Who Will Win NFL Rookie of the Year? Here Are The Early Odds

Who Will Win NFL Rookie of the Year? Here Are The Early Odds
© USA Today

Defensive end Travon Walker may have been the No. 1 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he doesn’t top the DraftKings Sportsbook odds board as the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year. 

Here’s a rundown of the favorites for the Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year Awards. 

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Defensive Rookie of the Year

Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit, +450

The Detroit Lions were in such a rush to draft Hutchinson, the team sent in the draft card with Hutchinson’s name into the league within a minute of the Jaguars taking Walker. Apparently, the NFL, which loves to milk out time on the draft telecasts to discuss each pick, wasn’t too pleased. 

“We turned the card in so fast, the league got mad at us,” a Lions official said in Peter King’s weekly NFL column.

Huntchinson will get an opportunity to make an impact right away on a Lions defense that had the third-lowest number of sacks last season (30). In his final year at Michigan, Hutchinson tallied 14 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. 

His production at Michigan and the Lions’ need for his production will allow Hutchinson to make numerous plays to keep him in the Rookie of the Year race. 

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Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York +500

Along with Hutchinson, Thibodeaux was in the conversation to go No. 1. But as the draft neared, Thibodeaux saw his draft stock fall as analysis criticized his competitive drive and work ethic. 

Much of that comes from Thibodeaux’s off-field endeavors during the new NIL era while he was at Oregon. Thibodeaux partnered with numerous companies and sold NFTs as he continued to build his personal brand.

Still, he remained productive in his final season with the Ducks, recording seven sacks in 10 games and 12 tackles for loss.

The Giants also needed to upgrade its pass rush, finishing in the bottom half of the league in sacks (34). Thibodeaux was the Giants’ first pass rusher selected in the first round since they took Jason Pierre-Paul at No. 15 in 2010. 

Other Favorites

Travon Walker +600

Quay Walker +800

Kyle Hamilton +800

Jermaine Johnson II +800

Devin Lloyd +800

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Offensive Rookie of the Year

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh, +500

The old adage is the NFL is a quarterback-driven league, so it comes as no surprise the only quarterback drafted in the first round this year is the odds-on favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Pickett went to the Steelers at No. 20, setting himself up as the franchise’s future quarterback following Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin lauded Pickett’s “pro-ready” accuracy as one of the reasons the team went with him. 

During his final season at the University of Pittsburgh, Pickett completed 67% of his passes for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. 

Still, Tomlin hasn’t nominated Pickett as the team’s starting quarterback for this season. He mentioned Pickett will have to beat out Mitchell Trubisky and Kyle Rudolph for the job. 

“I expect it to be fierce because I know all three guys," Tomlin told Rich Eisen on Wednesday. "I don't expect anyone to take a backseat. ...

"I'm excited about watching these guys compete, just like I am at any position where you've got some viable options. So, we'll proceed with that understanding that it's going to be challenging from an organization standpoint, but it's a good challenge, and I'm excited about watching those guys perform."

Unlike most early-drafted quarterbacks who are thrown into a rough situation with a lack of talent around them, Pickett will have the chance to succeed by joining a team that just went to the playoffs. If he wins the starting job, he could run away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. 

Other Favorites

Treylon Burks +750

Drake London +750

Christian Watson +800

Breece Hall +900

Skyy Moore +1000

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