Why Patrick Willis Should Be the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year

Steven MerriamCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 22: Linebacker Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers dives to tackle running back Brandon Jackson #32 of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 22, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the 49ers 30-24. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

49ers captain, Patrick Willis is currently having the best season in his young NFL career.  Willis currently leads all the NFL in tackles.

Willis, originally the 11th player taken in the 2007 NFL Draft has played better this year than he ever had before and he played well even in those years.

Since coming to the NFL in 2007, Willis has been a member of the NFC Pro Bowl team both season and has also been an All-Pro selection both seasons.  Willis also won the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2007.

I personally believe Willis is the best defensive player in the NFL but to some NFL fans Patrick Willis is not even a household name.

Currently the 49ers stand at 5-7 and are basically out of the playoff hunt but Willis has continued to shine for the 49ers' defense.

Willis is very confident in the 49ers defense even though they stand at 5-7 this weekend he said this about his opponents the Cardinals "We know that they're not going to run the ball on us. They will not run the ball on us."

I was very surprised that Willis said this being that the Cardinals are one of the NFC's best teams but then I realized Patrick Willis is the best defensive player in the NFL he should be confident, if he played for a good team he would definitely be this years' NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Currently this season, Willis has an NFL high in tackles with 123 and Willis also has three sacks.  I expect Willis to have 150 tackles by the end of the year.

Though the 49ers are 5-7 I feel that Patrick Willis is very deserving of the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award and I believe if he was on a good NFL team he would definitely get the award.