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This is the fourth and last installment of my 2011 rookie review series. It has been a season filled with great performances in regards to many of the defensive rookies in every position: defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs. After 15 weeks, this is as good of a time as any to find out what we learned so far. Please keep in mind this is not an all-inclusive list.  Enjoy!

Defensive linemen

Jabaal Sheard, Cleveland Browns

2011 stats through Week 15: 36 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 5 forced fumbles, 7.5 sacks

Current role: Starter (Top 10 defensive linemen in most scoring)

2012 expectations: Jabaal Sheard, like many defensive ends, is not the most consistent playmaker.  He can get off blocks well and make big plays when rushing the quarterback.  The Browns defense was on the field longer for most of the year due to offensive woes and that inflated his numbers a bit.  I am most encouraged by his 5 forced fumbles and 7.5 sacks as this shows excellent individual effort to change the outcome of the game.  With fellow rookie Phil Taylor (click here to read the rest).

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