As all 32 team begin training camp, it makes sense to make predictions for awards now. Each year the Associated Press (AP) hands out awards in seven main categories. Here are the top 5 candidates and who will end up winning.
*all predictions are barring injury*
Comeback Player of The Year:
5. Travis Fredrick, Dallas Cowboys
After missing the entire season due to an auto immune disease, Fredrick is bound to return and solidify the cowboy’s offensive line that is regarded as the best in the entire league.
4. Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons
After Deion Jones got injured the falcons defensive really struggle without their leader in the middle of the defense. If the falcon’s defense can return to 2016 form, Jones can be in line to win comeback player of the year.
3. Earl Thomas, Baltimore Ravens
After an ugly breakup with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas finds a new home with the Baltimore Ravens. The ravens defense looks totally different from last year and they brought in Earl Thomas to lead that defense from the back end.
2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
David Johnson is returning to a Cardinals team which ended with the worst record in the league last year. They now have rookie quarterback, Kyler Murray, to help that offense, but Arizona will heavily rely on Johnson to carry the load on offense.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
After tearing his ACL in week 3 last year Jimmy Garoppolo is primed to have a good season. In the offseason the 49ers added weapons such as Tevin Coleman and Deebo Samuel, which should help Jimmy Garoppolo improve as a starter in this league.
Coach of the Year:
5. Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
After a Super Bowl appearence in 2016 and almost upsetting the eventual champions in the playoffs the following year, the Falcons had a disappointing 2018 campaign. Now that the defense is healthy again and the offense is returning most of its key pieces, the Falcons can return to being NFC contenders.
4. Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Two years ago the Vikings went 13-3 and made the NFC title game. In that offseason they decide they are going to upgrade at quarterback and sign Kirk Cousins to a 3 year/84 million dollar deal. In their first year with Cousins did not live up to expectations, if they can live up to their talent, Zimmer will be in the COY talk at the end of the season.
3. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Losing two of the three killer Bs has made many people question if the Steelers can make the playoffs let alone win the division. If Mike Tomlin can lead this team to a division championship and silence the critics, he should be a finalist for COY.
2. Adam Gase, New York Jets
Gase’s time in Miami was a disappointment. They only made once and got bounced in the first round during his time in Miami. Now he gets a fresh start with a second-year quarterback and a stud at running back. If Gase can get the best out of this talent, the Jets could make the playoffs.
1. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shanahan’s first few years in San Francisco have been a total disappointment. Now he finally has a quarterback, who her believes is a franchise quarterback, and stud on both sides of the ball. Many people have predicted that the 49ers will make the playoffs and if they do Shanahan will win the COY award.
Defensive Rookie of the Year:
5. Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers
After being the second overall pick and joining a pass rush attack with Dee Ford and Deforest Buckner, Bosa has lofty expectations. Because of the other players around him, his number will not be as high as one would expect keeping him away from winning the DROY.
4. Joejuan Williams, New England Patriots
This is the surprise of the list. Joejuan Williams could get an opportunity to start and being a tall length corner, he could become a ballhawk for the Patriots. If his interception numbers are high, he will compete for this award.
3. Quinnen Williams, New York Jets
Most people believed that Quinnen Williams was the number one prospect and he fell to three. Williams will lead the Jets pass rush and start from day one. If he can make an impact and transform that defensive line to a top unit, he could be in the lead for this award.
2. Devin Bush, Pittsburgh Steelers
After trading up for him in the draft, the Steelers have become enamored with Devin Bush. Bush will fill in for Ryan Shazier as he is still recovering from his spine injury. Bush is a sideline to sideline linebacker that will get out in space and tackler.
1. Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The best and my favorite linebacker in this class, Devin White. He is an absolute animal and it sounds like the coaching staff in Tampa Bay love him. He will replace Kwon Alexander in the middle of the Buccaneers defense and make an immediate impact for them
Offensive Rookie of the Year:
5. Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams selected Henderson in the 3rd round of the draft. With Todd Gurley having nagging knee pain, now diagnosed as arthritis, look for Henderson to get touches. If Gurley misses part of the season, look for Henderson to surprise some people.
4. Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins
With the 15th overall pick the Redskins took a chance with Haskins. There has been talks that Haskins will compete for the starting job. If Haskins can win the job in camp, he could win the OROY and start off his NFL career on a positive note.
3. Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Brown was a dynamic playmaker in college for Oklahoma. The Raven selected him in the 1st round to give Lamar Jackson help on the outside. He should be given opportunities to catch balls, do end arounds, and return kicks.
2. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
The first overall pick will start from day one. With first time NFL head coach Kliff Kingsbury it will be interesting to see how the offense will be run. However if the offense clicks with the new young guys as well as veterans such as Larry Fitzgerald, Kyler can be in position to take home the OROY.
1. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders fell in love with Jacobs throughout the process. Gruden told Jacobs that the Raiders would take him with the 24th pick if he was there. Jacobs will have the responsibility of leading the rushing attack. The Raiders are similar to last year’s Giants and that’s why Jacobs can have a productive season.
Defensive Player of the Year:
5. Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears
In the first few years of his career Eddie Jackson has been a touchdown machine. He has scored five defensive touchdowns in his two years in the NFL. If Eddie Jackson can keep up his turnover and scoring production, he could be a sleeper for the DPOY.
4. Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jalen Ramsey showed up to training camp in a brinks truck. He wants he money and he is looking to have the best year of his career. Already being regarded as a top cornerback in the league, if he can improve on his last few year he could win the DPOY for the first time in his career.
3. Von Miller, Denver Broncos
When Von Miller plays fifteen or more games, he has never had single digit sacks. That always help when you are competing for the top defensive player in the league. Some would be surprised he has never won this award, but now with new head coach Vic Fangio this could be his year.
2. Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears
Last offseason many people were shocked that the Oakland Raiders traded former defensive player of the year Khalil Mack. The trade heavily paid off for the Bears, as he was an MVP candidate before suffering a few injuries. Mack has his best season as an NFL player and now entering his prime, he should be better this year.
1. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
Back to back DPOY Aaron Donald surely can’t win this award again. Well the truth is he can. He looks in the best shape of his life and has been training hard after the Super Bowl loss. After having over twenty sacks and leading the Rams defense last year look for Donald to go for this award for the third time in a row.
Offensive Player of the Year: (No QBs)
5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Currently Michael Thomas is looking for a new deal from the Saints. This deal is well deserved after breaking reception records left and right. He has had one of the best starts to a career for a wide receiver ever. Thomas is Drew Brees’ number one target and should have another incredible season.
4. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
The fastest man in the NFL. With Patrick Mahomes last year, Tyreek Hill had his best season in his NFL career to date. Even with all the controversy surrounding him this offseason, Tyreek Hill has been working out constantly and is in even better shape. Look for Tyreek Hill to improve on his last year’s campaign.
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Zeke is another player who is searching for a new contract. The Cowboys’ offense rely on him. Dak Prescott is not the same quarterback when Elliot is not on the field. Elliott could be run into the ground before the Cowboys let him go. Expect a big season from Elliott.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Hopkins is the only offensive player who earned a 99 overall rating on Madden 20. DeAndre had his best season last year with his best catch percentage. Improving his chemistry with Deshaun Watson will only help Hopkins become better.
1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Now with Odell Beckham Jr. gone, Barkley is really the only superstar on the Giants offense. Barkley already had a phenomenal rookie season and now he will be even more important in the passing game. Barkley could get both 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards.
Most Valuable Player:
5. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
Last year Donald took home the defensive player of the year awards, but was in the conversation for MVP throughout the year. He helped the Rams go to the Super Bowl. If he can improve on last year, he could become the first defensive player to win MVP since Lawrence Taylor.
4. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Expectations are on the Browns this year. With the new talent they have added the pressure is on Baker Mayfield to preform. If Mayfield can improve on his record breaking rookie year, he could potentially take home his first MVP award.
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers may be the most talented quarterback this league has ever seen. Every year Rodgers is healthy he has to be in the conversation for MVP. After missing the playoffs the last two season he could return to MVP form and take home his third MVP award.
2. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
In 2017 Carson Wentz was primed to win MVP. He was hit with a devastating injuring and missing the rest of the year and playoffs. The Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl without him and people have been slandering him since. If Wentz can lead this team like he did in 2017 expect him to be in the conversation for MVP.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick “Showtime” Mahomes. The reigning MVP had an unbelievable year with 50 passing touchdowns and over 5,000 passing touchdowns. The Chiefs added new weapons such as Mecole Hardman and Darwin Thompson. Now with an even better surrounding cast than last year Mahomes might not match his numbers from last year, but he will definitely be a better player.
Check out where all 32 quarterbacks entering the 2019 season rank here
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