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NFL Expert Picks: Who will win defensive player of the year?

By Eye on Football staff | CBSSports.com

CBSSports.com experts pick Luke Kuechly, DeMarcus Ware and J.J. Watt to win defensive player of the year. (USATSI)
CBSSports.com experts pick Luke Kuechly, DeMarcus Ware and J.J. Watt to win defensive player of the year. (USATSI)

Will Brinson | Luke Kuechly: Maybe a stretch this early in the stud middle linebacker's career, but Kuechly plays a prominent position and puts up notable stats. Those stats will be even better with Star Lotulelei and Kawaan Short shoring up the defensive line.

Josh Katzowitz | J.J.Watt: The Texans defensive lineman is a one-man wrecking crew, creating chaos for every offense he plays.

Jason La Canfora | Geno Atkins: Everyone is going to say JJ Watt, and they're probably right, but Atkins is the dominant interior player in football, the Bengals are primed for a big season and he will make enough flashy plays to finally start getting the credit he deserves.vide a modicum of protection then the sky is the limit.

Ryan Wilson | Geno Atkins: The former fourth-round pick came into the league under the radar but now everyone knows who he is and it has nothing to do with Hard Knocks. He's a disruptive force along the line that is as much a game-changer as J.J. Watt.

Pete Prisco | J.J. Watt: He will break the single-season sack record this year. He can't be single-blocked and he is too good against the double. Does he get the 20-20-20 he wants? That will be tough.

John Breech | DeMarcus Ware: J.J. Watt seems like the obvious choice, but keep in mind that no player has won this award back-to-back since Lawrence Taylor in the 1981-82 seasons. Ware's healthy and he seems to be thrilled about making the move to defensive end.

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