NFL Honors  

 

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Donald, C.J. Mosley in mix

Print
  • By NFL.com
More Columns >

The night before Super Bowl XLIX, the NFL will salute its best players and plays from the 2014 season with "NFL Honors," a star-studded football and entertainment event hosted by Seth Meyers from Symphony Hall at the Phoenix Convention Center. Here's the broadcasting information for Saturday night's festivities:

» 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network: Red carpet coverage
» 9 p.m. ET on NBC: 4th Annual NFL Honors

One of the awards that will be presented on Saturday: Defensive Rookie of the Year. Who gets your vote?

  • Bucky Brooks @BuckyBrooks
  • Aaron Donald simply wreaked havoc up front, allowing the Rams' defense to round into form

    Aaron Donald should be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Despite failing to crack the starting lineup until the second month of the season, he went on to put up Pro Bowl numbers for St. Louis as an inside pass rusher. Most importantly, he helped the Rams find their groove on defense when he was inserted into the lineup as a 3-technique. With Donald creating chaos on the interior against the run and pass, Gregg Williams was able to expand his blitz package to harass opponents at the point of attack. This helped the Rams become a tough out despite their shaky QB situation.
  • Brian Billick @CoachBillick
  • C.J. Mosley looks like Ray Lewis 2.0

    Forget his 16 starts and 133 total tackles -- Ravens LB C.J. Mosley gets my vote because he has taken over for an NFL legend (Ray Lewis) without a significant drop-off in on-field production.
  • Elliot Harrison @HarrisonNFL
  • Khalil Mack lived up to the hype -- and then some

    This award has to go to Khalil Mack. Jason Verrett was someone I was watching, but unfortunately the Chargers CB got hurt. And while some people point to C.J. Mosley for this award, he allowed quarterbacks to complete close to 80 percent of the throws they sent his way. Don't get me wrong, Mosley was still an outstanding rookie, but not like Mack. I just wish I could've watched the Raiders phenom play more.

    Mack came into the league highly touted as the No. 5 overall pick, and he lived up to the billing with over 30 quarterback knockdowns/hurries. Analytics hub ProFootballFocus.com had him as the highest-rated outside linebacker in the game this year. That is pretty lofty praise.
  • Adam Schein @AdamSchein
  • Mosley was a core piece on a postseason participant

    This was a tough one, with Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald deserving consideration. But C.J. Mosley was incredible at a position of leadership for a playoff team.
  • Kevin Patra @KPatra
  • Nobody else affected the opposition's game plan like Donald

    While several candidates are deserving, Aaron Donald made more game-wrecking plays than any of them. The rookie Pro Bowler's nine sacks were 20th in the NFL and tops among first-year players. By the end of the season, teams were scheming to slow down Donald; on a defensive line with multiple Pro Bowl players, that says all you need to know about Donald's effect on a game.
  • Gregg Rosenthal @GreggRosenthal
  • Mack has the all-around talent of a perennial Pro Bowler

    This one is a lot harder to figure out than Offensive Rookie of the Year. Aaron Donald had the most splash plays and the jaw-dropping athleticism. But I'm going to give the slight edge to Khalil Mack for making a difference from the first week of the season to the last. He's a player that you have to watch a lot to appreciate, because his huge impact didn't show up in the stat sheet for a while. He can stop the run, set the edge, shed blockers and get to the quarterback. He'll be a Pro Bowler for years to come.
  • Charley Casserly @CharleyCasserly
  • Mosley provides the full package in Baltimore

    C.J. Mosley played well the entire year. This is truly a complete linebacker. While Mosley ranked seventh in the NFL with 133 tackles, he was also productive against the aerial attack, posting eight passes defensed and two interceptions. Mosley was not only one of the best rookies, but he quickly made his mark as one of the up-and-coming ILBs in the NFL.
  • Conor Orr @ConorTOrr
  • Donald edges out Mack due to unique skill set

    Such a difficult choice between Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald, but I like the Rams' rookie defensive tackle, merely because his pressure numbers were fantastic and he plays a more difficult position from which to log such numbers. Our friends at ProFootballFocus.com liked him better than Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh this season.
  • Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks
  • I like Mosley, but Donald and Mack also merit recognition

    C.J. Mosley was outstanding this season -- consistent from Week 1 through Week 16. I'd give him the award, although Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are also worthy candidates.
  • Dave Dameshek @Dameshek
  • Mack headlines an intriguing young core for the long-downtrodden Raiders

    Great group from which to choose ... but I'll go with Khalil Mack, who in 2014 was a revelation for a lost cause. It's rare when any defender consistently jumps off the screen the way Mack did this season -- and he's just getting started. Matter of fact, wisecracks about the Silver & Black might have to be shelved in the coming years, thanks to the U of Buffalo dynamo on defense and some interesting pieces on offense.
Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop