MINNEAPOLIS — The Latest on the NFL Honors (all times local):
Aaron Donald is the first pure defensive tackle to win The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award since 1999.
Often the province of outside pass rushers and backs, the Los Angeles Rams star broke the trend by earning 23 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Warren Sapp of Tampa Bay was the previous DT to win the award. Others have been Hall of Famers Joe Greene and Cortez Kennedy.
While the Rams’ defense didn’t rank highly in league stats, Donald was a force. The 2014 top defensive rookie spent 2017 destroying blockers, leading all players at his position with 11 sacks and had 58 pressures while usually being double-teamed.
End Calais Campbell, in his first season with the Jaguars, was second with 17 votes. Arizona’s Chandler Jones got five.