Defensive Rookie of the Year was the closest race of all the FYS Honors. In a season heavily featured by some excellent linebacker play, these rookies took the cake.
C.J. Mosley, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens (11 votes)
In his rookie season, Mosley led the Ravens with 133 combined tackles. All signs point to Mosley being a very good replacement for retired all-pro Linebacker Ray Lewis. Working with LBs such as Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, should help groom him into a premier linebacker as he continues his career in Baltimore.
Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Oakland Raiders (14 votes)
Khalil Mack didn’t put up the flashy numbers that some of the other linebacker nominees, but given the team he plays on, voters handicapped his 2014 season. Although the Raiders 2014 season was bad at best, Mack was a diamond among the dirt. He should be a staple of this defense for years to come.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, St. Louis Rams (16 votes)
It’s not every day that a defensive player steps into the NFL and is able to record 9 sacks in a single season. Let alone that defensive player being a defensive tackle. Because of this you, the voters, selected Aaron Donald as your 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year. It has yet to be seen if he benefits from playing alongside lineman like Robert Quinn and Chris Long, but that shouldn’t diminish how hard it is to be that disruptive from the tackle position. Can he be the next Ndamukong Suh? Only time will tell on this young man’s career.
Anthony Barr, Linebacker, Minnesota Vikings (8 vote); Chris Borland, Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers (6 votes)