- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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It should be an interesting vote for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
The leading contenders are Denver’s Von Miller and San Francisco’s Aldon Smith. Both pass-rushers had tremendous rookie campaigns and were major part of a surprising season for their teams. Miller was the No. 2 overall pick and Smith was the No. 7 pick.
Miller was considered the leading candidate until late in the season. Miller’s tremendous season was slowed by a broken thumb he suffered in late November. He missed just one game, but wasn’t the same until the playoffs. Miller ended up with 11.5 sacks. Smith ended up with 14 sacks, which was a half sack short of the NFL rookie sack record.
The Miller supporters will argue that he had a bigger impact on Denver’s overall defense than Smith had on the 49ers’ defense. He played 79 percent of Denver’s defensive snaps, while Smith played 48 percent. Smith’s supporters will argue that his impact as a pass-rusher was greater.
What do you think? Please take our poll and explain your reason for your vote in the comment section below. We will review the poll results Wednesday.
By the way, the vote was conducted before Smith was arrested under suspicion of drunk driving last weekend, so it will not play any role in the vote.
5dEric D. Williams