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2016 Detroit Lions POD Awards: Defensive Player of the Year

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Who was the Lions’ best defensive player in 2016?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Next up for the 2016 Detroit Lions POD Awards is the category for Detroit Lions Defensive Player of the Year.

Glover Quin

Quin was awarded the Defensive MVP award by his teammates this year, and for good reason. He may not have the gaudy stats to back it up (68 tackles, two interceptions), but he played in every single defensive snap this year (the only defensive player in the NFL to do that this season) and provided great stability in an otherwise shaky defensive backs unit. Detroit rarely gave up big plays in the passing game and Quin’s last line of defense is a big reason for that.

Darius Slay

Although injury plagued the last half of his season, Slay lived up to his "Big Play" status early in the year. Darius Slay notched a game-sealing interception against the Eagles, which was preceded by his forced fumble just minutes earlier.

However, his best play of the year was likely when he picked off Sam Bradford on Thanksgiving, putting the Lions immediately in field goal position for the game-winning score.

Kerry Hyder

Already the winner of our Breakout Player of the Year award, Hyder was the one player the Lions could rely upon to get something resembling quarterback pressure. Hyder had 8.0 sacks, nearly twice as much as anyone else on the team, and he led all defensive linemen with 36 tackles, four of which resulted in a loss.

Tahir Whitehead

The Lions linebackers had a rough year, and Whitehead was no stranger to poor play himself. That being said, his 132 tackles was 46 more than he has ever had in his career and ranked him eighth overall in the NFL. Tackles aren’t exactly a perfect stat for measuring a linebacker’s effectiveness, but Whitehead was put in a tough situation, dealing with a rotating list of ineffective linebackers as his teammates. Through it all, Whitehead managed to play in more defensive snaps than anyone else not named Glover Quin.