St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America on Wednesday.
In his third NFL season after being selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft out of North Carolina, Quinn set a franchise record with 19 sacks. He also forced seven fumbles, including one against the Chicago Bears he returned 31 yards for a touchdown.
Quinn also was one of the Rams top defenders against the run, pacing the team with 18 tackles for loss.
Quinn's 19 sacks topped the NFC and were just a half--sack shy of Indianapolis' Robert Mathis for the NFL lead.
His seven forced fumbles were the most by a Rams since 2002, when Leonard Little forced nine.
The 6-foot-4, 264-pound Quinn had five multi-sack games during the 2013 season, including three against Tampa Bay in the team's home finale, when he surpassed Kevin Carter's old team record of 17 sacks in a season.
Quinn, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl, should be among the top contenders for the Associated Press' NFL Defensive Player of the year award.
No Rams player has ever won that award since it was established in 1971.
Earlier this week, a pair of Rams were named to the PFWA's All-Rookie Team.
On the defense, Alec Ogletree was honored as one of the team's linebackers.
A first-round pick out of Georgia, Ogletree led the Rams with 155 tackles in 2013. He also had six forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and an interception return for a touchdown.
The eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft, receiver Tavon Austin was named the team's punt returner. Austin returned 33 punts for 288 yards (8.48 yards per punt) with one touchdown.
As a receiver, Austin had 40 catches for 418 yards with four touchdowns.