2010 NFL Draft: Top Five Candidates To Win Defensive Rookie Of The Year

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2010 NFL Draft: Top Five Candidates To Win Defensive Rookie Of The Year

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.

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