The NFL's sacks leader with 20 1-2 and a pass-blocking fiend, Watt earned 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Denver linebacker Von Miller received the other vote.
Watt, a versatile second-year player with a tremendous burst off the line, also forced four fumbles and recovered two in helping the Texans to their second straight AFC South title. With his long wingspan, he blocked a stunning 16 passes.
Watt is the first Texans player to win the award. Last year, Miller ran away with the top defensive rookie award while Watt was not in contention.
He accepted his award Saturday night at the "2nd Annual NFL Honors" awards show on CBS saluting the NFL's best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season.
Watt recorded an NFL-best 20.5 sacks for 139 yards lost in 2012. He also broke up 16 passes -- five of which ended up as interceptions -- and forced four fumbles. He is a first-time 101 Award winner and Pro Bowl selection and has started every game for the Texans after being drafted with the 11th overall pick two years ago.
No other details were immediately available.
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