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AP Defensive ROY Award announced Friday on NFL Network

  • By NFL.com
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The Defensive Rookie of the Year award winner will be announced during Total Access (airing at 7 p.m. ET) on Friday, Feb. 4.

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Eric Berry, Joe Haden, Devin McCourty, Ndamukong Suh, and Earl Thomas are expected to be among the top vote-getters for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors when the winner is announced on Friday.

For the first time, the entire slate of Associated Press' end-of-season NFL awards -- MVP, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year -- will be unveiled on NFL Network during Super Bowl week from North Texas.

The ballots for each AP award were handed in at the conclusion of the regular season before the start of the playoffs. Vote for which player you think should receive the award.

Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs

Berry had an outstanding overall rookie season. He showcased his range, hitting ability and athleticism by doing a little bit of everything for the AFC West champion Chiefs. As a 16-game starter, his numbers across the board were exceptional. He had 92 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defensed, four interceptions and a forced fumble.

Joe Haden, CB, Cleveland Browns

Haden was one of the bright spots during an otherwise tough season for the Browns. In addition to amassing 18 passes defensed and six interceptions, he also had a sack, a forced fumble and appeared in every game. His ability to make plays once he had the ball also manifested itself as he finished with 101 return yards on his six picks.

Devin McCourty, CB, New England Patriots

McCourty helped solidify a young Patriots secondary with his play on the corner. He wound up tied for second in the NFL with seven interceptions, and was consistently able to slow the opponent's top receiver, finishing with 17 passes defensed. He wasn't afraid of contact, either, tallying 82 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions

Suh took on all of the hype that surrounded his arrival in Detroit and actually exceeded expectations. He was the only interior defensive lineman in the league to notch double-digit sacks with 10 and he even managed to pull down an interception. The stats only measure so much of Suh's impact, however, as his jarring hits made teams fear Detroit's defensive front.

Earl Thomas, S, Seattle Seahawks

Thomas was one of the best players on a Seattle defense that struggled at times. He started out with a bang, tallying five interceptions and seven passes defensed in the first 10 games. Though he tapered off a bit down the stretch, he still started every game, finished with 76 tackles and helped the Seahawks win the NFC West.

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