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:
Had Aldon Smith as my half-season DROY. Some folks got me to hedge a little with Von Miller of late. But I think I'll stick with Smith.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 20, 2011
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?