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Packers’ first-round picks are not among betting favorites for Defensive Rookie of the Year

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Surprisingly, Rashan Gary has better odds than Darnell Savage despite the safety being more likely to start in week one.

NFL: JUN 12 Green Bay Packers Minicamp Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers used each of their first two picks in the 2019 NFL Draft on defense, nabbing Michigan edge rusher Rashan Gary and Maryland safety Darnell Savage, Jr. with picks 12 and 21, respectively. However, relative to their draft position, both players are viewed lightly in terms of their chances at earning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.

BetOnline.ag, an online sportsbook, released their odds for that award (and a handful of others) on Thursday morning, and the odds for the two Packers are a bit head-scratching.

Gary, the 12th overall selection, comes in at just 20:1 odds, putting him behind nine other players. However, only two of those nine was drafted after Gary: Montez Sweat, who went 26th overall to Washington and who sits at 12:1 odds, and Brian Burns, the Panthers’ pick at #16 whose odds are 14:1. Indeed, this list serves as a reminder of how defense-heavy the top of the 2019 NFL Draft actually was, as nine of the top 13 picks were on the defensive side of the football.

All told, Gary’s odds seem about right. Sweat and Burns are good candidates to start in week one of their rookie years, while Gary probably will not, barring injury. The Packers are expected to work Gary in gradually, rotating him in while free agent signings Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith get much of the base down work.

However, the more bizarre odds come for safety Darnell Savage — the first defensive back off the board at pick number 21 — who sits way back at 33:1 odds. That ties him with several other players for the 18th spot. Several second-rounders sit above him, including defensive backs Byron Murphy, Rock Ya-Sin, Greedy Williams, and Juan Thornhill, as well as a third-round pick in Patriots edge rusher Chase Winovich.

Of the two players, Savage would absolutely be the smarter bet here. In fact, one can easily argue that he should have shorter odds than Gary, given the fact that Savage is in line to start on day one while Gary is unlikely to do so. Savage’s ball-hawking abilities could give him the eye-catching stats that are typically required for a Rookie of the Year honor, while Gary would likely need to out-perform the sack numbers of a multitude of highly-drafted edge rushers around him.

Here are the top players on this list:

  • Nick Bosa, EDGE, SF (5:1)
  • Josh Allen, EDGE, JAX (7:1)
  • Devin White, LB, TB; Quinnen Williams, DT, NYJ (8:1)
  • Devin Bush, LB, PIT; Ed Oliver, DT, BUF (10:1)
  • Montez Sweat, EDGE, WAS (12:1)
  • Brian Burns, EDGE, CAR (14:1)
  • Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, OAK (16:1)
  • Rashan Gary, EDGE, GB (20:1)
  • Jerry Tillery, DT, LAC (25:1)
  • DeAndre Baker, CB, NYG; Byron Murphy, CB, ARI; Juan Thornhill, S, KC; Greedy Williams, CB, CLE; Chase Winovich, EDGE, NE (28:1)
  • Jonathan Abram, S, OAK; Sean Bunting, CB, TB; L.J. Collier, EDGE, SEA; Dexter Lawrence, DT, NYG; Darnell Savage, Jr., S, GB; Christian Wilkins, DT, MIA; Joejuan Williams, CB, NE (33/1)