E: Tony Brackens, Jaguars, and Jevon Kearse, Titans. Brackens, who has always been a high-level pass rusher, rounded out his game this year with effective play against the run. Kearse, the fastest defensive lineman since Fred Dean, led the AFC with a rookie-record 1416 sacks and made offenses scrap their game plans to adjust to him.
T: Trevor Pryce, Broncos. Quickness, relentless pressure and a nonstop motor give him the edge over the Jaguars' Gary Walker.
ILB: Ray Lewis, Ravens, and Greg Biekert, Raiders. Lewis is a guided missile, a tackling machine. Biekert always has been a fine run plugger, but this year he was also effective in coverage. If I could have picked three inside backers, the third spot would have gone to the Dolphins' Zach Thomas.
OLB: Derrick Brooks, Buccaneers, and Dexter Coakley, Cowboys. A passionate linebacker from Day One, Brooks has never been better against the pass. Coakley shuts down receivers out of the backfield. Against the run he makes plays all over the field.
CB: Sam Madison, Dolphins, and Shawn Springs, Seahawks. Madison was the big-play cornerback of '99. Springs, often matched against the enemy's top receiver, has raised his game in each of his three seasons.
SS: John Lynch, Buccaneers. Always effective as a blitzer and a run stuffer, he improved his coverage skills this season.
FS: Brian Dawkins, Eagles. The Pro Bowl pickers got it right here. A big-play defender.
K: Mike Vanderjagt, Colts. Perfect on extra points and hasn't missed a field goal attempt since Oct. 24. His 53-yarder that beat the Dolphins at the gun was one of the biggest kicks of the season.