The Falcons have had two players named as NFL MVPs this year, but there’s one player who has had more influence on the league’s best quarterbacks than any other: Daisy Award-winning linebacker Dee Ford.
The Falcons drafted Ford with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and he has been a mainstay on defense since that point.
Ford has been one of the best interior defenders in the NFL, which has helped the Falcons defend the run and create havoc on offense.
He was named a second-team All-Pro by Pro Football Focus this season after recording seven sacks and nine quarterback hits.
Ford also led the Falcons with 13 tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hurries.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Ford had 1,624 total tackles in his rookie season.
He has also started all 16 games this season and has recorded five sacks and seven quarterback huries.
Ford ranks third in the league with 11.5 sacks, and is second with 11 quarterback hurrys.
Ford has a chance to become the Falcons’ first ever player to win both the MVP award and Defensive Player of the Year award, which he won in 2015.
He is the fourth player in NFL history to be named a first-team all-pro after playing for the same team for three seasons.
Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Rolando McClain won the award in 2009.
Ford was also named to the All-NFL first team in 2011.