As we are now almost a month past the NFL Draft, fans and analysts can now start making predictions for the league’s freshman class. FanDuel’s Sportsbook published their Defensive Rookie of the Year bets and put New York Giants’ second-round pick, Alabama safety Xavier McKinney at +2300. For those of you who are not gambling aficionados, it is not exactly a safe wager. But it is worth taking a look at.
Topping the list, to no surprise is Chase Young. The Washington Redskins selected the highly touted edge rusher from Ohio State with the second overall pick, and with comparisons to Myles Garrett and the Bosa brothers, there is Hall of Fame expectations for Young. Other names higher up on the list was Cardinals’ LB Isaiah Simmons at +850, Bills’ edge rusher A.J. Epenesa at +1300, and Ravens’ LB Patrick Queen at +1700.
McKinney should be a person of interest when talking about the DROY race. The majority of the winners of this award recently have been defensive ends and linebackers, but McKinney could be a sneaky pick. Considering his draft position, and scheme fit in first-year DC Patrick Graham’s unit in New York, McKinney could be one of the steals of the draft. Usage of a heavy blitz package can unleash McKinney’s potential. As one of Nick Saban’s best defensive products, playing for someone who used to coach under Saban, like Joe Judge, could be a recipe for success.
Considered by many draft analysts to be the number one safety in the draft, snagging a first-round talent in the second round is always something to look forward to. With his high football IQ and overall toughness on the field, McKinney could be the defensive playmaker that the Giants have desperately missed over the last couple of seasons.