C.J. Mosley finishes second for NFL Defensive Rookie of Year

Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley led all NFL rookies in tackles. He was the only one to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month twice this year. And he was the first Ravens rookie to reach the Pro Bowl.

Despite all of those accolades, Mosley fell short in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, finishing second to St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The award, which is handed out by the Associated Press, is voted upon by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league.

Mosley received 18 votes, which were seven short of Donald (25 votes). The only other rookies to receive votes were Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (six votes) and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland (one).

In looking how the season unfolded, Mosley didn't lose the award. Donald won it with an impressive finish. He recorded a sack in eight of the Rams' last 11 games. His nine sacks led all rookies and were the most by a rookie in three years.

That type of pass rush ability is impressive for an interior lineman. That's why Donald became just the second defensive tackle to win this award in the last 20 years (Ndamukong Suh was the other).

This was a tough call for voters. Mosley and Donald were the only defensive rookies to make the Pro Bowl this season.

This shouldn't take away from one of the best all-around seasons by an NFL rookie. Mosley was the only NFL player this season with at least 125 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.

Mosley, the No. 17 pick in last year's draft, was looking to become the third Ravens' rookie to win this award, joining Peter Boulware (1997) and Terrell Suggs (2003).

But what shouldn't go overlooked is that Mosley made the biggest impact by a Ravens defensive rookie since Haloti Ngata eight years ago.

In the NFL Comeback Player of the Year voting, Ravens running back Justin Forsett finished tied for fifth. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski won the award with 27 votes. Forsett received two votes.