Defensive Player of the Year Candidates for the 2018 Season

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2017 NFL Season. Other than Donald, who are some other possible candidates that could win the award in 2018?

The first player that comes to mind is Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller. He was Super Bowl L MVP and Miller is a freak every time coming off the edge. He sacked the quarterback 10 times and recorded 56 tackles last season. Von Miller also forced two fumbles and recovered one. He also had three pass deflections.

The second player that comes to mind is Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa. He is a night mare 1-on-1 for offensive lineman. Bosa is tough to block and he can wreck plays at any moment in a game. Joey Bosa changes games by sacking the quarterbacks. He sacked the quarterback 17.5 times last season and it wouldn't be a surprise if he broke Michael Strahan's record of 22.5 sacks set back in 2001 this season. Joey Bosa recorded 54 tackles and forced four fumbles. He also recovered one and had one pass deflection.

The third player that comes to mind is Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones. He had a breakout season last season and Jones is very strong. He even broke the sled during training camp. Chandler Jones is one of the anchors on that defense and he recorded 51 tackles and 17 sacks last season. Jones also forced two fumbles and had three pass deflections.

The fourth player that comes to mind is Carolina Panthers inside linebacker Luke Kuechly. He won the award for the 2013 season. Kuchely moves horizontally and vertically well. He also had a instinct in where runners are and where the ball is. Luke Kuchely recorded 74 tackles last season and had 1.5 sacks last season. He forced one fumble, picked off three passes, and had one defensive touchdown.

The fifth player that comes to mind is New York Giants safety Landon Collins. He might be the most important player on the Giants defense and he should have won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2016 over Khalil Mack. Collins can cover, tackle, and blitz anywhere on the field. He is athletic and strong. Landon Collins recorded 74 tackles, forced one fumble, and recovered two last season. He also picked off two passes and had six pass deflections.

The sixth player that comes to mind is Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. He has won the award three times in his career and his injuries have plagued him the past couple of years. It's Watt's habitat to sack the quarterback. He only played in five games last season and J.J. Watt recorded 11 tackles and had two pass deflections. He only played in three games in 2016 and recorded 1.5 sacks that year. He also only had one tackle that year. In 2015, he led the league with 17.5 sacks. Watt also had 57 tackles.