Ndamukong Suh: 9 Reasons He's the NFL's Top Rookie Since Lawrence Taylor

Ali HammoudCorrespondent INovember 2, 2010

Ndamukong Suh: 9 Reasons He's the NFL's Top Rookie Since Lawrence Taylor

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    When the Detroit Lions selected Ndamukong Suh with the second pick of the 2010 NFL draft, some questioned whether it was wise to draft a DT so high.  The list of failed DT drafted in the first 10 picks was a long one.

    Another question was whether the Lions should draft Suh or Gerald McCoy, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at number three.

    Seven games into his rookie season, Suh has emphatically answered both of those questions.  The gentle giant, from Aloha Oregon, is considered the early favorite for NFL Defensive Rookie of The Year, and is a virtual lock for the Pro Bowl.

College Pedigree

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    Suh comes from a great program in Nebraska.  His head coach at Nebraska, Bo Pelini, a former defensive coordinator, knew how to properly nurture him. 

    The fact that Pelini coached at the NFL level prior to his college coaching career also helped Suh.  Pelini knew what it takes to be successful at the next level and prepared Suh to do just that.

Not a Motown Diva

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    Suh is a soft spoken hard worker.  He does not have the type of me first personality that has led to other defensive tackles like Sean Rogers and Albert Haynesworth to see decreased production. This will not be a problem for Suh. 

Do What Mr Vanden Bosch Does

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    During offseason workouts, Suh talked about how he was carpooling with Kyle Vanden Bosch to early morning workouts.

    Vanden Bosch is known as a workout warrior who gives 110% on every play.  That kind of influence can only help set Suh up for future success.

Light Weight?

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    At around 300 lbs, Suh is considered light by defensive tackle standards.  The fact that he can play at a high level and still get the kind of power he gets is truly incredible.  

    Being so light will lead to a prolonged career, as he will not suffer the knee and ankle pains that heavier player struggle with as they age.

Gotta Be Versatile

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    Suh is versatile enough that on some plays the coaches feel comfortable enough to put him at end.  This kind of versatility will allow the coaches to move him along the defensive line to take advantage of match ups.  This is similar to what the Packers used to do with the great Reggie White.

Coach Say What?

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    Suh knows he can get better, and that is one of the most important things a young players needs to realize if he is too improve.  Following his dominating performance against the Redskins, Suh said that he felt he was “missing some things”

    This type of attitude allows coaches to get through to him.  If a player is not willing to listen, he will not learn.

Hey Quarterback, Suh Is Coming For You

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    Not much happens during the preseason, but when the Lions took on the Cleveland Browns, Suh showed just how much he hates quarterbacks.

    Sure he got a penalty and a fine for this play, but it still shows his mean streak.

    Any fan of Jake Delhomme might not want to look to closely at the accompanying photo.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

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    Suh already has 6.5 sacks in his first seven games. 

    One would have to go back to the year 2000 to find a rookie DT that had more than that in a season.  Corey Simon had 9.5 sacks for Philadelphia that year as a rookie. 

Suh By The Numbers

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    Tackles: 27, Sacks: 6.5, Interceptions: 1, Fumble recoveries: 1, Touchdowns: 1

    In October

    • Rookie DT Ndamukong Suh’s was dominant during the month of October as he finished with 14 tackles, 4.5 sacks (29.5 yards lost), 1 interception, 1 pass defense and a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He was a key cog in the Lions going 2-2 and winning both their home games. Suh had more sacks (4.5) in October than any other rookie in the NFL has tallied for the entire season, and he had the most among defensive tackles in the League (Chicago DT Israel Idonije recorded 4.5 sacks but did it over 4 games starting at LDE).
    • With 4.5 sacks, Suh became the first rookie defensive tackle to record 4.5 sacks in October since Jacksonville DT John Henderson had 5.0 in 2002.He also became the first defensive tackle in the NFL to collect 4.5 sacks during October since Tampa Bay DT Warren Sapp had 5.0 in 2005.

    For the season

    • Suh electrified the Ford Field crowd as part of a dominating performance by the defensive line today when he registered 2 sacks (17 yards loss), 4 tackles (2 tackles for loss) and put an exclamation point on the victory today with a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 1:36 to play in the game that gave the Lions a 37-25 lead.
    • In the second quarter, Suh halted a Redskins drive when he registered two sacks in the span of three plays for a total of 17 yards lost. Suh became the first rookie to record two sacks in a game since DE Kalimba Edwards at Arizona December 8, 2002. He is the first Lions rookie defensive tackle to record two sacks in a game since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
    • The two sacks pushed his season total to 6.5, which ties Edwards (2002) rookie for the second most sacks by a Lions rookie since 1982. The record is 7.5 by LB Tracy Hayworth in 1992. Suh has the most by a Lions rookie defensive tackles since 1992.
    • Suh became the first Lions defensive lineman to return a fumble for a touchdown since Bob Bell (25 yards) at Green Bay November 1, 1971

    All information on this slide provided courtesy of the Detroit Lions Media Room Press Release.