Patriots’ LB Jerod Mayo wins Defensive Rookie of the Year

New England Patriots’ linebacker Jerod Mayo won AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Mayo was a nearly unanimous choice, earning 49 of 50 votes Wednesday from a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. He was the outstanding performer on a linebacking corps that often struggled during New England’s 11-5 season, leading the team with 128 tackles.

Mayo’s versatility, highlighted by quickness and a physical style, made him stand out even though the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs.

The only other defensive rookie to get a vote was Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers.

Mayo is a perfect example of why speed shouldn’t be the biggest factor in determining draft status. The biggest knock on Mayo in April was that he didn’t time well and he lacked the quickness to fully excel on the pro level.

Looks like he excelled just fine in Bill Belichick’s defensive scheme.

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