azeez ojulari giants defensive rookie of the year
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Could Azeez Ojulari eventually earn the prestigious individual award?

The Giants have remained in the mud in 2021.

They’ve gotten off to another rough start, many questions have remained unanswered, and they’re not making the Sunday scaries any easier for fans.

It’s another depressing season in what’s been a disastrous era for the franchise, to say the absolute least.

But there is at least one glimmer of positivity — rookie second-round edge rusher Azeez Ojulari has been impressive thus far. And because of his efforts, the former Georgia Bulldog owns the third-highest Defensive Rookie of the Year odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Cowboys LB Micah Parsons: +120
Ravens EDGE Jayson Oweh: +700
Giants EDGE Azeez Ojulari: +1000
Chargers CB Asante Samuel Jr.: +1200
Broncos CB Patrick Surtain II: +1200
Bills EDGE Gregory Rousseau: +1200

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Ojulari notched a sack in each of his first three games (against the Broncos, Football Team, and Falcons). He then didn’t record a sack in any of the following three games before racking up 2.5 sacks against the Panthers in Week 7.

He’s currently tied for the team lead in sacks (Leonard Williams also has 5.5 sacks on the year thus far). Ojulari is additionally second on the team with seven quarterback hits while Williams leads the squad with 10.

Ojulari has been a bright spot among a Giants pass rush that hasn’t been anywhere near consistent or dominant in 2021. Lorenzo Carter has yet to rack up a sack in seven appearances this season while Oshane Ximines is also stuck at zero sacks through eight matchups.

However, this Giants defense as a whole has been strong the last two weeks. The unit allowed the Panthers to score just three points in Week 7 and kept Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in check this past Monday night. Mahomes threw just one touchdown and one pick in what was a 20-17 win for Kansas City.

Although you would get absurd value for Ojulari right now (if he were to eventually earn the Defensive Rookie of the Year), the safest bet would be on Micah Parsons.

The Cowboys linebacker, who was the No. 12 overall pick out of Penn State, has recorded 42 combined tackles (30 solo), 11 quarterback hits, and 2.5 sacks through seven games. Barring any sort of injury or significant drop-off in production, Parsons should earn this individual award after the regular season.

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