Saturday night at the NFL Honors ceremony the NFL announced that Oakland Raiders defensive end/outside linebacker Khalil Mack has been named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Mack, who was in his third season, beat out Denver Broncos defensive end Von Miller by just one vote to win the award. The other candidates for the award included New York Giants safety Landon Collins and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
In 2016 Mack played all 16 of the Raiders games, and had 73 total tackles, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.
After a bit of a slow start to the season, he had an eight game stretch beginning in October that he had 10 of his sacks and all five of his forced fumbles, all three of his fumble recoveries and the interception that put him at the forefront for this award.
The fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft has developed into not only one of the league’s premiere pass rushers, but one of the biggest overall defensive threats with his ability to cover the pass and stop the run. He has been named a Pro Bowler and First Team All-Pro in each of the last two seasons.
Mack helped lead the Raiders to the postseason for the first time since 2002-03, as they finished 12-4 on the season. The season was cut short early though after quarterback Derek Carr was injured, which helped contribute to a Wildcard loss to the Houston Texans.