With the NFL preseason officially underway today with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio between the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, it’s only fitting to give my predictions on every single award winner this season in the NFL and who I think will win Super Bowl 51.
Last year was a magical run for both the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. The Panthers only had lost one game, dabbing their way into Super Bowl 50. The Broncos overcame poor quarterback play the entire season and rode their defense to the Super Bowl victory.
A vast array of injuries really took a toll on the NFL season last year, especially at the wide receiver position with Jordy Nelson, Steve Smith and Kelvin Benjamin all going down with significant injuries, ending their seasons.
The NFL also saw some big names step away from the game, including All Pro linebacker Patrick Willis and most recently Calvin Johnson. The NFL, many people say, stands for Not For Long.
Cam Newton ran away with the MVP award last season, while J.J. Watt deservingly won Defensive Player of the Year honors after terrorizing NFL offensive lines the entire season.
Comeback Player of the Year went to Eric Berry, who was the epitome of what a comeback player was, after having Hodgkins Lymphoma, that forced him to miss the 2014 season entirely and Rookie of the Year went to Todd Gurley, who recovered from an ACL tear he suffered at Georgia the year before.
This year the awards race will be wide open with seemingly everyone healthy. Aaron Rodgers has his favorite target back in Nelson. There are a bunch of defensive players ready to dethrone Watt for Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Comeback Player of the Year could go to almost anyone this season and NFL Rookie of the Year honors will also be up for grabs with tons of talent in this year’s class.
Without further ado, here are my picks to win each of these awards and the Super Bowl.
NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers. He will have all of his offensive weapons back at full strength this year, so watch out.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack, LB, Oakland Raiders. Mack jumped on the scene last year as a second-year player. Expect him to thrive and take home this award this year.
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers. Nelson missed all of last season with injury. Expect him to pick up right where he left off.
NFL Rookie of the Year: Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Dallas Cowboys. For the second year in a row, the award will go to a running back.
Super Bowl 51 winner: Arizona Cardinals over Pittsburgh Steelers