With the second pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Lions selected Ndamukong Suh. First isn't always best, though. In fact, the higher a player is drafted, the more likely they are to land on a bad team (unless a good team trades up).
Sometimes, it doesn't matter. One player is enough to make a huge impact on a defense. Take the past three Defensive Rookies of the Year, for example:
2009—Brian Cushing, OLB: 133 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions, 1 safety, 2 forced fumbles
2008—Jerod Mayo, ILB: 126 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
2007—Patrick Willis, ILB: 174 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
All three were linebackers. In fact, a linebacker has won the award every year since 2003 and all but once since 2000. Will the trend change this year? Let's take a look at my five most likely candidates for the end-of-season award.