smith in 1993.”  Smith went into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2009. Harrison retired in 2018 as a five-time Pro Bowl selection.

Parsons looks like a potential star for the Cowboys and a player who could contend for Defensive Player of the Year in the years following his rookie campaign.

Parsons had a great November. He earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month with 6.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, eight tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and 25 tackles. His performance against the Saints set the table for another big month for the former Penn State player.

Micah ParsonsTo Win NFL DROTY
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Patrick Surtain II

Surtain’s odds to win Defensive Rookie of the Year have not increased all that much over his preseason +1200, but he has moved up the board. Surtain, who was picked at No. 9 by the Denver Broncos, was at No. 7 at the start of the season. Today, he is the only player who might have a chance, albeit incredibly slim, to knock Parsons from the top of the hill.

Surtain has 31 tackles and three interceptions playing cornerback for the Broncos heading into Week 13 of the NFL season.

Patrick Surtain IITo Win NFL DROTY
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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He currently covers MMA for MMA Junkie and Forbes. He has also written for Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.