The LA Chargers' secondary has performed fairly well through three games this season and one of the main reasons why is the play of rookie Asante Samuel Jr. There were high expectations for the second-round pick that every fan dreamed of before the draft and he is exceeding even those expectations.
While Samuel is undoubtedly talented, it was expected that he would have some sort of rookie hurdles to overcome this early in this career. Thus far, he is not playing like a rookie at all and has been a massive bright spot on the team.
Samuel cracked the top 10 in our LA Chargers roster rankings and he has already been voted the Pepsi Rookie of the Week in Week 2 (and could very well earn the same accolade from Week 3). He has two interceptions on the season, has played the third-most snaps on the defensive side of the football for the Bolts and has the most snaps without allowing a touchdown among all rookies.
That last point is the most important when it comes to Samuel's Defensive Rookie of the Year chances. Samuel's biggest competition is first-round cornerback Patrick Surtain, who is a fantastic young quarterback and plays on a solid defensive team in Denver.
There are other defensive players in the running as well but if Samuel is going to win the award then he is going to have to outplay Surtain and so far he is. However, the odds have not yet reflected that.
LA Chargers fans need to cash on the Defensive Player of the Year odds for Asante Samuel Jr. while they are still this high.
As it currently stands right now, according to WynnBET, Samuel has +1500 odds (15/1) to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2021. He was in the +3000 range before the season and now finds himself with the sixth-highest odds among all rookies.
Surtain (+500), Micah Parsons (+500), Jamin Davis (+900), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (+1200) and Odafe Oweh (+1200) are the five players who have higher odds than Samuel.
You can certainly make the case that Samuel has been more impactful to his team than those other five players. Micah Parsons did have a great game against the LA Chargers as he exposed Storm Norton but other than that has just been okay.
Surtain has recorded one interception but has not been as impactful, Jamin Davis has been bad for Washington thus far and JOK is freakishly athletic but is averaging only 25 snaps per game. Oweh is the only one that has been as good as Samuel but Samuel's two takeaways are more impactful.
You could make the case that Surtain should be the frontrunner and every passing week that is only going to be more and more true. His odds have already been reduced in half and there is a good chance that they could fall below +1000 in no time.
For that reason, if you think Samuel is going to keep this up then you should jump on the odds now. +1500 is great odds for the rookie who has been the best through three weeks.