The Carolina Panthers are developing a stranglehold on the rookie of the year awards.

A year after Panthers quarterback Cam Newton won the Associated Press Offensive Rookie Award, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the top defensive rookie at the NFL Honors awards program Saturday night at the Jackson Theater.

Kuechly received 28 of a possible 50 first-place votes to easily outdistance Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who garnered 11 first-place votes. Green Bay cornerback Casey Hayward collected six.

Kuechly finished with an NFL-high 164 tackles, becoming the first rookie to lead the league in tackles since San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis in 2007. The Panthers credited Kuechly with 205 tackles based on coaches' film review, which broke the team record set by James Anderson in 2011.