SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Luke Kuechly

WattGeorge Bridges/Getty Images

J.J. Watt's 2012 season was one for the ages -- he had 20.5 sacks and an astounding 16 passes defended as opposing quarterbacks quailed at the site of him across the line of scrimmage. His stats this season aren't quite as good, but they still place him in the running for the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. Has he had a better season than the likes of Robert Mathis or Richard Sherman? Submit your rankings!

Defensive Player of the Year

Vontaze Burfict

Vontaze Burfict

Bengals LB
151 tackles, 8 passes defensed, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble

Lavonte David

Lavonte David

Buccaneers LB
126 tackles, 9 pass defenses, 6 sacks, 5 INTs, 2 forced fumbles

Luke Kuechly

Luke Kuechly

Panthers LB
122 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 sacks

Robert Mathis

Robert Mathis

Colts DE
49 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles

Robert Quinn

Robert Quinn

Rams DE
46 tackles, 15 sacks, 7 forced fumbles

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman

Seahawks CB
34 tackles, 6 INTs

Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas

Seahawks FS
93 tackles, 5 INTs, 2 forced fumbles

J.J. Watt

J.J. Watt

Texans DE
69 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 6 pass defenses, 3 forced fumbles

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So the San Francisco 49ers have good linebackers -- four of the best in the league, in fact. No wonder the team finished third in the league in yards allowed per game and third in points in 2012. Where do these Bay Area aces rank among all of the league's LBs? Click the images below to set your rankings!

Rank 'Em: MVP | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DLs | DBs | Offensive ROY | Defensive ROY

NFL linebackers in 2013

NaVorro Bowman

NaVorro Bowman

49ers
2012: 148 tackles, 2 sacks, FF, INT

Lance Briggs

Lance Briggs

Bears
2012: 103 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT

Ahmad Brooks

Ahmad Brooks

49ers
2012: 46 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 FF, INT

Brian Cushing

Brian Cushing

Texans
2012: 30 tackles, FF, INT

Tamba Hali

Tamba Hali

Chiefs
2012: 51 tackles, 9 sacks, FF

Derrick Johnson

Derrick Johnson

Chiefs
2012: 125 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 FF

Luke Kuechly

Luke Kuechly

Panthers
2012: 164 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT

Sean Lee

Sean Lee

Cowboys
2012: 58 tackles, FF, INT

Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews

Packers
2012: 43 tackles, 13 sacks, FF

Jerod Mayo

Jerod Mayo

Patriots
2012: 147 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 FF, INT

Von Miller

Von Miller

Broncos
2012: 68 tackles, 18.5 sacks, 6 FF, INT

Brian Orakpo

Brian Orakpo

Redskins
2012: 5 tackles, sack, FF

Terrell Suggs

Terrell Suggs

Ravens
2012: 22 tackles, 2 sacks

Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

49ers
2012: 66 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 3 FF, INT

Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis

49ers
2012: 120 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT

Lamarr Woodley

Lamarr Woodley

Steelers
2012: 38 tackles, 4 sacks, FF, INT

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