2020 NFL Bold Predictions
Devin White and Devin Bush finish as top 5 linebackers
These are two players who I expect to explode on to the scene in 2020. They are both going to step up in big ways for their teams, but in different ways. Devin Bush is going to be a product of his environment. He is on arguably the best defense in the NFL and will feed off of the pressure from TJ Watt and Cam Heyward. Teams won't be able to throw on the Steelers again this year with Minkah Fitzpatrick at safety and Joe Haden on the outside. Devin Bush is in an opportunity where he can lead the league in tackles. Devin White's explosion will be different. Other than Shaq Barrett, his defense isn't as good. I believe he'll be the tone setter for the Buccaneers. He is going to be the voice in the locker room and be the best player on that defense. He is going to be flying around and will be in a ton of primetime games. All the pressure is on the Bucs offense, but people aren't talking about Devin White and that defense enough. They are going to have similar year two's as the next player in the next bold prediction.
Fred Warner wins Defensive Player of the Year
Fred Warner is going to have a MASSIVE year in 2020. Last season, he was the most underrated player on the team and he had a breakout year. This season he was voted team captain over guys like Nick Bosa and Kwon Alexander. He has the best defensive line in front of him to hurry the quarterback and a ball hawking secondary. Warner is one of the most intelligent players on the 49ers and in his third year he should be able to diagnose even more things on film. He was just on the COVID-19 list for ten days so he's had plenty of time to study the Arizona Cardinals so I'd expect him to have a big game on opening day. Warner is capable of leading the league in tackles and his range should allow him to snag a few interceptions. I think this team got even deeper on defense and Fred Warner will have a monster year 3 under Robert Saleh.
The Colts finish the season with a top 3 defense
There aren't many teams with alpha dogs on all three levels of the defense. I'm not talking about alpha dogs as a good player, but I'm talking about as a leader. The Colts are one of those teams that do have one. Deforest Buckner is a game-wrecker on the defensive line. You can't name many players that are better than him at his position and year-in year-out he's overlooked. He was one of the sneakiest acquisitions of the offseason and he's going to have another monster year in Indy. Darius Leonard is THE MANIAC. Leonard is easily one of the best defensive players in the NFL and doesn't get recognition because he's in a small market. Last season, Leonard was getting a ton of turnovers and this year they have a defense that should be able to keep up with them. In the secondary they have one of the best nickel defenders with Kenny Moore. Moore locks down slot receivers and is the alpha in their secondary. Malik Hooker is finally healthy and this season he has the chance to show why he was a first round safety. This defense is going to have a great year.
Justin Jefferson has the best rookie receiver season since OBJ
I was super high on Justin Jefferson coming out of the draft and he landed in the perfect spot. Jefferson is a super star and has the personality to match what's in store for him. At LSU he balled out and he's shown wild potential. Jefferson is an awesome route runner and was the best receiver when it comes to contested catches. With Stefon Diggs leaving, Justin Jefferson will have a huge role in this offense. There is also a lack of depth at that position in Minnesota, so I expect him to have a big workload. This was also Gary Kubiak's guy. Kubiak has brought out the best in guys like Andre Johnson and Demayrius Thomas, so I expect him to do the same with Justin Jefferson. Kubiak's been scheming for him since the National Championship game and I see Jefferson having a killer rookie season.
AJ Brown and DK Metcalf each go 1,000+ yards and 10+ yards
I loved both of these receivers coming out of Ole Miss last season and they're going to have huge roles in their offenses in 2020. They are two huge receivers and will be in better shape than the opposing corner 100% of the time. Both of these receivers got better as the season went on. What Metcalf was able to do against the Eagles and what Brown as able to do against the Texans is what we'll see week in and week out this season. DK Metcalf was grinding with Russell Wilson all offseason and I expect him to be more of a run after the catch guy in 2020. AJ Brown was able to build chemistry with Ryan Tannehill and has the mindset where he knows that he can be so much better. Both of these guys will have huge years and I see them each being more consistent and better in the red zone.
Josh Jacobs leads the league in rushing yards
I LOVE Josh Jacobs. So much so that I drafted him in the first round in fantasy football. He's going to have a huge year and be the workhorse for that offense. He was a beast in his rookie season while playing injured and without a dominant downfield receiving threat. This year, the Raiders will have to have a safety over top at all times with Henry Ruggs on the outside. Ruggs is going to take the top off the defense which will positively affect Jacobs. Jacobs is completely healthy and has a full offseason in his bag. He's going to have a bigger role in the receiving game, which will open up the running game. I love everything about Josh Jacobs and he's going to have a lethal sophomore year.