According to our poll, sack totals should not hurt Von Miller's odds at winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
The Denver linebacker and San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith are considered the top candidates for the award, which will be given Saturday night. In our poll, 64 percent of the votes tallied were in favor of Miller, while Smith received 36 percent of the vote as of 5:15 p.m. ET Wednesday. More than 7,000 votes were tallied.
Both pass-rushers had tremendous rookie campaigns and were major parts of surprising seasons for their teams. Miller was the No. 2 overall pick and Smith was the No. 7 pick.
Miller was considered the leading candidate until late in the season. His tremendous season was slowed by a broken thumb he suffered in late November. He missed just one game, but wasn’t the same until the playoffs. Miller ended up with 11.5 sacks. Smith finished with 14 sacks, which was a half sack short of the NFL rookie sack record.
Still, Miller had a greater impact on his defense. He played 79 percent of the snaps, while Smith played 48 percent of the snaps. I can see why Miller did so well in this poll. It will be interesting to see if he actually wins the award Saturday.