NFL award winner predictions

NFL award winner predictions
August 02
09:26 2018

Trying to predict the individual awards seem to be much harder than team success due to the unpredictability of the NFL. Injuries, coaching changes and player movement can all drastically alter a player’s performance.  Last season we saw some familiar names walk away with awards, and this year I predict some new blood, so here you have it.

*Most Valuable Player: If not for a severe knee injury, last year’s MVP most likely would have gone to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.  Instead, it went to Tom Brady for the third time.  When it comes to this season, my bet is on Pittsburgh Steeler running back Le’Veon Bell.  The reasoning behind this is that Bell is unhappy with the Steelers for having him play on the franchise tag for another season.  With that state of mind, I fully anticipate Bell having his best season ever in an attempt to prove the Steeler management wrong for not signing him to a long-term deal.  The MVP is usually associated with team success as well, and I expect the Steelers to be one of the best teams in the NFL this season.

*Offensive Player of the Year: This may seem like a stretch, but my pick for the OPOY goes to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.  Yes, Watson was a rookie last season and was sidelined by a knee injury for much of the season but he is ahead of schedule on his rehab.  He has all of the tools necessary to put up big numbers this season.  He has one of the best receivers in the game in DeAndre Hopkins coupled with a solid running back.  I argue that Watson should have been the Number One overall pick in the 2017 draft.  Given a full season, Watson will show what type of numbers he can put up.

*Defensive Player of the Year:  My choice for DPOY is also coming from the Texans, but it’s not J.J. Watt or Whitney Mercilus.  I am actually going to go with 2014 overall Number One pick Jadeveon Clowney.  Obviously, Clowney did not wow anyone his first two years after such hype when he entered the league.  For the past two seasons, he has been a solid contributor for the Texans.  He is also playing for a new contract this year as well.  If Watt and Mercilus can stay healty all season, Clowney should have big numbers. Clowney posted 9½ sacks last season, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for him to go beyond 15 this season, that’s if he wants the big payday at the end of the season.

*Coach of the Year: Sean McVay, 2017’s coach of the year winner, totally turned around the Rams franchise in only one season.  I don’t expect this year’s coach of the year to come out of nowhere like McVay did a year ago.  Doug Marrone led the Jaguars all the way to the AFC championship game with a young group of hungry players.  They have a chance to go beyond that this season, which is why I choose Marrone as my coach of the year.  With a bad taste in their mouths following that heartbreaking loss to the Patriots in the championship game, the Jags have so much to play for, which will bode well for Marrone when COY voting time comes. 

*Comeback Player of the Year:  In 2015, Washington Redskin tight end Jordan Reed put the league on notice after catching 87 passes for 11 touchdowns. The next two were not as successful as he has dealt with a myriad of injuries totaling only 93 catches and eight touchdowns during that span.  Reed is now healthy and has Alex Smith as his quarterback, so his number should be called early and often throughout the year. Smith is known for not taking chances downfield as other quarterbacks are so Reed’s numbers should mirror those of Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, who thrived with Smith under center.

*Offensive Rookie of the Year:  I am gong with the obvious choice on this one – New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley.  With the success rookie running backs have had in recent years, this was an easy choice.  With a healthy Odell Beckam Jr. on the outside, teams can’t stack the box against Barkley, so he should put up great rushing numbers.  Barkley is also a great receiver out of the backfield, which will inflate his numbers even more.

*Defensive Rookie of the Year: This pick was also a pretty easy one as well.  Bradley Chubb, OLB/DE, out of N.C. State, was selected by the Denver Broncos with the fifth overall pick.  The Broncos already have a pass rush specialist in Von Miller, so partnering him with Chubb means headaches for quarterbacks all across the league. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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