The NFC West has produced playmaking defensive rookies in 2012.
St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins has three interceptions, two of them returned for touchdowns. He scored another touchdown after picking up a loose ball during an overtime victory over San Francisco. Jenkins' teammate, defensive tackle Michael Brockers, has hit his stride recently after overcoming an ankle injury.
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin, chosen one spot after Brockers in the first round, has eight sacks through 13 games. His teammate, second-round middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, has three picks and two sacks. He remains on the field for passing downs.
Which ones might be deserving for defensive rookie of the year?
Former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman made his case for Wagner before our conversation Thursday on 710ESPN Seattle. My colleague, NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas, recently advocated for Carolina's Luke Kuechly.
NFL scouts I've spoken with think Tampa Bay's Lavonte David deserves strong consideration for the award. David has played nearly every defensive snap. He leads the NFL in tackles for loss with 17. Kuechly has 10 and Wagner has 7.5.