Patrick Willis Leads The Vote For Top Defensive Player In NFL

Aug 18, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (52) on the sidelines against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the 49ers 20-9. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

The vote among SB Nation's NFL bloggers for defensive MVP has landed in San Francisco. Our bloggers are picking Patrick Willis as the preseason defensive MVP in what was one of the closest votes in our preseason awards series.

More: Offensive MVP | Def. Rookie Of The Year | Off. Rookie Of The Year

Willis ends up with 25 percent of the vote, edging out the New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul and Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware, who both had 17 percent of the vote. Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen was next in line with 13 percent of the vote.

Willis wasn't the only 49ers defensive player on the list with Justin Smith picking up 8 percent of the vote. Four players round out the list with 4 percent of the vote each: Miami Dolphins' Cameron Wake, Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews, Buffalo Bills' Mario Williams and Denver Broncos' Von Miller.

A sampling of comments from SB Nation's NFL bloggers:

Bleeding Green Nation:

I think the sack record is falling this year and Jared Allen is as likely as anyone to do it. Any one of the NFC East pass rushers like DeMarcus Ware, Jason Pierre-Paul or Jason Babin could certainly challenge as well, but if someone does break the record I think they win this award too.

The Phinsider:

Okay, I admit it, Cameron Wake was a homer pick. But, if the Dolphins defense can step up like it should this year, and if Jared Odrick or rookie Olivier Vernon can provide someone opposite Wake in pass rush, he has a chance to dominate again.

Gang Green Nation:

I don't personally think there is a more complete linebacker in the NFL right now and it's no surprise that I have Patrick Willis here as the MVP and the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately it seems that awards are now 100 percent stat driven. However I fully expect Patrick to be up there around the 100 tackle mark, 2-4 sacks and 2-4 interceptions. He was credited with 12 pass deflections last year, a true three down linebacker who is a leader on and off the field. He's certainly one of the best linebackers I have ever seen play the game. :

Bucs Nation:

Pass rushers win this award more often than any other position, and DeMarcus Ware is still the best pass rusher in the NFL. Jason Pierre-Paul is coming up the ranks, but he hasn't done it year-in, year-out - and Ware has yet to win a Defensive MVP title. Surely he has to win one of those at some point.

The full results of SB Nation's preseason defensive MVP vote:

Patrick Willis: 25 percent
Jason Pierre-Paul: 17
DeMarcus Ware: 17
Jared Allen: 13
Justin Smith: 8
Haloti Ngata: 4
Cameron Wake: 4
Clay Matthews: 4
Mario Williams: 4
Von Miller: 4

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