The NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year has been announced and its Buffalo Bills midde linebacker Kiko Alonso. Alonso was the 46th pick of the NFL Draft and went in the second round with some questions about his ability to defend the run. He demonstrated a tremendous ability to play the pass in college and that immediately showed itself as Alonso caught 4 interceptions early in the year, setting a pace for the award early. Alonso’s interceptions dropped off, but his overall effectiveness remained with 87 solo tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, two recoveries, 5 pass deflections and 11 stuffs over the course of the season.
The Bills defense boasted an extremely effective defensive line which was able to rack up sacks over the course of the year, but Alonso gives them a great presence in the middle that could allow that defense to get better and better over the next few years. Those two areas of the team are going to be the building blocks of what could be a great defense if they can keep adding pieces to it.