Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2008 Mid-Season All-Rookie Team: Defense

Dolphins-Broncos recap and mid-season awards tomorrow. Here's my All-Rookie Team for defense:

Defensive ends: Chris Long (Rams), Kendall Langford (Dolphins)
Honorable mentions: Trevor Scott (Raiders), Jason Jones (Titans)

Not a whole lot of production here as Long leads all rookies with four sacks. Meanwhile, Langford has been a big contributor to Miami's very good run defense this season.

Defensive tackles: Marcus Harrison (Bears), Eric Foster (Colts)
Honorable mentions: Pat Sims (Bengals), Sedrick Ellis (Saints)

Harrison leads all rookie defensive tackles with two sacks, while Foster has earned his way into the Colts' rotation and is second among rookies at his position in tackles (21).

Outside linebackers: Keith Rivers (Bengals), Alex Hall (Browns)
Honorable mentions: Bryan Kehl (Giants), Gary Guyton (Patriots)

Despite being out for the season with a broken jaw, Rivers still leads all rookie outside linebackers with 37 tackles. He also added a forced fumble, an interception and two pass deflections on the season. Meanwhile, Hall leads all rookie linebackers with three sacks.

Inside linebacker: Jerod Mayo
Honorable mention: Curtis Lofton

Mayo leads all NFL rookies with 59 tackles and has been a consistently productive starter for the Patriots. Lofton comes in second in tackles with 47 and has also added a sack and a forced fumble on the season.

Cornerbacks: Aqib Talib (Buccaneers), Brandon Flowers (Chiefs)
Honorable mentions: Brandon Carr (Chiefs), Tracy Porter (Saints)

Despite starting only one of his eight games played, Talib leads NFL rookie in pass deflections (9) and interceptions (3). Meanwhile, Flowers is second in both categories (8 deflections, 2 interceptions) including one returned for a score.

Safeties: Kenny Phillips (Giants), Chris Horton (Redskins)
Honorable mention: Tyrell Johnson (Vikings)

Horton has been outstanding this season, racking up a rookie best 42 tackles in addition to a sack, a fumble recovery, three interceptions and eight pass deflections on his way to NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for September. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting Phillips has played well as expected, recording 35 tackles (second among rookie safeties), one interception and three pass deflections.