I'm working on the position rankings for week one right now and will be posting my final fantasy football rosters for two leagues tomorrow! Lots to look forward to as we get ready for Week 1!
Von Miller, Linebacker, Denver Broncos
Von Miller is definitely the sexy pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011. He had a pretty decent preseason, totaling 9 tackles and 3 sacks in just three games.
Miller will be joining Elvis Dumervil, who had an incredible 2009 season, and that should provide for a pretty formidable linebacker corps. Between the two, Denver should have a great number of sacks coming from this LB duo.
If Miller lives up to hype, he could very well flirt with 100 tackles and approach 8-10 sacks this season.
Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, Arizona Cardinals
Rather than opting for a rookie upgrade at quarterback, the Cardinals brought in Kevin Kolb and added a cornerback force in Patrick Peterson. Peterson was easily among the top three rookies in the NFL draft and looks to prove it this year.
Peterson managed one highlight this preseason with an interception return for a touchdown against San Diego. Being such an ominous cornerback, there is a chance that not many passes will come to him, so his stat line might be lacking. But if he can put up a handful of interceptions and a return touchdown or two, then he could be viewed as a shutdown corner and get Defensive Rookie of the Year respect.
Aldon Smith, Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers
Smith will no doubt be a fixture on the 49ers this season, lining up with star linebacker, Patrick Willis. He could blend in a little bit with Willis taking much of the glory, but look for an impressive stat line from this rookie.
Aldon Smith lit up the preseason with 19 tackles and 3.5 sacks. If that production can carry over, and the 49er defense becomes a unit that opposing offenses must respect, then you can expect to see Aldon Smith's name when the end of the season comes along.
Defensive rookie of the year Dark Horses.
Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle, Detroit Lions
Fairley is entering one of the best young defenses in the NFL. He'll be helping out last year's Defense Rookie of the Year, Ndamukong Suh. The duo should wreak havoc on the backfield. If Fairley can compete with Suh's numbers from last year, then he could be in the running for the award.
Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle, Buffalo Bills
If Marcell Dareus hopes to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, it is going to have to be through sacks. Dareus managed two in the preseason with only three total tackles. His pass rushing abilities made him the third overall pick from the Bills and he is going to have to use that swim move and quickness to disrupt the quarterback often to get his name in the mix.
Ryan Kerrigan, Linebacker, Washington Redskins
Ryan Kerrigan put up an impressive three games with 10 tackles and 2 sacks. The Redskins defense will look to improve on an unimpressive 2010 campaign. If Kerrigan can lead this charge with statistics in the top 30 NFL linebackers he could be considered.