Steelers T.J. Watt boasts 3rd best odds for Defensive Player of the Year in 2020

T.J. Watt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
T.J. Watt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Steelers have one of the best young defensive players in all of football in T.J. Watt. Here’s why his odds are high to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.

The Steelers defense took a massive step forward in 2019, and it’s no surprise that it went hand-in-hand with an incredible performance from edge defender, T.J. Watt. The former 2017 first-round pick was a bit of a risk when Pittsburgh drafted him. He had multiple serious knee injuries that forced him to miss time in college and start just one full season at Wisconsin.

In addition, Watt was a former tight end convert who made the transition to defense for the Badgers. However, all of those concerns are thrown out the window after his phenomenal 2019 season. The All-Pro edge rusher led the entire NFL in pressures in addition to earning 14.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 8 pass defenses, 4 fumble recoveries, and a league-high 8 forced fumbles.

When it came time for oddsmakers to divvy out Defensive Player of the Year odds, it wasn’t surprising to see T.J. Watt’s name near the top of the list. According to Odds Shark, Watt is currently third in the running for the Defensive Player of the Year Award with +1000 odds.

The two players ahead of him are Aaron Donald (+650) and Nick Bosa (+800). It’s not surprising to see Donald earn the highest odds yet again. Donald has played six seasons and has earned five straight first-team All-Pro appearances. He’s widely considered the best defender in the game.

Bosa’s odds, on the other hand, are a bit surprising. Though Watt outpaced him in nearly every statistical department, Nick Bosa somehow has better odds to win the award this season. To be fair, he did have a remarkable rookie year for the 49ers in 2019.

Khalil Mack is tied with Watt with +1000 odds to win the award, while J.J. Watt and Myles Garrett (+1200) are right on their heals.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was in contention for the award last year, is tied for just the 15th best odds to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. Despite his 8 takeaways and 2 defensive touchdowns and 46.3 passer rating allowed with the Steelers, he finished as a distant runner up last season.

Both Watt and Fitzpatrick are young players on the rise and they will have a chance to take an even bigger step forward this year. With 352 starting defensive players in the NFL, only one player can earn the ultimate award in the end.

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Regardless of whether or not T.J. Watt ever ends up with a Defensive Player of the Year award on his shelf, we know that Pittsburgh has one of the best in the business. Let’s hope he and Fitzpatrick continue to learn and grow as two of the most pivotal cornerstones of the Steelers for years to come.