Defensive Rookie of the Year — Will Anderson Jr. (Texans)
Full disclosure: I almost picked Lions’ first-rounder Jack Campbell here. But as much as I like Campbell, Will Anderson Jr. will rise above the pack by season’s end.
The Alabama product is nearly impossible to block in one-on-one situations, displaying otherworldly burst off the line of scrimmage and a pass-rushing arsenal deeper than the Titanic submarine. The Texans hired head coach DeMeco Ryans this offseason, a former All-Pro himself, so look for Anderson Jr. to make his game even more well-rounded.
Houston may find itself in blowouts where the opponents run the clock for the second half — that is the only reason Anderson will record fewer sacks than expected. But not everything a pass rusher does can be determined by sack totals. His sheer dominance alone should be enough to tip the scales for Defensive Rookie of the Year.