Fansided NFL’s 2011 Season Awards: Defensive Rookie of the Year

A group of writers around the Fansided Network, myself included, submitted ballots for 2011 NFL postseason awards. The votes have been tallied and the results are in. What NFL players came out on top in the categories of Defensive Rookie of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and the coveted NFL MVP.

Let us start off on the defensive side of the ball, with an impressive first-year player who exceeded expectations and helped his team on a winning streak that led them to the playoffs. The Fansided NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year goes to Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who received more than half of the first-place votes.

Miller’s production fell off near the end of the season, like most rookies tend to do, but he still put together a very impressive rookie campaign.

The former Texas A&M star recorded 64 tackles on the season and forced two fumbles. His most impressive stat and the place he contributed the most on the field came from his unstoppable pass rushing ability. Miller put together 11.5 sacks.

The sky is the limit for Miller and the Broncos defensive if there is know sophomore slump. Many credited “Tebowmania” for the Broncos surge in the middle of the season, but their defense stepped up in a big way and carried the team on it’s back. Miller was key in the defenses improvement.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith came in second, during the voting, largely in part to his 14 sacks. Smith’s pass rush has been off the charts and he has continued to contribute all the way through the playoffs. Third place went to JJ Watt of the Houston Texans, who contributed in all categories. Watt and the Texans had an unfortunate exit from the playoffs this past weekend.

To continue following along with the announcements of our postseason awards, stay tuned to NFL Spin Zone.

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Tags: Defensive Rookie Of The Year Denver Broncos Fansided Network NFL NFL News Von Miller Von Miller Broncos