Let’s take a look at who should win on NFL award nights.
Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Chase Young (DE – WFT)
Young has lived up to his NO.2 overall pick. He’s racked up 7.5 sacks and accomplished the 6th highest PFF grade out of ALL edge rushers in the league (87.2). Young has followed recent rookie explosions from Myles Garrett and Nick Bosa. It may not be the sexy pick but sometimes these highly drafted rookies are the best – he just needs to learn to not poke the bear, especially when that bear is Tom Brady.
Runners Up: Jeremy Chinn (LB/FS – CAR), Kamren Curl (S – WFT)
Offensive Rookie Of The Year: Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN)
Eagles fans won’t be happy for years. They took Jalen Reagor (who still may be good) over Justin Jefferson. Jefferson has had a rookie season for the record books. He first beat Randy Moss for most reception yards by a Vikings rookie before one-upping that by taking the league record for a rookie. This beats Anquan Boldin’s 1,377yds in 2004 (Jefferson had 1,400). This is ahead of all receivers throughout league history. Beating Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson and Odell Beckham Jr. This wasn’t erratic performances, instead it was a continued effort with seven 100yd games. Jefferson has replaced Stephon Diggs (who led the league in receiving yards, 1535yds) and may well be the steal of the draft, despite being as high as the 22nd pick (although he was the 5th WR taken).
Runners Up: Justin Herbert (QB – LAC), Antonio Gibson (RB – WFT)
Defensive Player Of The Year: Aaron Donald (DL – LAR)
This may be a boring pick but it’s the right pick. Simply, Donald is outstanding. He’s more athletic than any interior D-lineman and stronger than any edge rushers. He can take on double teams and win consistently. Despite being the only elite pass-rush threat on the Rams, he still accumulated 13.5 sacks on the season. To accompany this there’s also 4 forced fumbles and 27 QB hits – he applies constant pressure and is the best defensive player in the league and that’s pretty much inarguable. He’s now only 14.5 sacks from 100, next year will be a BIG year for Donald
Runners Up: Xavien Howard (CB – MIA), TJ Watt (OLB – PIT)
Offensive Player Of The Year: Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)
Only the 8th player (and second Titan) to run for over 2000yds in a single season (2,027). That includes two single-handed demolitions of the Houston Texans which squeezed his teams into the playoffs. Henry has the best stiff-arm in league history and has more than once shrugged off defenders causing them to lose all dignity. Watching Henry is truly exciting, any run could go for the house (17 times in 2020). He was the best non-QB in the league this year and it wasn’t really close.
Runners Up: Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC), Josh Allen (QB – BUF)
Coach Of The Year: Kevin Stefanski (CLE)
He’s the coach that did it, overcame the largest challenge known to man – get the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs and look a legitimate title contender. For his first head coach season, that’s ridiculous. Mayfield has been turned into a good QB, the running game is still ridiculously good with Chubb and Hunt. The defence can be suffocating with Ward looking down WRs and a pass-rush of Garrett and Vernon. All of this came alive the moment Mr Stefanski wandered into Cleveland. One hopes that he can overcome Covid and the Browns can win on Wild Card weekend without their head coach, but no matter the outcome, what Stefanski has done this year is pretty mind-blowing, maybe more mind-blowing than Sean McVay’s first year?
Runners Up: Sean McDermott (BUF), Matt LaFleur (GB)
Comeback Player Of The Year: Alex Smith (QB – WFT)
The most well-deserved award to maybe ever be given in the NFL – the award may be renamed after him. It cannot be understated how ridiculous it is that Smith is playing football. Two years ago, he could have lost his leg, even his life. He was told it’s likely he’d never walk again, told playing again was a ludicrous thought. Instead, he’s just led the Washington Football Team to their first NFC East Division Title since 2015 (their lowly 7-9 record is irrelevant to the point). He may not be as athletic than he was and his play level has dropped, but it still led a team to the playoffs and this week he faces the greatest QB of all time in Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will this underdog story continue?
Runners Up: Nobody comes close to Smith – sorry.
Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
The best player this season, he outduelled Mahomes to the end. The 37-year-old should win his 3rd MVP (Pat McAfee has already crowned him so he better win now). Over 70% completion percentage, over 4000yds passing and 48TDs : 5INTs. He only had one terrible game (against Tampa Bay) and otherwise developed the best QB-WR connection with Davante Adams and helped TE Robert Tonyan have a breakout season. Rodgers has his eyes set on the Superbowl – as he should but he’ll pick up the MVP award on his way.
Runners UP: Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC), Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)