Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson

Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the second overall pick to the Detroit Lions during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

  • Lions edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson is a +400 favorite to win 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • The Jaguars selected Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker with the first pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday
  • A look at the DROY odds can be found below with analysis

Travon Walker was the first pick in the NFL Draft, but Aidan Hutchinson is the favorite to win the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Hutchinson, the Michigan edge rusher, has been established as a +400 pick after being selected second by the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.

Walker is the third choice at +550 even though the edge rusher from Georgia went first to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Many analysts believe Walker is still raw and might need developmental time before making a major impact in the pros.

2022 NFL DROY Odds

Player Odds
Aidan Hutchinson (Lions) +400
Kayvon Thibodeaux (Giants) +450
Travon Walker (Jaguars) +550
Jermaine Johnson II (Jets) +700
Devin Lloyd (Jaguars) +750
Quay Walker (Packers) +750
Ahmad Gardner (Jets) +900
Derek Stingley Jr. (Texans) +900
Kyle Hamilton (Ravens) +1000
Jordan Davis (Eagles) +1400
Trent McDuffie (Chiefs) +1600
Nakobe Dean +1600
George Karlaftis (Chiefs) +1800
Kaair Elam (Bills) +1800
Andrew Booth Jr. +2000
Devonte Wyatt (Packers) +2000
Daxton Hill (Bengals) +3000
Lewis Cine (Vikings) +3000
Drake Jackson +3000
Christian Harris +5000
Brian Asamoah +5000
Boye Mafe +5000
Arnold Ebiketie +5000
Roger McCreary +5000
Kyler Gordon +5000
Leo Chenal +5000
Jaquan Brisker +5000
Jalen Pitre +5000

Odds as of April 29th at DraftKings

Walker became the heavy favorite to be the first pick in the NFL Draft odds in the hours leading up to the start of the draft.

Newly minted New York Giants edge rusher, Kayvon Thibodeaux, is second choice for DROY at +450 after the Oregon product was taken with the No. 5 pick.

With odds of +400, Hutchinson has an implied probability of 20% to win DROY.

Here’s a look at some of the key NFL Draft picks by team on the defensive side of the ball last night.

The Original Odds

When the DROY odds first posted on April 12, Hutchinson and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton were co-favorites at +600. While Hutchinson stayed in the conversation for the first pick and wound up going second, Hamilton’s stock dropped because of questions about his speed.

Hamilton wound up going to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 14.

The third choices at +1000 were cornerbacks Derek Stingley Jr of LSU and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner of Cincinnati along with Walker and Thibodeaux.

Why Walker is No. 1

Walker opened at +1000 but is now at +550.

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Walker only became a starter at Georgia last season and helped lead the Bulldogs to the national championship. Playing in a deep defensive line rotation, Walker had rather ordinary statistics with 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

Walker has good speed and athleticism for his size and build, though. Scouts believe he could probably add weight without losing much quickness, though his pass-rushing technique needs work.

The Jaguars went just 3-14 despite having rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the first pick in the 2021 draft from Clemson. Jacksonville was 20th in the NFL in total defense but 28th among the 32 teams in scoring defense.

Georgia had five defensive players selected in the first round, a draft record.

The Next Wave

Hutchinson’s odds improved slightly from +600 to +400 after being the second pick. The Houston Texans used the third pick on LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr, and his odds went +1000 to +900.

Hutchinson was the Heisman Trophy runner-up last season to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Hutchinson, who is 6-6 and 265, has good bloodlines as his father, Chris, was a former Michigan defensive lineman and captain.

The Lions were only slightly better than the Jaguars last season, finishing 3-13-1. Detroit was 31st in points allowed and 29th in total yards given up.

Stingley was an All-American in 2019 as a freshman when LSU won the national title. However, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder missed most of 2021 with a foot injury.

He joins the Texans, who went 4-13 in 2021 while ranking 21st in total defense and 27th in scoring.

Stingley was followed by another cornerback when the New York Jets selected Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder did not allow a touchdown pass during his three seasons with the Bearcats.

Like Stingley, Gardner’s DROY odds went from +1000 to +900. The Jets also finished 4-13 last season and were last in the NFL in both scoring defense and total defense. New York hopes it bolstered its defense with Gardner and another first-rounder, Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II.

The Giants made it five straight defensive players – the first time that happened since 1991 – when they tabbed Thibodeaux, whose odds improved from +1000 to +450. Thibodeaux had a dominant freshman season in 2019 at Oregon but was slowed by the pandemic and inconsistency the past two years.

The Giants matched the Jets’ 4-13 mark while finishing 21st in total defense and 23rd in scoring defense.

What Happened to Hamilton?

Hamilton’s 4.59 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine hurt his draft status. So did the fact he was limited to seven games last season at Notre Dame because of a knee injury.

However, the knee did not require surgery and Hamilton is a dynamic athlete with a knack for making big plays. The Ravens crashed under the weight of injuries, finishing with six straight losses for a record of 8-9 while standing 19th in points surrendered and 25th in total yards allowed.

Baltimore will count on Hamilton to help bolster that defense and that makes him an intriguing value play at +1000.

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