Beasley among leaders for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Atlanta Falcons’ defensive end/outside linebacker, Vic Beasley, Jr., was taken 8th overall in the 2015 NFL draft out of Clemson, and was immediately considered one of the preseason front runners for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Through the first six games of the season, the Adairsville native has been really good. But where does Beasley currently stand in the Defensive Rookie of the Year “race”?

Arguably, Beasley has navigated the toughest part of his schedule. He has already faced some of the best left tackles in the business. Jason Peters of the Eagles, Tyron Smith of the Cowboys, and Duane Brown of the Texans are considered among the league’s best.

Through the Falcons’ first six games, Beasley has accumulated 15 tackles, 2 sacks, forced one fumble, and defended one pass.

Although those stats are impressive for the 23-year-old rookie, Beasley likely trails some other notable defensive rookies at this point in the NFL season.

The top notables for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year:

Tampa middle linebacker, Kwon Alexander, has been incredibly impressive so far for the Buccaneers. The 21-year-old out of NAIA school LSU-Shreveport and Oxford (AL) High School, already has 32 tackles, a sack, and has defended six passes with an interception.

Leonard Williams, DT/DE of the New York Jets was drafted sixth overall out of USC. He has made an already good Jets defense even better with 20 tackles and a half sack.

Ronald Darby of the Buffalo Bills was Rookie of the Month in September. He has 29 tackles and 2 interceptions while starting every game at corner. Darby has also been credited with defending 11 pass attempts.

Marcus Peters of the Chiefs has 31 tackles and 3 interceptions while defending 10 passes.

Landon Collins, a safety for the Giants out of Alabama, has 28 tackles.

Frank Clark (Seattle, DE), Shane Ray (Denver, DE/OLB), and Randy Gregory (Dallas, OLB) were preseason favorites with limited stats to this point.

While we are at it, here is a glance at some of the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates:

Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams rookie running back out of Georgia sat out the preseason and the first two games of the season, but now has 314 yards on 55 carries in his first three games. He already has a 55-yarder and a 52-yarder to his credit and has 3 receptions for 20 yards.

David Johnson, a running back out of Northern Iowa for the Arizona Cardinals has already scored five touchdowns. He has three rushing touchdowns and has caught 10 passes for 145 yards and a pair of scores.

Marcus Mariota, the second overall pick from Oregon, was Offensive Rookie of the Month in September. Through five starts, Mariota has 9 TDs, over 1200 yards passing, and a QB rating of 93.2.

Oakland Raiders’ and former Alabama receiver, Amari Cooper, has accumulated 28 receptions for 386 yards and two touchdowns.

Former Alabama running back, T. J. Yeldon, has been a workhorse for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has 291 yards on 81 carries plus 15 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.

Melvin Gordon has started all six games for the San Diego Chargers. The former Wisconsin Badger has carried 78 times for 299 yards and has 13 catches for 86 yards.

Other preseason favorites for Offensive Rookie of the Year were Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay QB), Duke Johnson (Cleveland RB), and Karlos Williams (Buffalo RB). At this point, Winston has thrown 7 TDs for 1174 yards, but has thrown 7 picks and his QB rating is only 77.6. Johnson has 3 starts and 159 rushing yards to go with 190 yards receiving and 1 TD. Williams has scored 3 TDs and has 226 yards rushing.

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