1. Janoris Jenkins, St. Louis Rams
Jenkins was the subject of great scrutiny and ridicule back in March during the pre-draft process. You know the story — he’s got multiple children from different women, he was kicked out of Florida for rumored drug use, and he was deemed “undraftable” by some NFL teams. Well, Jeff Fisher took him in the second round, and he’s excelled in St. Louis. Yes, there was a midseason mishap which caused him to be deactivated for a game due to disciplinary reasons. Other than that, he’s been lights out. Jenkins has three interceptions and three touchdowns this year. He also has 66 tackles for one of the league’s most pleasantly surprising defensive units. 2. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
David’s another second round pick that’s played above expectations this season. Undersized and considered by some more suited for the safety spot than linebacker, he’s been the Buccaneers best player on defense this season. David’s not Derrick Brooks — not yet, at least — but he’s certainly carrying the torch of the position. In a season where fellow rookies Mark Barron and Doug Martin got a lot more press, it was David who racked up 124 tackles. - Peter Schrager
(AP Photos: Seth Perlman/AP Photo) Courtesy of FOXSports.comThe opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.