NFL Defensive Player of the Year Predictions
With Super Bowl LVII being right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about candidates for the 2023 NFL Honors.
The Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press to the most outstanding defensive player in the National Football League at the end of every season. Here are our candidates for both conferences.
AFC: Jakob Schnur
Chris Jones - Defensive Tackle, Kansas City Chiefs
For some time now, the “best defensive tackle in the NFL” conversation has been Aaron Donald and then everyone else.
However, this season, Chris Jones has thrust himself into that conversation.
Jones, who has already been named a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, boasted his best season yet, totaling 15.5 sacks, 77 pressures, 44 tackles and 29 QB hits on route to a First-Team All-Pro selection.
As the centerpiece of the defense representing the AFC in the Super Bowl, the Mississippi State alum will surely get serious consideration for the award.
Maxx Crosby - Defensive End, Las Vegas Raiders
It was a disappointing season for the Raiders, who went from a playoff team to a top-10 draft pick in the span of just a year, but one of the lone bright spots was the play of Maxx Crosby.
While the Raiders' defense struggled to get much pressure as a whole, only totaling 27 sacks on the season, Crosby managed to pick up 12.5 sacks on his own as well as the second most pressures in the league with 47.
While he may not be a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year Award this year, he will certainly see himself in that conversation in the near future if he continues at the pace he’s going at in his still young career so far.
NFC: Matt Cabram
Nick Bosa - Defensive End, San Francisco 49ers
After having a dominant 2021 season there was no doubt that San Francisco's defensive end was going to come back stronger for 2022.
Bosa’s 2022 campaign was one to remember, tallying up a league-leading 18.5 sacks for 138 yards lost. San Francisco’s captain also racked up 19 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and 51 combined tackles with 41 being solo.
Bosa was also able to accomplish all these numbers while missing only one game out of the 17 regular season contests.
Bosa also ended the season with the highest odds to take home the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
Micah Parsons - Outside Linebacker, Dallas Cowboys
Micah Parsons’ rookie season in 2021 was a year to remember. The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, along with All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors came into the season with the third-best odds to win Defensive Player of the Year.
The 2022 Cowboys' defense would not have been as dominant as they were without Parsons on their front seven.
Parsons led the defensive line in a few of their defensive stat categories to prove he is a real leader on this team.
Parsons had 13.5 sacks to lead the Cowboys' defense as well as racking up 65 combined tackles, with 36 being solo.
The Dallas outside linebacker also forced three fumbles as well as recovering three on the season.
The former Penn State Nittany Lion also made his presence well aware in the passing game.
Parsons had a total of three pass deflections on the year for Dallas, making quarterbacks think twice about throwing it while he is in coverage.
Parsons ended the season with the second-highest odds to win the award behind Nick Bosa.
Jakob Schnur is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Matt Cabram is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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