Why Jerod Mayo?
Jerod Mayo has only been in the league for five years, but it sure seems like a lot longer than that. He started off with a bang at inside linebacker in the Patriots 3-4, and was voted the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008 after leading all rookies in tackles with 128.
He was slowed down by a knee injury in 2009, but returned with a purpose and notched a league-leading 175 total tackles, adding two sacks, a forced fumble and was voted first-team All-Pro for the first time in his career.
He has had to adjust to a new position as a weak-side linebacker in the 4-3 over the past two seasons, and really came out of his shell in 2012 when he led the AFC in tackles with 147 while logging a career-high three sacks and four forced fumbles, adding an interception and a fumble recovery for good measure.
The Patriots didn't send him on the pass-rush very often in 2012, but according to Pro Football Focus, his pass-rushing productivity on a per-snap basis (14 combined pressures on 74 rushes, 18.9 percent) was on par with Von Miller (86 pressures on 436 rushes, 19.7 percent).
Despite endless changes in the Patriots defense, Mayo has remained not just a leader for the team, but one of the better linebackers in the NFL.
Did you know?
Mayo's first career interception came in the 57th game of his career. Since then, he has three interceptions in 25 games.
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