By: Pat Caputo
1. Earl Thomas, safety, Seattle – A great athlete, who is not only the perfect last line of defense, but a truly gifted playmaker.
2. Jerod Mayo, linebacker, New England – The Patriots have made great strides defensively. Mayo, an exceptionally consistent performer, is a major reason why.
3. Eric Decker, wide receiver, Denver – Second in the NFL in touchdown receptions this season with 13, Decker is a remarkably effective clutch receiver, who is worthy of more recognition.