The three finalists for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year finalists for this past season were announced with the winner being awarded at the NFL Honors on Thursday, February 9th. That event will get started at 9:00 p.m. ET and air on NBC.
Defensive rookie of the year finalists
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, CB
The Jets snagged cornerback Sauce Gardner with the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft, and the franchise has to be thrilled with him at the position. Gardner was a 17-game starter in Year 1, and he led the league in passes defended with 20. He also finished his rookie season with two interceptions.
Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions, DE
The former Michigan Wolverines star was the second overall pick by the Lions last spring, and he was selected as the NFL’s defensive rookie of the month for November and December/January. He played all 17 games with 9.5 sacks, which is tied for 20th in the league, and he picked off three passes with two fumble recoveries.
Tariq Woolen, Seattle Seahawks, CB
You won’t find much better of a value pick as the Seahawks landed Woolen in the fifth round. In his first NFL season, he was tied for the league lead with six interceptions, one of which went for a touchdown. Woolen played in all 17 regular season matchups and tied for fourth in passes defended with 16 and forced two fumbles.