AP Defensive Player of the Year

Year Recipient
1971 Minnesota Vikings Alan Page
1972 Pittsburgh Steelers Joe Greene
1973 Miami Dolphins Dick Anderson
1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Joe Greene
1975 Pittsburgh Steelers Mel Blount
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers Jack Lambert
1977 Dallas Cowboys Harvey Martin
1978 Denver Broncos Randy Gradishar
1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lee Roy Selmon
1980 Oakland Raiders Lester Hayes
1981 New York Giants Lawrence Taylor
1982 New York Giants Lawrence Taylor
1983 Miami Dolphins Doug Betters
1984 Seattle Seahawks Kenny Easley
1985 Chicago Bears Mike Singletary
1986 New York Giants Lawrence Taylor
1987 Philadelphia Eagles Reggie White
1988 Chicago Bears Mike Singletary
1989 Minnesota Vikings Keith Millard
1990 Buffalo Bills Bruce Smith
1991 New Orleans Saints Pat Swilling
1992 Seattle Seahawks Cortez Kennedy
1993 Pittsburgh Steelers Rod Woodson
1994 San Francisco 49ers Deion Sanders
1995 Buffalo Bills Bryce Paup
1996 Buffalo Bills Bruce Smith
1997 San Francisco 49ers Dana Stubblefield
1998 Green Bay Packers Reggie White
1999 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Warren Sapp
2000 Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis
2001 New York Giants Michael Strahan
2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Derrick Brooks
2003 Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis
2004 Baltimore Ravens Ed Reed
2005 Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher
2006 Miami Dolphins Jason Taylor
2007 Indianapolis Colts Bob Sanders
2008 Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison
2009 Green Bay Packers Charles Woodson
2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu
2011 Baltimore Ravens Terrell Suggs
2012 Houston Texans J.J. Watt
2013 Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly
2014 Houston Texans J.J. Watt
2015 Houston Texans J.J. Watt
2016 Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack
2017 Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald
2018 Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald
2019 New England Patriots Stephen Gilmore
2020 Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald