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NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Odds, winners, trophy, when is it awarded?

The 2023 NFL Draft included a number of disruptors on the defensive side of the ball that have a chance to be elite over the next decade.

Current NFL superstars Will Anderson Jr., Aaron Donald, Nick Bosa and Micah Parsons are all former NFL Defensive Rookies of the Year, while New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner won last year's award with 75 tackles and two interceptions in his rookie campaign.

Who will emerge as the league's best defensive rookie over the 2023/24 season? We have looked into some of the leading candidates.

2023 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year finalists

Jalen Carter

Devon Witherspoon

Will Anderson

Brian Branch

Tuli Tuipulotu

Read more: NFL Honors winners, awards, voting results & more

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year past winners

SeasonNamePositionTeam
2023Will Anderson Jr.DEHouston Texans
2022Sauce GardnerCBNew York Jets
2021Micah ParsonsOLBDallas Cowboys
2020Chase YoungDEWashington
2019Nick BosaDESan Francisco 49ers
2018Shaquille LeonardLBIndianapolis Colts
2017Marshon LattimoreCBNew Orleans Saints
2016Joey BosaDESan Diego Chargers
2015Marcus PetersCBKansas City Chiefs
2014Aaron DonaldDTSt. Louis Rams
2013Sheldon RichardsonDTNew York Jets
2012Luke KuechlyMLBCarolina Panthers
2011Von MillerOLBDenver Broncos
2010Ndamukong SuhDTDetroit Lions
2009Brian CushingMLBHouston Texans
2008Jerod MayoMLBNew England Patriots
2007Patrick WillisMLBSan Frnacisco 49ers
2006DeMeco RyansMLBHouston Texans
2005Shawne MerrimanOLBSan Diego Chargers
2004Jonathan VilmaMLBNew York Jets
2003Terrell SuggsOLBBaltimore Ravens
2002Julius PeppersDECarolina Panthers
2001Kendrell BellMLBPittsburgh Steelers
2000Brian UrlacherMLBChicago Bears
1999Jevon KearseDETennessee Titans
1998Charles WoodsonCBOakland Raiders
1997Peter BoulwareLBBaltimore Ravens
1996Simeon RiceDEArizona Cardinals
1995Hugh DouglasDENew York Jets
1994Tim BowensDTMiami Dolphins
1993Dana StubblefieldDTSan Francisco 49ers
1992Dale CarterCBKansas City Chiefs
1991Mike CroelOLBDenver Broncos
1990Mark CarrierSChicago Bears
1989Derrick ThomasOLBKansas City Chiefs
1988Erik McMillanSNew York Jets
1987Shane ConlanMLBBuffalo Bills
1986Leslie O'NealDESan Diego Chargers
1985Duane BickettOLBIndianapolis Colts
1984Bill MaasNTKansas City Chiefs
1983Vernon MaxwellOLBBaltimore Ravens
1982Chip BanksOLBCleveland Browns
1981Lawrence TaylorOLBNew York Giants
1980Al Richardson and Buddy CurryOLB (both)Atlanta Falcons (both)
1979Jim HaslettMLBBuffalo Bills
1978Al BakerDEDetroit Lions
1977AJ DuheMLBMiami Dolphins
1976Mike HaynesCBNew England Patriots
1975Robert BrazileOLBHouston Oilers
1974Jack LambertMLBPittsburgh Steelers
1973Wally ChambersDTChicago Bears
1972Willie BuchanonCBGreen Bay Packers
1971Isiah RobertsonLBLos Angeles Rams
1970Bruce TaylorCBSan Francisco 49ers
1969Joe GreeneDTPittsburgh Steelers
1968Claude HumphreyDEAtlanta Falcons
1967Lem BarneyCBDetroit Lions

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy

The NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy features a bronze NFL logo attached to a small pedestal. It is similar to the trophies awarded for Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Offensive Rookie of the Year.

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year announcement

The NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year winner is announced at the NFL Honors ceremony, taking place at 9 PM ET on Thursday, February 8.

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting

A panel of 50 sports journalists affiliated with the Associated Press votes on the NFL end-of-season awards, including the Defensive Rookie of the Year. For Offensive Player of the Year, voters rank their first three choices which makes it easier for the AP to calculate second- and third-placed finishers in voting.

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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