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NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds are up for the 2023 season. This award was won by 49ers’ defensive end Nick Bosa in 2022, and he’ll be looking to become the fourth player in NFL history to win back-to-back DPOY awards. The last back-to-back winner was Aaron Donald in 2017 and 2018 – he joined Lawrence Taylor and J.J. Watt as the only players to win back-to-back.
The top of the list is full of elite talent, primarily in the pass rushing mold as the top five players in odds all play off the edge. With plenty of value to be had on the board, let’s take a look at the odds.
NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Odds 2022-23
Cowboys’ edge-linebacker hybrid defensive wizard Micah Parsons is the current favorite to win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award this season. In his first two NFL seasons, he’s already been nominated to the All Pro First Team twice, and he was the runner up for this award last season, losing out to Nick Bosa.
Last season, Parsons led the NFL with 90 pressures and he ranks second among edges in PFF’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric since entering the NFL in 2021. That’s all the more impressive when you consider his relative inexperience playing the edge position – he was primarily an off-ball linebacker at Penn State, split time between the positions as a rookie, and has now transitioned to a near full-time edge role.
Parsons is way ahead of the curve in terms of his development as a pass rusher, and a third-year ascension to the clear best defensive player in the NFL is very possible. On a team that gets a ton of media coverage and should be near the top of its conference, Parsons will get plenty of attention for this award. +650 odds might be too long here.
The Kings of the North: TJ Watt and Myles Garrett
The inter-divisional rivalry between the Browns and Steelers is even more fun to watch when you have two incredibly talented defensive presences on either side in Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt. Bringing significantly different approaches to the table, both are elite pass rushers who are consistently near the top of the league in sacks and pressures. Both are around +750 to win DPOY this year.
Garrett was PFF’s highest-graded pass rusher in 2022 and he led all players with a 25.6% pass-rush win rate (min. 200 pass-rushing snaps). Garrett is an all-time freak athlete who brings a vicious first step and incredible balance to the position. If he can replicate an 18-sack season and add in a couple forced turnovers, he’ll be in the mix for the DPOY.
Watt, meanwhile, is one of the most technically refined pass rushers the league has seen in recent years. After winning the DPOY in 2021 with a 22-sack season, he’s coming off a down year where he played just ten games and finished with just seven sacks. However, he’s a monster off the edge when he’s healthy, and the Steelers’ shored up secondary should give him even more time for pass-rushing production this year.
West Coast Winners: Nick Bosa, Maxx Crosby, and Aaron Donald
The winner of the DPOY award in 2022, Nick Bosa somewhat surprisingly checks in fourth in the current odds for the award in 2023 at +1000. Bosa ran away with the award last year, earning 46 of the 50 first place votes from the AP. He’ll have to deal with losing defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, but the addition of Javon Hargrave makes the defensive line even more difficult to game plan for, leaving Bosa with more one-on-one opportunities.
The Raiders’ Maxx Crosby is an interesting name to watch for this award. Coming in at +1200 odds, he was third in the NFL with 81 pressures last year, which was a decline from his league-leading 101 pressures in 2021 according to PFF. However, he leads the league’s edge rushers in WAR since 2021, and he’s an elite defender on an otherwise lackluster defense.
Don’t forget about Aaron Donald in this race. The Rams’ defensive tackle was +400 to win DPOY at this time last year and he can now be found at +2500. I get it – he’s now 31 years old and the Rams have lost a ton of talent on their defense. However, Donald didn’t seem to lose a step in his 11 games played last year, and a full season could put him back in the conversation here. Donald won this award three times in four years from 2017 to 2020.
Second-Year Studs: Ahmad Gardner and Aidan Hutchinson
Coming in near the top of the odds board are two second-year pros Ahmad Gardner and Aidan Hutchinson who were both very impressive in their respective rookie seasons. Gardner was PFF’s highest-graded cornerback as a rookie, holding opponents to a 53.9 passer rating, which was the second-lowest among qualified corners. So much for a tough transition to the NFL after playing in the Group of Five at Cincinnati.
Hutchinson wasn’t as dominant as Gardner as a rookie, but the 6’7”, 264 lb edge defender used his impressive length and relentless motor to create a pass rush for the Lions. Detroit worked to improve its secondary this offseason, which should force opposing passers to stay in the pocket longer and create more opportunities for Hutch. There’s an opportunity for a big second-year breakout.
Top Longshot Values
Could Roquan Smith be the first linebacker to win the Defensive Player of the Year award since Luke Kuechly in 2013? The Ravens certainly think so after giving him a five-year, $100 million contract. Smith was the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December and January once arriving in Baltimore via trade, and he could have a career year surrounded by elite talent in this defense.
Jalen Ramsey is a former three-time All Pro corner, six-time Pro Bowler, BCS national champion, and Super Bowl champion. However, he’s never won a DPOY. Now in Vic Fangio’s defense which looks like one of the best in the NFL on paper, Ramsey will be a Swiss army knife capable of making a massive impact. In addition to excellent coverage, Ramsey is a stout run defender – he was named the best run defender in the NFL by PFF last year.