NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year: David Johnson, Cardinals
David Johnson said his goal for the season will be 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards. That would be some incredible feat to accomplish. Will he get there? I do not think so, but he will come damn close. If you had the first pick in your fantasy football draft, you better have taken Johnson. If you did not, you will be regretting it all year long.
Walter Payton Man of the Year Award: J.J. Watt, Texans
We all know what has been going on recently in the Houston, Texas area. It has been a tragedy and a scary sight to witness. Many people, from celebrities to superstar athletes, have been doing their best to raise money for this cause. If you do not follow J.J. Watt on Instagram, I advise you to do so now. Watt, who is a member of the Houston Texans, has started a fund to raise money for the people in Houston and to help the recovery of the city. He has raised over $5 Million in just 3 days! This award is represented to someone who excels at volunteer and charity work off the field. This will not be the end for Watt’s efforts. I can say it now he will be giving 100% effort not only on the field this season, but also off the field to help the city of Houston recover.
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
This came down to two players in my mind. Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey. Fournette is by far the better pure rushing back. However, McCaffrey really is a do it all running back. He will run better than most people expect, we all know he can catch the ball, he can make people miss in the open field and he can block. Both running backs will wind up being the starters at some point in the season. McCaffrey will finish with the better season as the Panthers love to run the ball. They will utilize McCaffrey in every way possible and make sure he has his hands on the ball so he can make things happen.
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jamal Adams, Jets
Adams fell to the New York Jets at number six. That was an absolute steal. I think he has the most talent out of any player from this draft. He has NFL skills and the body to be a force from day one. He will slide into a starting spot with the Jets from day one. The Jets will be one of the worst teams in the league, but Adams will be a highlight reel machine all year long. From big hits to forcing turnovers. Adams can do it all and will be one of the best safeties in the league for years to come.
Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
This award will come down to my offensive and defensive rookies of the year. However, I think McCaffrey will take this award home because he will be helping his team win games. It is not Jamal Adams’ fault that the Jets will be atrocious this year, but it will hurt his chances at winning this award. McCaffrey will help lead the Panthers to a possible playoff birth.
AP Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
He has all his weapons from day one this year and an improved running back in Ty Montgomery. Montgomery seemed to play a vital role down the stretch and he now had a full off-season to learn the position. On top of that, the Packers added veteran TE Martellus Bennett to that dynamic offense. Rodgers is one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in the league. He is up for awards like this every year, but this year the award is his.
AP Defensive Player of the Year: Landon Collins, Giants
In my opinion, and I may be a little biased being a Giants fan, Landon Collins should have won this award last season. He had an incredible breakout season and cemented himself as one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He took the Giants defense to the next level almost single handedly. Collins became the first player in the history of the league last season to have at least 100 solo tackles, two sacks, five interceptions and 12 passes defended in the same season. How did a stat like that not win him this award? Politics. He is hungry and it is his this year.
AP Coach of the Year: Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans
The Titans added some very nice pieces this off-season via draft and free agency. Marcus Mariota started to make some big strides last season, while showing his true value. The Titans will take another step this year and finish first place in their division, which would be their first playoff appearance since 2008. The coach always has some part to do with a team’s success. The Titans will be the most improved team this year and Mularkey will be recognized for this achievement.
Comeback Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, Texans
J.J. Watt has been one of the most feared defensive players in the NFL since he came into the league in 2011. Last season, Watt was only able to play in three games for the Texans as his season was plagued by injuries. I was picking Watt to win this award already, but with the recent Houston tragedy, I think he has a little extra motivation. Watt will play in all 16 games this year for the Texans, while putting his name back up their as one of the best defensive players in the league.
AP Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
I already highlighted why I think Aaron Rodgers will win the offensive player of the year award, so refer to that for a bit more information. Rodgers will lead the Packers back to the Super Bowl this season against the New England Patriots. It is said these awards are not effected by postseason play, but I find that hard to believe. I think Rodgers’ postseason run will definitely factor into the voting. On top of it, I think Rodgers will throw for 5000+ yards for the first time in his career to go along with 40+ touchdowns and less than 10 interceptions. If those are not MVP worthy numbers then I do not know what is.