C.J. Mosley's Top Competition For Defensive Rookie Of The Year


C.J. Mosley had the best rookie season the Ravens have seen in a long time, perhaps even ever.

The No. 17 pick out of Alabama stormed into Baltimore and quickly established himself as the new foundation of Baltimore's storied defense. Mosley became the first rookie to make the Pro Bowl in franchise history, and now he could join the ranks of other franchise greats by earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

The 2014 season awards will all be announced Saturday night at the NFL Honors show in Phoenix, beginning at 9 p.m. on NBC. If Mosley takes home the award, then he will join Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware as the third player in team history to do so.

Mosley does have some stiff competition and the award is not a lock. Here's a closer look at how he stacks up against his top challengers:

Mosley, Baltimore RavensNo. 17 overall pick
2014 stats: 16 games, 16 starts, 129 tackles, 3 sacks, two interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 8 passes defensed.
Accolades: Pro Bowl, Second-Team All-Pro selection, NFL Rookie of the Month (October, December)

Mosley took over the spot that Ray Lewis occupied for 17 seasons, and he proved to be one of the best players on a playoff team. He played more snaps (1,101) than any rookie in the NFL, and was the only player in the NFL with at least 125 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.

OLB Khalil Mack, Oakland RaidersNo. 5 overall pick
2014 stats: 16 games, 16 starts, 76 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble.

Mack was a highly productive player on a team that finished with the second-worst record in the NFL. Mack lived up to his hype as the fifth overall pick of the draft, and he was arguably Oakland's best player this year.  Mack finished the season as the NFL's top-ranked outside linebacker by Pro Football Focus.

DT Aaron Donald, St. Louis RamsNo. 13 overall pick
2014 stats: 16 games, 12 starts, 48 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 pass defensed
Accolades: Pro Bowl, PFWA Rookie of the Year

Donald was a disruptive force for the Rams, and his nine sacks were the most of any rookie this year. He had 17 tackles for loss, which was the fifth most in the league. Like Mack, he was rated by Pro Football Focus as the top player at his position. But also like Mack, Donald racked up impressive numbers on a losing team that finished the season with a 6-10 record.

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