February 03, 2018 06:50 PM
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Latest on the NFL Honors (all times local):
Hard-hitting linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher and big-play receiver Randy Moss all made the Pro Football Hall of Fame on their first try, while controversial receiver Terrell Owens got in on his third time on the ballot.
Safety Brian Dawkins also got voted by the 47 Hall of Fame voters as part of the eight-person class that also included contributor Bobby Beathard and senior nominees Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile.
Lewis and Urlacher helped define playing middle linebacker in their era with Lewis winning two AP Defensive Player of the Year awards and one Super Bowl MVP for Baltimore and Urlacher winning a Defensive Player of the Year award of his own.
Moss and Owens were two of the most dynamic receivers of their time, but also lightning rods because of an inability to get along well with teammates and coaches at times that led to each playing for five teams in their careers.
No rookie had more impact on his NFL team this season than New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, The Associated Press 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The 11th overall draft pick and first from his position selected, Lattimore was a shutdown defender as the Saints won the NFC South with an 11-5 record. The Ohio State product had five interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 13 games, was a sure tackler and, by midseason, was someone opposing quarterbacks tended to avoid.
He missed three games, one because of a concussion and two with an ankle injury. But his performance led to a runaway victory in the nationwide voting by 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Lattimore got 45 votes, far ahead of Buffalo CB Tra'Davious White with four and San Francisco LB Reuben Foster got one.
Todd Gurley's sensational turnaround season in which he ran for 13 touchdowns and caught six TD passes in the Los Angeles' Rams equally impressive reversal of fortunes earned him The Associated Press 2017 Offensive Player of the Year Award.
The third-year running back was the AP's top offensive rookie in 2015, then had a mediocre second season. When Sean McVay took over as coach and Jared Goff was installed as the No. 1 quarterback, it was imperative that Gurley rebound. Did he ever, rushing for 1,305 yards and dominating defenses as LA went 11-5 to win the NFC West.
Gurley got 37 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. That put him far ahead of Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown, who received eight votes. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got 4 and Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins had one.
In a year featuring outstanding rookie running backs, the New Orleans Saints' Alvin Kamara has won The Associated Press 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Kamara, a third-round draft pick from Tennessee, beat another third-rounder, Kansas City RB Kareem Hunt, in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Kamara selected 19 spots ahead of Hunt, received 28 votes to 21 for Hunt. Houston rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, despite playing in only seven games before a season-ending knee injury, got the other vote.
Kamara shared duties with veteran Mark Ingram as the Saints won the NFC South. He rushed for 728 yards with a 6.1-yard average and scored eight times. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards, with five touchdowns.
Aaron Donald is the first pure defensive tackle to win The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award since 1999.
Often the province of outside pass rushers and backs, the Los Angeles Rams star broke the trend by earning 23 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Warren Sapp of Tampa Bay was the previous DT to win the award. Others have been Hall of Famers Joe Greene and Cortez Kennedy.
While the Rams' defense didn't rank highly in league stats, Donald was a force. The 2014 top defensive rookie spent 2017 destroying blockers, leading all players at his position with 11 sacks and had 58 pressures while usually being double-teamed.
End Calais Campbell, in his first season with the Jaguars, was second with 17 votes. Arizona's Chandler Jones got five.
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Created: February 03, 2018 06:50 PM
(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)