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Marvez’s Ballot - NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

1. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers

Kuechly is one of the few rookies to excel at two different positions. He had 25 tackles in four games at weak-side linebacker before shifting inside to replace the injured Jon Beason. Since Kuechly assumed the middle linebacker role in Week 5, the Panthers are allowing 81 yards less a game. He also is averaging 11.3 tackles in that 10-game span, giving him 138 for the season. That ranks second among all NFL players. No other rookie is ranked in the top five.

2. Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson deserves praise, but he isn’t the clear-cut best rookie on Seattle’s roster. Wagner, a second-round pick from Utah State, has quickly blossomed into a standout defender. He ranks third among all rookies in tackles (121) and is the only non-defensive back with more than one interception with three. Wagner also has some pass-rush skills as evidenced by his two sacks. - Alex Marvez (AP Photos: AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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