Top 10 Lions Of 2012, No. 3: Ndamukong Suh

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18: Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after they came from behind to beat the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Pride of Detroit is counting down the top 10 Lions players of 2012, as voted on by readers of the site. More than 400 ballots were submitted, and today we are taking a look at the No. 3 player on the list.

No. 3 - DT Ndamukong Suh - 2,981 points (4 first-place votes)

It shouldn't be a huge surprise that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh came in at No. 3 on the top 10 Lions of 2012. Behind a certain quarterback and wide receiver, Suh is viewed by quite a few fans as the third-best player on the team (he received 217 votes for third place). This particular set of rankings reflects that notion, as Suh received 2,981 points. He was included on 431 of 457 ballots, and he received four first-place votes. While 2011 was certainly a tumultuous year for Suh, he is still near the top of the list of Lions players for most fans.

Suh made an impression on Lions fans before he even joined the team. Toward the end of the Lions' 2-14 2009 season, fans were set on Suh ending up in Detroit. After all, he dominated opponents at Nebraska and was even a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. There was no question who fans wanted to be the pick, and the Lions were pretty dead set on selecting Suh as well.

Early on in his rookie season, Suh made an impression on opposing quarterbacks by tossing around Jake Delhomme like he was a rag doll in a preseason game. Looking back, this was the start of the idea that Suh was a dirty player, but in 2010 it was a sign of how intimidating he could be to opponents.

During the 2010 regular season, Suh quickly established himself as one of the top young players in the NFL. He finished the season with 66 tackles, 10 sacks, three pass defenses, one interception and one forced fumble. After the season, he received several honors, including winning various rookie of the year awards, being named a first-team All-Pro and being named to the Pro Bowl. Oh, and he did all of this despite having a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery.

2011 was a much different story for Suh. Another incident with a quarterback in the preseason increased the talk of him being a dirty player, and he was suspended for two games for stomping a Green Bay Packer during the Lions' Thanksgiving game. Statistically speaking, 2011 wasn't very good for Suh, either. He had only 36 tackles, four sacks and one pass defense, and in general he seemed to have a sophomore slump.

His struggles in 2011 aside, Suh is still viewed as the most talented Lions player on defense and one of the most important players on the entire team. He certainly needs to get back to his ways of 2010 in terms of production, but it seems fans think he will do just that based on him coming in at No. 3 on the top 10 Lions of 2012.

Top 10 Lions of 2012
1. WR Calvin Johnson (281) 4,370 points
2. QB Matthew Stafford (168) 4,259 points
3. DT Ndamukong Suh (4) 2,981 points
4. LB Stephen Tulloch 2,190 points
5. DE Cliff Avril (1) 2,014 points
6. TE Brandon Pettigrew 1,256 points
7. S Louis Delmas 1,230 points
8. WR Titus Young 1,024 points
9. K Jason Hanson (1) 750 points
10. RB Jahvid Best 747 points

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