In 2019, Stephon Gilmore became the sixth defensive back since 1993 to capture the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award. The first Patriots player to ever win the award, Gilmore's league-leading six interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns) spearheaded a New England defense that led the NFL in points allowed as well as in third-down efficiency.
Gilmore faces tough competition if he is going to join Lawrence Taylor, J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald as the only defensive players to win the award in consecutive years. This week, William Hill Sports Book released its front-runners to win the coveted award in 2020.
Will Brinson and R.J. White broke down the early awards odds on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
Defensive Player of the Year odds
A pair of former winners headlines the list. Donald, a two-time winner, is the current front-runner to win his third Defensive Player of the Year award since 2017. J.J. Watt, a three-time winner, has the second-best odds as winning the award for the first time since 2015.
Watt's brother, Pittsburgh outside linebacker T.J., Watt, is also in the running to become the first Steelers player to win the award since Troy Polamalu took home the award in 2010. Joining the Watt brothers as top candidates to win the award are Nick Bosa and Joey Bosa, who are both looking to win the award for the first time. Donald and J.J. Watt are two just five active players that have won the award, along with cornerback Stephon Gilmore (2019), linebacker Khalil Mack (2016), and pass rusher Terrell Suggs (2011).
Watt's teammate in Pittsburgh, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, has 40/1 odds to become the second defensive back in as many years to win the award. Redskins pass rusher Chase Young, the first defensive player selected in the 2020 draft, has 50/1 odds to win the award during his first season in Washington.