5. DaRon Bland is a DROY candidate
One of the bright spots of the Dallas defense as of late is 2022 rookie fifth-round pick DaRon Bland. Bland picked up his fifth interception of the season on Saturday, which ranks first on the team and tied for third in the NFL.
The rook not only has been a surprise, but he honestly deserves more respect. To this point, the talk surrounding the Defensive Rookie of the Year race has been about Sauce Gardner, Tariq Woolen, and Aidan Hutchinson. Bland has enough to make a case.
Bland has played fantastic as of late. PFF has him rated as their seventh-best corner since Week 13 with an 80.6 defense grade. He is second among rookies in interceptions and has been solid stepping in for Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown in their absences.
His lack of snaps earlier in the season won’t allow him to be a major contender for the award, but that makes his interception numbers even more impressive. While he doesn’t deserve to win it, he should certainly be mentioned as a player in the running for DROY.