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Yesterday, we looked at how often the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year lead his draft class in AV; today, we do the same but for defensive rookies.1

This season, Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters ran away with the award, taking 45 of 50 votes (Buffalo cornerback Ronald Darby (4) and Jets defensive end/tackle Leonard Williams (1) had the remaining votes). Now, how often does the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year wind up leading his draft class in AV? We saw that yesterday, 9 of the first 40 AP OROY wound up being the career leader from their class in offensive AV. On the defensive side, the results were even grimmer: just six of the first 40 AP DROY winners led their draft class in AV: Jack Lambert, Mike Haynes, Lawrence Taylor, Charles Woodson, Brian Urlacher, and Julius Peppers.

The table below shows the results from every season. Here’s how to read the table, using the 2004 line as an example. That year, Jonathan Vilma was the AP DROY, and produced 10 points of career AV. He finished his career with 57 points of career AV, while Jared Allen is the career leader in defensive AV from the class of ’04 with 99 points of career AV.

YearAP DROYRookie AVRook Car AVCareer AV LeaderCareer AV
2015Marcus Peters
2014Aaron Donald1130Same30
2013Sheldon Richardson620Ezekiel Ansah26
2012Luke Kuechly953Same53
2011Von Miller1258J.J. Watt81
2010Ndamukong Suh1565Same65
2009Brian Cushing1147Clay Matthews70
2008Jerod Mayo952Calais Campbell61
2007Patrick Willis1792Same92
2006DeMeco Ryans758Haloti Ngata97
2005Shawne Merriman739DeMarcus Ware99
2004Jonathan Vilma1057Jared Allen99
2003Terrell Suggs496Kevin Williams99
2002Julius Peppers7126Same126
2001Kendrell Bell1641Justin Smith98
2000Brian Urlacher10119Same119
1999Jevon Kearse1668Champ Bailey114
1998Charles Woodson12110Same110
1997Peter Boulware759Jason Taylor115
1996Simeon Rice685Ray Lewis158
1995Hugh Douglas470Derrick Brooks140
1994Tim Bowens862Bryant Young88
1993Dana Stubblefield772Michael Strahan120
1992Dale Carter868Troy Vincent88
1991Mike Croel734Aeneas Williams111
1990Mark Carrier1467Junior Seau127
1989Derrick Thomas12105Deion Sanders114
1988Erik McMillan827Eric Allen98
1987Shane Conlan1058Rod Woodson141
1986Leslie O'Neal787Pat Swilling99
1985Duane Bickett763Bruce Smith147
1984Bill Maas754Wilber Marshall98
1983Vernon Maxwell825Darrell Green100
1982Chip Banks1171Andre Tippett89
1981Lawrence Taylor17137Same137
1980Buddy Curry1044Steve McMichael99
1980Al Richardson1233Steve McMichael99
1979Jim Haslett941Dan Hampton100
1978Al Baker1069Clay Matthews93
1977A.J. Duhe747Bob Baumhower81
1976Mike Haynes14104Same104
1975Robert Brazile872Randy White115
1974Jack Lambert8109Same109
1973Wally Chambers643Tom Jackson82
1972Willie Buchanon859Larry Brooks66
1971Isiah Robertson899Jack Ham113
1970Bruce Taylor644Mel Blount100
1969Joe Greene8103Ted Hendricks107
1968Claude Humphrey472Curley Culp76
1967Lem Barney1398Alan Page134

From 2007, Patrick Willis is still the career leader in AV among defensive players, but he will almost certainly be passed by Darrelle Revis. In 2008, the current 9 leaders in AV all are offensive players. Among active players, Donald, Kuechly, and Suh sure look like decent bets to continue their dominant play, but studies like this are good ways to remind the power of The Field.

  1. Since no undrafted player has ever won Offensive or Defensive Rookie of the Year, I have limited this analysis to only drafted players for administrative convenience. []
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  • Richie

    How many people would have correctly guessed that Willis has more career AV than Revis? I don’t think I would have, especially knowing that Revis had pretty good seasons in 2014 and 2015, while Willis was injured and retired those years.

  • TN

    In the six years from 1979 to 1984, the Bears came up with three defensive players who led their class in AV, plus two other Hall of Famers in Richard Dent and Mike Singletary. No wonder those defenses were so good.