Aaron Donald of the LA Rams took home defensive player of the year honors by earning 23 votes from the 50 member panel.
"Words can't express what I'm feeling right now," Donald said. "Trying to hold back the tears."
Warren Sapp of Tampa Bay was the last tackle to win the award.
"That's one of the best to ever do it so for my name to be next to that guy's name is beyond a blessing," said Donald. "My dad's been telling me since I was 12 years old working out in my basement trying to work to this point, all the work paid off. You put the body of work in, it's going to pay off for you."
Other tackles to win the award have been Hall of Famers Joe Greene and Cortez Kennedy.
Calais Campbell was second with 17 votes. Arizona's Chandler Jones received 5 votes.