Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was named as the league’s defensive rookie of the year on Saturday.
Keuchly was selected with the No. 9 overall selection by Carolina in last year’s draft and immediately became a tackling machine for the Panthers. Kuechly led the league, not just rookies, with 164 tackles on the year. He had 15 more tackles than the next closest player on the list as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Navarro Bowman was second with 149.
Kuechly earned 28 of the 50 votes by an Associated Press panel to earn the award. Kuechly beat out Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (11), Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Heyward (6), St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins (3) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (2).