This season, there seems to be a trend growing on defense around the NFL. There's a changing of the tides in terms of the best players on defense. The majority of the top candidates for this year's Defensive Player of the Year Award have been drafted within the last three years. Players like Troy Polamalu, Julius Peppers, and Ed Reed are nearing the end of their careers, while a slew of young defenders are taking the league by storm.
This year's list looks pretty clear cut, however, with all of the candidates having played at an elite level all season long. With that said, here are the top five candidates for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.