Micah Parsons favored for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Former Penn State football star Micah Parsons quickly finds himself in an large spotlight after being selected 12th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Taken by the Dallas Cowboys — among America’s most popular sports brands — he will make his regular season debut against Tom Brady and encounters immense expectations for immediate success.

Parsons opened as the betting favorite for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, according to DraftKings. The linebacker tops that list of potential wagers at +500, followed by Miami Dolphins edge rusher Jaelan Phillips (+700), Washington Football Team linebacker Jamin Davis (+800), Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (+800), and Indianapolis Colts with online casinos edge rusher Kwity Paye (+1000).

Quarterbacks predictably lead betting odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year, as Trevor Lawrence (+300; Jacksonville Jaguars), Justin Fields (+600; Chicago Bears), Trey Lance (+600; San Francisco 49ers), and Zach Wilson (+700; New York Jets) lead that list before Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris pops up at +800.

Dallas has never featured the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, an award that dates back to 1967. Parsons was the first linebacker drafted in April. He became Penn State’s highest pick since running back Saquon Barkley, who earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year recognition in 2018.

“He’s very gifted in coverage versus tight ends and running backs,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah noted.

“He has timing and burst as a blitzer off the edge. Overall, there aren’t many holes in Parsons’ game. It’s difficult to find linebackers with his size and ability to impact the passing game.”

Underway with work in Dallas, Parsons expects to be utilized early and often within the Cowboys defensive structure.

“I think there’s third-down packages that I’m going to be in,” he said. “But first and second down I’m going to be in the box and on third down they’re going to find ways to get me to the quarterback, which I am excited about. I think (Dan Quinn) is a great coordinator, one of the best ones, and he always finds ways to get his best players on the field and in position to make plays, and I have full faith in him.”

Per predictions from casino jeux, Parsons will be counted on to help repair a Dallas defense that struggled last fall, surrendering 29.6 points per game (28th in the league) en route to a 6-10 record.

“We’re going to all push each other, and I think once we all come together and play at an elite level, I think this defense can be the best defense in the National Football League,” he said after Dallas introduced him.

The 2019 All-American twice led Penn State in tackles before opting out of collegiate competition last August amid the pandemic. In 26 career Nittany Lions games, his statistical output included 192 tackles — 19 for loss — and 6.5 sacks. That production and remaining untapped potential — his time at linebacker spans only two seasons — placed him among this draft class’ premier talents.

“What separates Micah from others is his intense competitive nature,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said on draft night. “… The Cowboys are getting a phenomenal talent who is sharp, thoughtful and is just beginning to scratch the surface of what he is capable of becoming.”

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!