NFL Honors Predictions
Coach of the Year: Matt Nagy HC Bears
This award is a little sneak peak for who will be winning offensive rookie of the year. One of my bold predictions for the season is that Justin Fields leads the Bears on this miracle run into the playoffs. In order for that to happen, he will need great coaching. Matt Nagy is coaching for his job this season. It is no secret that he is on the hot seat so he's going to need to coach with nothing to lose. Pull out all the stops and fight for your job. If Justin Fields performs as I expect him to, he is going to bring out the best in coach Nagy. Another player who is going to have a breakout season is David Montgomery. Montgomery quietly had over 1,000 rushing yards last season and he's going to be even better this year. Darnell Mooney should come into his own in year two and the Bears defense is relatively the same as it was in 2020. Bears fans are going to be in for a hell of a run this season once Justin Fields is on the field.
Runner Up: Brandon Staley HC Chargers
Comeback Player of the Year: Derwin James FS Chargers
While it's been two years since Derwin James has been fully healthy on the football field, it is going to feel like he hasn't missed any time at all. Returning from back-to-back season-ending injuries requires incredible mental fortitude. Despite not playing the past two seasons, James is still the heart and voice of the Chargers defense. I expect James to start the season strong against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Washington Football Team. In order to come back from both a broken foot and a torn mensicus, James had to be incredibly resilient. He will also need to be resilient in order to ball out for the entire 17 game extended season. While the rest of the league didn't get to watch him on the field in preseason, I went to Chargers training camp to watch him play. He didn't look "rusty" or "out of shape", it was actually the contrary. He has spent so much time in physical therapy, he is now in remarkable shape. Brandon Staley is going to bring the best out of him. I expect the Chargers to have the most improved defense in 2021 with James leading the charge.
Runner Up: Dak Prescott QB Cowboys
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Justin Fields QB Bears
As I alluded to earlier, Justin Fields is going to be special in year one. As soon as he takes over the starting job from Andy Dalton, I see the city of Chicago rallying behind him. He's going to provide a spark for the Bears, one that has been missing for a long time. Not only will he prove that he's the future of the Bears organization, he's going to prove that he's the future of the NFL. While this is a bold prediction, it's exactly what the Bears fanbase needs to hear. They need hope, it's something they haven't had in a long, long time. I expect fireworks from the Bears offense this season. Fields is going to form an amazing connection with both Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. Chicago will go to the playoffs as long as number one is behind the center.
Runner Up: Najee Harris RB Steelers
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Surtain II CB Broncos
It is rare to see a true lock down corner come out of college football. Surtain was tied with Jaycee Horn and Kelvin Joseph as my number one corner out of Alabama this year, but he has quickly separated himself as far and away my number one guy. I'm getting Jalen Ramsey vibes from Surtain. Similar to Asante Samuel Jr., Surtain will have to go against Tyreek Hill twice a year. He also gets to face Keenan Allen, one of the smoothest route runners in the NFL twice a year. Surtain is physical, but he's not grabby. He's a true technician, his hips are smooth and he's great at anticipating when his receivers break. I can't wait to see what Surtain does in his rookie season, he's my pick for defensive rookie of the year.
Runner Up: Joe Tryon DE Buccaneers
Offensive Player of the Year: Alvin Kamara RB Saints
Every year Alvin Kamara gets overlooked from a fantasy football stand point. Year in and year out, he's been a top three running back since he entered the NFL. This year, he takes the throne as the number one running back. Not only will he carry the title as the best running back in the NFL, he will also carry the entire Saints offense. The Saints are arguably the most unpredictable team in the NFL this year. The only consistent piece on their offense is Alvin Kamara. This season, I see him putting up record numbers, similar to what Christian McCaffrey did in 2019. He is just so slippery and such a dynamic runner. Kamara is going to put up 1,000 rushing and receiving yards this season and take home the offensive player of the year award.
Runner Up: Christian McCaffrey RB Panthers
Defensive Player of the Year: Fred Warner LB 49ers
Certain players are just special, they might not have the greatest numbers or the flashiest play style, but they are special. Fred Warner is one of those players; however, this season his numbers will be great. Lockdown in coverage, Warner can run with slot receivers and clamp up tight ends. When watching him play, it's obvious that he watches film. He's playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers. The 49ers will have one of the best defenses in the NFL this season and he's going to be the face of that side of the team. Warner has gotten better every year since he's been in the league and he'll be at his best this season. He just got paid a few months ago, so now he has to prove he is worth the money. Warner is as solid as they come and he will terrorize offenses in the Bay this year.
Runner Up: Chase Young DE Washington Football Team
Most Valuable Player: Josh Allen QB Bills
Last year the Bills were embarrassed by the Chiefs in the AFC championship game and now Josh Allen is coming back with vengeance. With the addition of Emmanuel Sanders to this offense and Zach Moss' return, the Bills offense should be even better than it was in 2020. Allen is already elite, but this year he is going to be recognized as an absolute super star. I'm talking commercials, advertisements, legit stardom. More tables will be broken through this year than ever. The Bills are going to be awesome once again this year and Josh Allen is going to take his game to a whole new level. Stefon Diggs will be a top five receiver once again and he's going to be Allen's go to guy in his MVP season. Bills fans, get ready, this year will be special.
Runner Up: Justin Herbert QB Chargers