Von Miller, Aldon Smith Battle For 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Award

Denver Broncos rookie linebacker Von Miller has 11.5 sacks while San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith stands at 14. There is one game left in the season.

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2011 NFL Rookie Of The Year Award: Broncos' Von Miller Nominated

Denver Broncos rookie linebacker Von Miller has been great this year. You all know that. And, because he has been so great he's up for the Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Year Award that can be voted on by the fans! That's right, Miller needs your vote and support to try and win the award that also features nominations of: Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton; Carolina Panthers Cam Newton; Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson and San Fransisco 49ers Aldon Smith.

Just in case you forgot how awesome Miller, here's what his nomination profile says:

"(Miller) started all 15 games he played and tied Denver’s single-season rookie sack record with a team-high 11.5 sacks, placing him second among all rookies in 2011 and tied for third overall in the AFC. He was one of six NFL players to record a half sack in at least 10 games. He totaled 64 tackles (50 solo) and led the team with 19 tackles for a loss in addition to ranking second on the club with two forced fumbles. He was selected as a starting outside linebacker for the AFC squad for the 2012 Pro Bowl."

For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report. Be sure to check out SB Nation NFL for more on the league.

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2011 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Aldon Smith A Serious Challenger To Von Miller

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has had his path to the 2011 NFL Rookie Defensive of the Year Award interfered with as a result a cast on his hand to protect a thumb he injured against the San Diego Chargers. As such, he has just 11.5 sacks with one game left to play in the regular season. He looked ready to shatter the rookie record of 14.5 that Jevon Kearse set in 1999.

But his main competition, Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers, isn't going to destroy the record, either. Oh, he might break it on Sunday since he has 14 entering the game, but it won't be far out of reach for a future rookie to break in the years ahead.

Over at ESPN, Matt Williamson has been ranking the rookies each week and he dropped Von Miller as his top rookie this week, elevating Cam Newton in his place. Miller comes in at No. 2 ahead of the No. 3 Smith. However, Williamson writes that he is leaning toward Smith being the top defensive rookie. It is certainly an eminent and defensible position.

For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report. Be sure to check out SB Nation NFL for more on the league.

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Von Miller, Aldon Smith Still Battling For NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year Award

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller certainly has competition for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award with San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith on a swifter pace to set the rookie sack record. Before Miller went down with a thumb injury and missed the Minnesota Vikings game, he was on pact to break Jevon Kearse's 14.5 sacks from 1999. Now, Miller had 11.5 through 14 games.

Smith, though, has played in all 14 games and recorded 13 sacks. The NFL Network's Albert Breer believes Smith is still the pick for the end-of-the-year award:

 

 

But Miller has been a clear leader on defense for the Broncos while Smith isn't an every down player for the 49ers. Will the voters start taking intangibles into account when they vote?

For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report. Be sure to check out SB Nation NFL for more on the league.

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