Originally posted by BrianGO:
Not only is Justin Smith far and away the best player at his position, he was the best defensive player in the league last year.
It could easily be argued that Bowman outplayed Willis last year.
In a league that values pass rush and playmaking stats, I doubt that. He didn't win DPOY, Suggs did.
As for guys within his own position, Jared Allen? 22 sacks, 8 more tackles than Smith, a safety, one more FF than Smith, an interception...So I would say he was better. Then you can look at a guy like Jean Pierre Paul with easily the most tackles at his position, 16.5 sacks, a safety, and 2 FF. (not to mention a dominant postseason)
That's just without going into guys with fewer tackles but way more sacks, guys like Babin, clemons, long and avril.
Bowman would have outplayed willis IF all that mattered was stopping the run. These days dominating the run is a luxury compared to stopping the pass. Turnovers are also key, and Bowman had zero forced fumbles compared to Willis' 4(in fewer games).
[ Edited by mike on Jun 18, 2012 at 2:20 AM ]