2019-05-08 18:43:481 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa with sack. (Image Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
With the 2019 NFL Draft complete it’s time to look forwards towards the upcoming season and how the draftees will perform as rookies. Here are the early odds for Defensive Rookie of the Year per Caesars Casino:
DE Nick Bosa (Ohio State), San Francisco 49ers (+400): The No. 2 overall pick in the draft was considered by many to be the most-talented player in the class. While it’s not uncommon for defensive ends to go in the top five, they don’t often win rookie of the year. Since 2000, only three defensive ends have gone on to win the award. That’s not to say Nick Bosa doesn’t have pedigree on his side because one them was his brother Joey (Bosa) with the Chargers in 2016. In fairness, we should note that of the linebackers who have been named ROY, three were edge rushers so Bosa’s potential as a sack master is why he’s listed as the co-favorite.
NT Quinnen Williams (Alabama), New York Jets (+400): Awards are often stat driven and nose tackle isn’t the most stat-friendly position. But Quinnen Williams isn’t your typical nose man. He’s capable of getting into the backfield and making plays. He’ll benefit from playing in between Leonard Williams (2016 Pro Bowl) and Henry Anderson (7 sacks in 2018), which should lead to a lot of one-on-one situations which bodes for the No. 3 overall pick. If not Bosa, many had Williams atop their draft board.
DT Ed Oliver (Houston), Buffalo Bills (+550): Like Williams, Ed Oliver is that rare interior lineman who is capable of being a disruptive force. The Houston product is known more for his quickness and athleticism than his strength. With excellent burst and an electric first step, Oliver is a one-gap defender who should step in seamlessly into the three-technique position in Buffalo’s 4-3 defense. He brings pass rush potential, similar to the three interior linemen who have won the award over the past nine seasons.
ILB Devin Bush (Michigan), Pittsburgh Steelers (+700): This is the best value bet. Of the past 19 winners since 2000, 12 were linebackers, mostly of the off-ball variety, including Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts last season. Devin Bush is in the mold of many of those previous immediate-impact linebackers in that he can contribute in every aspect of that game. He will rack up tackles against the run with the speed to cover ground sideline-to-sideline. Against the pass, the Michigan man can drop back in coverage and is an effective blitzer. He has stat-sheet stuffer potential, in part because he never has to leave the field. The Steelers traded up to No. 10 to draft Bush and will plug him right into the middle of their defense.
ILB Devin White (LSU), Tampa Bay Bucs (+800): The first inside linebacker off the board wasn’t Bush, but another Devin, in White who was selected with the fifth pick. He’s also viewed as a plug-and-play rookie who will take over at the MIKE position for the Bucs. The Bayou Bengal can fly with the ability to pounce on ball carriers in a heartbeat. White can run with running backs, he’s explosive, with the ability to mirror pass catchers in coverage. All that athleticism allows him to cover a lot of space as well as have in impact as a pass defender. The ideal inside linebacker for a Todd Bowles-led defense.
DE Clelin Ferrell (Clemson), Oakland Raiders (+800): Just because this pick was viewed as a reach doesn’t mean the Raiders made a bad choice or that the Clemson product can’t put together an impressive rookie campaign. As much as any player in this class, Clelin Ferrell was brought in to fill an immediate need which is why he went off the board at No. 4. Desperate for a pass rush, desperate to replace Khalil Mack, Ferrell should take over at defensive end, as the team’s primary pass rusher, which is what he does best. He’s believed to be a good scheme fit which bodes well for his first-year production.
DE Josh Allen (Kentucky), Jacksonville Jaguars (+1,000): Many thought the New York Giants, Jets, and Raiders would/should select Josh Allen out of Kentucky, as he was viewed as the second-best edge rusher in this draft so it was a surprise that he slipped to seventh to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Even though he might be viewed as a better prospect than some of the guys drafted ahead of him it’s unclear how the Jags plan on using the UK product. With ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue already in place, it looks like Allen will be used as an off linebacker. He should also get some pass rushing opportunities.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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