Aldon Smith, Von Miller in select company
Posted Mar. 29 at 06:33 AM
In last year's draft, the Broncos and 49ers, respectively, made Von Miller and Aldon Smith two of the first defensive players drafted, selecting them at 2nd and 7th overall. It's early, but it looks pretty clear that those teams got it right.
With 14 sacks, Smith came within half a sack of tying Jevon Kearse's rookie record. With 11.5, Miller (along with Smith) became one of just 21 rookies over the last 20 years to record double-digit sacks.
The top rookie sack performances in an NFL season since 1991 are presented below. Virtually all of those players have gone on to have pretty nice NFL careers.
Sack Year Player, Tm, Pos
14.5 1999 Jevon Kearse, Tenn, DE
14.0 2011 Aldon Smith, S.F., OLB
13.0 2002 Dwight Freeney, Ind., DE
12.5 1996 Simeon Rice, Ariz., DE
12.0 2006 Mark Anderson, Chi., DE
12.0 2003 Terrell Suggs, Balt., OLB
12.0 2002 Julius Peppers, Car., DE
11.5 1997 Peter Boulware, Balt., OLB
11.5 2011 Von Miller, Den., OLB
11.0 2009 Brian Orakpo, Wash., OLB
11.0 2006 Kamerion Wimbley, Clev., OLB
11.0 2000 Darren Howard, N.O., DE
10.5 2003 Kevin Williams, Minn., DE
10.5 1993 Dana Stubblefield, S.F., DT
10.0 2010 Ndamukong Suh, Det., DT
10.0 2009 Clay Matthews, G.B., OLB
10.0 2005 Shawne Merriman, S.D., OLB
10.0 1995 Hugh Douglas, NYJ, DE
10.0 1992 Santana Dotson, T.B., DT
10.0 1992 Chris Mims, S.D., DE
10.0 1991 Mike Croel, Den., OLB
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