In 2012, Denver Broncos second-year outside linebacker Von Miller was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year after winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2011. There's a reason the 6'3", 237-pound Texas A&M product is getting so much recognition—he has recorded 30 sacks in his first 31 games.
And according to ProFootballFocus.com, Miller recorded a sack on 4.35 percent on his rushes last season, the highest percentage among defenders in 2012. Miller also totaled a combined 86 sacks, hits and hurries, another league high.
But Miller's skill set extends beyond just rushing the passer—he has recorded 49 tackles for losses since 2011, according to TeamRankings.com. Against the run, Miller has been just as disruptive.
At the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, Miller was the second-fastest linebacker, recording an official 4.53 40-yard dash. Last season, Miller sacked a quarterback within three seconds from the snap a total of nine times.
That's one. Two. Three. Sacked. (Or about two blinks of the eye.)
Over at PFF, Miller was ranked as the top 4-3 outside linebacker last season and his 2012 Performance Based Value assigned by PFF was $18 million. Miller's hit against the Broncos' salary cap last season was just $4.8 million, a plus-$13.2 difference from what he is valued.
Miller, of course, is entering the third year of the four-year, $21 million rookie deal he signed after be drafted by the Broncos second overall two years ago. Miller's reasonable rookie contract makes him arguably one of the best bargains among all defenders in the NFL.
Miller's production has increased in each of his first two seasons and he has shown no signs of slowing down. So when his current contract expires, his next deal will be significantly greater.
Until then, Denver's defense will continue to receive a lot of bang for their buck.