October 1, 2012

Rookie of the Year: Dana Stubblefield, 1993


Defensive Tackle, San Francisco 49ers



Age:  23 (Nov. 14)
College: Kansas
Height: 6’2”    Weight: 302

Prelude:
Having lost their two best pass rushers (DE Pierce Holt and DE Tim Harris) to free agency, the 49ers chose Stubblefield in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft (26th overall). With his speed, he proved to be a good fit in the interior of the line.

1993 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 10.5 [19, tied with Jeff Cross & Sean Gilbert]
Most sacks, game – 2 at Pittsburgh 9/5, at Dallas 10/17, at Atlanta 12/11
Multi-sack games – 3
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 1
Tackles – 64

Postseason: 2 G
Sacks – 2
Most sacks, game – 2 vs. NY Giants, NFC Divisional playoff
Interceptions – 0
TD – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: AP, PFWA

49ers went 10-6 to finish first in the NFC West. Won NFC Divisional playoff over New York Giants (44-3). Lost NFC Championship to Dallas Cowboys (38-21).

Aftermath:
Stubblefield followed up his outstanding rookie year with Pro Bowl seasons in 1994 and ’95, years in which he recorded 8.5 and 4.5 sacks, respectively. Following a subpar 1996, he rebounded in ’97 to not only return to the Pro Bowl but also receive consensus first-team All-Pro and AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors as he recorded a career-high 15 sacks. Stubblefield moved to the Washington Redskins as a free agent in 1998 and was a disappointment in his three years with the club (7 total sacks) before returning to the 49ers in 2001. In two years back in San Francisco, he revived his career, although was now better against the run than as a pass rusher between the gaps. He finished up with the Oakland Raiders in 2003. In eleven years, Stubblefield recorded 53.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl a total of three times.

--

Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL (including NFC/AFC), AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year). 

[Updated 2/6/14]