No. 30 Victor Cruz, Wide Receiver, New York Giants
Although 2010 was his rookie season (in which he played in three games but didn't make a reception), 2011 was Cruz's introduction to the NFL. Even though he started just seven games, he caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards (18.7 yards per reception) and nine touchdowns. Cruz caught four passes for 25 yards and a touchdown in the Giants' win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI (21-17).
No. 29 Jason Pierre-Paul, Defensive End, New York Giants
In 12 starts since 2010 (his rookie year), Pierre-Paul has recorded 116 tackles, 21 sacks, 13 passes defensed and four forced fumbles. He was a First-Team All-Pro in 2011.
No. 28 Arian Foster, Running Back, Houston Texans
Since his first full season in the NFL (2010), Foster has rushed for 2,840 yards and 26 touchdowns. He's also caught 119 passes for 1,221 yards and four touchdowns in that time.
No. 27 Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle, Detroit Lions
2010 was a great year for Suh. He was drafted second overall, won the NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award and was named a First-Team All-Pro.
No. 26 Lardarius Webb, Cornerback, Baltimore Ravens
In each of his three NFL seasons, Webb has made more tackles, defended more passes and made more interceptions each year. Webb had three of Baltimore's league-leading five interceptions in the 2011 postseason (two games). He also helped the Ravens hold opposing quarterbacks to a league-leading average rating of 43.3 (next best was 69.3, Houston).
No. 25 NaVorro Bowman, Inside Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers
Bowman was a First-Team All-Pro in 2011, after making one start in his rookie year (2010). He made 143 tackles, defended eight passes and made two sacks for the NFL's best run defense.
No. 24 Ray Lewis, Inside Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens
A two-time NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year and a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, Lewis is also the only non-quarterback on this list to be a Super Bowl MVP (XXXV).
Through 16 NFL seasons, Lewis has consistently been a three-down linebacker. Last year, despite starting in only 12 games, Lewis made 95 tackles, defended seven passes, made two sacks and forced two fumbles. Since 2008, the Ravens have finished outside the top three in overall defense once (10th in 2010).
No. 23 Julius Peppers, Defensive End, Chicago Bears
Peppers has missed six games in his 10-year career. He's accumulated 100 sacks (27th all-time, fifth on the active list).
The average career for the top-five sack artists was 15 years. At his current rate, if Peppers plays a full season for each of the next five seasons, he will have 150 sacks, which would be good for fifth all-time.
No. 22 Maurice Jones-Drew, Running Back, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones-Drew won the league rushing title in 2011, rushing for 1,606 yards (and eight touchdowns). Jones-Drew is a true workhorse, as he also led the NFL in rush attempts in 2011 (343). Throughout his six-year career, he's averaged 46 receptions for 412 yards each season.
No. 21 Justin Smith, Defensive Lineman, San Francisco 49ers
Smith does it all on the defensive line. He was a main factor in helping the 49ers rank first in run defense in 2011. Since 2001 (his rookie year), Smith has started in 171-straight games (Cincinnati 2001-07, San Francisco 2008-present).
Since joining the 49ers, Smith has averaged 64 tackles and over seven sacks per year. Since 2009, the 49ers run defense hasn't finished worse than sixth.