Updated: Feb 6, 2021
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
The NFL Honors show will take place on Feb. 6 the night before Super Bowl LV and that's when it will be announced who Defensive Player of the Year will be for the 2020 season. First-team All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt finished the season as the odds-on favorite to win DPOY, however, Rams' defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the only defensive player voted unanimously as All-Pro by the Associated Press and was selected as DPOY by the Pro Football Writers of America over Watt. Five out of the last seven years PFWA and the AP nominated the same player for DPOY.
The AP vote for DPOY will be announced at the NFL Honors show and that's considered as the official one, while other outlets like PFWA release their own DPOY award winner.
In 15 games, Watt led the league in sacks (15), tackles for loss (23) and quarterback hits (41). Donald finished the season tied for second with 13.5 sacks in 16 games and was tied for sixth in tackles for loss (14) and tied for fifth in quarterback hits (27).
Watt joined his brother J.J. and Donald as the only players with 15-plus sacks and 40-plus QB hits in a season since QB hits were first tracked in 2006. In every year that J.J. put up those numbers with the Texans, he was named DPOY (2012, 2014 and 2015). Likewise for Donald when he won the award for the second straight year in 2018.
Watt's teammate and fellow outside linebacker Bud Dupree said today on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" that Watt should be honored as DPOY.
"T.J. is just one of a kind," Dupree said. "You see it each and every week. Week in and week out. He is an animal. He is going to come in every day and prepare like it's the Super Bowl each and every day. He is going to want to do extra work after practice, see different stuff on film with the coaches, maybe pick a couple of people on the team's brain, what they saw during the week that we didn't get a chance to see. He is always prepared and that is why he plays the way he does."