Stephon Gilmore already added “First-Team All-Pro” to his résumé in 2018. Will “Defensive Player of the Year” be next?
According to odds released Wednesday by Bovada, the New England Patriots cornerback currently is the betting favorite to take home NFL DPOY honors this season at +700. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (+900) and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (+1000) rank second and third, respectively.
Odds to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year (Bovada):
J. Bosa +900
N. Bosa +1100
TJ Watt/Garrett +1200
C. Jones +1500
Hunter/Jordan +2800 pic.twitter.com/FKAN92pOJA
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) November 13, 2019
While Gilmore is enjoying a very strong season in the Patriots’ superb secondary, Defensive Player of the Year still might be a lofty goal for the 29-year-old, if only because the award tends to favor front-seven players.
The five players who have won DPOY over the last eight seasons — Donald (2017 and 2018), Khalil Mack (2016), J.J. Watt (2012, 2014 and 2015), Luke Kuechly (2013), Terrell Suggs (2011) — all are defensive linemen, edge rushers or linebackers. The last defensive back to receive that honor was safety Troy Polamalu in 2010. The last two cornerbacks to do so were Charles Woodson in 2009 and Deion Sanders in 1994.
Some also would argue Gilmore was even better last season, when he was a First-Team All-Pro and the highest-ranked corner on the “NFL Top 100.” Analytics site Pro Football Focus falls into that camp: Their grading system has Gilmore at a 68.7 entering Week 11, 34th-best at his position and a significant decrease from the 90.7 grade he earned last season.
Gilmore continues to cement his status as the game’s No. 1 cornerback, though, and he’s been especially excellent over the last four games. During that span — which included a matchup with Odell Beckham Jr. — he’s allowed eight catches on 20 targets for 98 yards with two interceptions and five pass breakups. He’s also yet to allow his first touchdown reception this season.
Gilmore will have a chance to bolster his DPOY case in the coming weeks, with potential showdowns against Alshon Jeffery, Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins still to come.
Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins (+1800) and safety Devin McCourty (+2200) also are among Bovada’s Defensive Player of the Year front-runners.