Most Valuable Player
@JJWenner: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
They should change the name of this award to QB of the Best Offense Award. However, I do think that Pat Mahomes repeats as the #1 QB on the best offense in the league.
@MichaelSKlos: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Wenner picked him and is way smarter than me, so I decided to go with him!
@bicspicksffb: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns
So, I might be a little too all-in on the Baker hype train, but that train has already left the station. Might as well stay on it. Mayfield has the talent and the weapons around him to bring the MVP award to Cleveland, and if he leads this Browns team that was 0-16 just a couple years ago to a division title with a stat line around 4400/40/10, which seems reasonable, the voters know what they will have to do.
Offensive Player of the Year
JJ: Saquon Barkley, Running Back, New York Giants
They need to keep rewarding Saquon so he doesn’t jump ship on the Giants. Barkley will continue to put up stats on a bad team. Hopefully, the team will build a team around him soon.
Michael: Alvin Kamara/Drew Brees, Running Back/Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
My assignment was to pick one for each category, but I failed to narrow this one down.
Ryan: Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Carolina Panthers
Why not McCaffrey? An argument can be made that McCaffrey is the best all-around running back in the NFL, and I don’t think we’ve seen his best yet. The third-year do-it-all superstar has legit 1000/1000 potential and has bulked up this offseason, which will lead to him being a more punishing runner, and likely more goalline opportunities.
Defensive Player of the Year
JJ: Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Cleveland Browns
The Browns bolstered their defensive in the offseason with a series of moves reminiscent of the 2018 Rams. They added Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson to the line, Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson to the linebackers, and Greedy Williams, Sheldrick Redwine, and Morgan Burnett to their defensive backfield. Expect 18+ sacks from Garrett as opponents are forced to keep up with a more potent offense than last season. Teams will not be able to focus on stopping Garrett and, believe me, he will eat this year.
Michael: Aaron Donald, Defensive End, Los Angeles Rams
Three straight years for the best defensive player in the league.
Ryan: Kevin Byard, Safety, Tennessee Titans
My original pick for DPoY honors was going to be Derwin James of the LA Chargers before he injured his foot and we learned he will miss most of the season. However, there’s another safety I believe can make a push for the award. Byard is a gamechanger at the safety position, a ball-hawking enforcer who already has a Pro Bowl and All-Pro nod under his belt. He is the Titans’ best player and has the talent to be the first safety to win the award since Troy Polamalu in 2010.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
JJ: Devin Singletary, Running Back, Buffalo Bills
Knocked for his lack of athleticism, Motor Singletary had a quiet preseason. Don’t let his combine numbers fool you, he can ball with the best. After releasing their bell-cow running back, the Bills have signaled a belief in their young back. With Frank Gore playing the role of veteran mentor and TJ Yeldon providing breathers, young Singletary will prove too much for AFC defenses to handle, posting 1200 yards and 12 TDs to lead all rookie RBs. Singletary will show a motor only proves that no one knows how to circle the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!
Michael: Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
QBs get all the awards and all the ladies.
Ryan: Josh Jacobs, Running Back, Oakland Raiders
Chalk it up. Jacobs is in the perfect position to go berserk his rookie season. The under-utilized star out of Alabama can do everything required of the modern running back. Jacobs is a fast, shifty, powerful runner with great hands and vision. A true three-down talent. I’m calling for around 1500 total yards, around 50 receptions, and 10-12 touchdowns.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
JJ: Darnell Savage, Jr, Safety, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay has been searching for a safety who can cover and provide run support. Savage provides that and more for the Packers this year, leading the defense in interceptions while providing an intimidation factor for opposing offenses. Look for him to step up early in the season and to lead all rookies in tackles.
Michael: Brian Burns, Linebacker, Carolina Panthers
Exciting player on a great team. He should provide year one production on a team missing Julius Peppers.
Ryan: Devin Bush, Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
Drafted to be the replacement for Ryan Shazier, Bush will end up being an upgrade. He is a freak athlete with the smarts and instincts to be a dominant All-Pro-caliber linebacker at some point in his career. Bush’s supporting cast on defense is strong, too, which will enable him to flourish as a rookie.
Comeback Player of the Year
JJ: AJ Green, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Green will start 2019 on the sidelines with an ankle injury, which will make this award even sweeter. Returning by week 4, Green will put up Top 5 WR numbers for the rest of the season, finishing as a top 8 WR. Critics are burying him, but he is still dominant when healthy and this is the season he proves it.
Michael: Earl Thomas, Safety, Baltimore Ravens
No middle fingers from Thomas as he returns to be the backbone of the Raven’s defense.
Ryan: Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, New York Jets
Bell is the obvious choice here. After sitting out all of 2018 over a contract dispute, the man has been paid, and he’s set to be the centerpiece of the 2019 Jets offense. The offensive line he’s running behind isn’t as bad as it is often made out to be, especially with the addition of Kelechi Osemele and Ryan Kalil. After a week or two of shaking off the rust, Bell will be back to his dominant self, running all over defenses and catching everything thrown his way.
Super Bowl 54: Predictions
JJ: Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs
Offense is king as Andy Reid and his coaching tree makes waves in the NFL this year, showing ingenuity and an ability to use the weapons they have to rack up victories. Carson Wentz will play in all 16 games, as JJAW, Ertz, and DeSean lead an unconventional passing offense. Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, and Darren Sproles provide a top 10 rushing offense as a bonus. Kansas City picks right up where they left off, with Mahomes slinging the rock all over the field. McCoy steps in to lead the team in carries, while Hardman proves to be a rushing/receiving weapon created somewhere in a football laboratory. This will be an exciting season as offenses take center stage in the highest-scoring season in NFL history.
Michael: New Orleans Saints vs New England Patriots
Keep betting on Pats until they don’t get there. I wrote that before they added AB, now I am convinced they will win.
Ryan: Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots
They say defense wins championships, and the Cowboys have assembled a championship-caliber unit. But they aren’t slouches on offense either. Dallas has enough firepower to make it to the Super Bowl with an array of talented receiving options, a star quarterback with playoff experience (and a playoff win) under his belt, and the best running back and offensive line in the game. New England, of course, has signed Antonio Brown after being released by the Raiders, which gives the Pats their best offense since the Randy Moss days. This move is a little convenient, considering the past scandals New England has been caught up in like Deflategate and Spygate, but the move does make picking the Pats to play in the Super Bowl easy money. However, I’m going to put on my wishful thinking cap and pick the Cowboys to win the big game in a close one, 21-17.