Five contenders for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

NFL Draft

Joey Bosa isn’t a happy camper. According to, the former Ohio State defensive end was not happy with contract negotiations with the San Diego Chargers.

The All-American sat out of mandatory minicamp, which created a firestorm amongst the NFL media.

Now, with minicamp over and training camp a little over a month away, hopefully the two sides can come together to reach an agreement on his rookie deal.


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As Bosa’s agent Todd France explains, there is wiggle room in the language of the contract despite of the money slotted for the number three pick.

If Bosa is as good in the NFL as he was in college, then he could compete for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. A boost to the Chargers’ defense could make them playoff contenders once more. For now, however, we will put that thought on hold.

The NFL Draft blessed many teams with tremendous defensive talent. There could be many names talked about at the end of the season for such an honor. Here, we look at the five contenders who should make the biggest impact for their team’s this coming season.

Myles Jack – Jacksonville:

The Jaguars got the steal of this year’s draft. There is a belief the team may not know where to play the linebacker in the current scheme, but look for Jack to be part of the sub-packages that new defensive coordinator Todd Wash implements.

Jacksonville had major issues with third down last year. If Jack can help get the defense off the field on third down, his pick at No. 36 in the second round will be viewed as the best move of any team this year.


Artie Burns – Pittsburgh:

Burns had been shooting up draft boards all through the month of April. The defensive back is the type of player that fits the Steelers’ scheme to a tee.

At 6’0” and 198 pounds, he is a world-class hurdler and runs a 4.46 40-yard dash. He will be asked to cover the Cincinnati Bengals; best receivers and will also be asked to help with special teams.

Burns is the kind of player who we all will look back on five years from now and think Pittsburgh got a steal.

Jalen Ramsey – Jacksonville:

It’s not often there are two players from one team that could be a contender for this award, but Ramsey was a “gift” for the Jaguars with the fifth pick in the Draft.

Ramsey suffered a minor meniscus injury and had surgery. Two weeks later, he was sprinting on the sidelines at the Jaguars’ minicamp. Yes, he’s ready to hit someone.

His swagger and his attitude gives Jacksonville the kind of defensive back this team has lacked since Donovan Darius.

NFL Draft

Reggie Ragland – Buffalo:

The former Alabama linebacker was supposed to be a sure-fire first round pick. Somehow, he slipped to the second round, and to the Bills with the 41st pick.

Head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan must have been salivating.

The Bills need someone in the middle to plug the hole and stop the run, much like Pail Pozluszny did when he was drafted by the team in 2007. Something tells me Ragland is going to plenty mad about being looked over by other teams in the first round and will be out to prove he is the best linebacker in this draft.

Eli Apple - New York Giants:

Apple might have been a surprise pick for the Giants at the No. 10 spot, but it makes plenty of sense. He has great size at 6’1” and 199 pounds and can tackle like a veteran.

The Giants needed a cornerback to replace the departed Prince Amukamara. What they got might have been the best pure safety to come out in the past decade.

Despite all the talent on the Ohio State defense, Apple was voted the Buckeyes’ MVP this past season.

Apple could also be instrumental in the Giants’ return game.

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