Today is the deadline for the editors of the 35 sites that belong to Fansided NFL to cast their ballot for a number of awards. I’ll be making all of my votes public throughout the week. I don’t feel there to be any reason for secrecy. I put a lot of thought into my picks, and while i’m sure there will be plenty of disagreements, I think that’s ok.
1) Von Miller, DE, Denver
Miller was an absolute force for Denver at DE. He picked up 11.5 sacks, and also added 64 tackles. He also did this while getting constant double teams, as teams chose to double Miller more than any other player on the Broncos defensive line. While Tebow took all the credit, it was Miller and the defense that were the real heros for Denver this year.
2) Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle
People will accuse me of being a homer for putting Sherman this high, but I don’t care. I think he deserves it. The advanced stats by Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders al place Sherman in the top 10 corners in the league. Sherman was downright dominant. His 4 interceptions and 55 tackles are impressive for a full season, and Sherman only saw significant action in 11 games. He also was a top 10 CB, despite being a team with no significant pass rush.
3) Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona
Settling on the third place vote wasn’t easy, but I chose Peterson. Peterson was a solid contributor, and racked up an amazing 64 tackles (which is a ton for a CB). He also was good in coverage, thought not as good as Sherman which is why he’s not as high on my list. Peterson also blocked 2 kicks, and was one of the most dangerous punt returners in the entire league.
Also considered: Aldon Smith, DE, San Francisco
Smith was the other potential vote getter for this category, but he fell a bit short in my eyes. His 14 sacks is surely impressive, and more than Von Miller had, but he had just 37 tackles, about half that of Miller. Where Miller was a force against both the run and the pass, Smith was a more one dimensional player. Plus, because of the other players in the front 7 of the San Francisco 49ers, Smith was almost never double teamed. I just couldn’t find any reason to put him above Peterson for my 3rd place vote.