August is slowly coming to an end, which can mean only one thing. NFL football is about to be fully back in our lives. Week 1 is looming. Which means the discussion of 2021 NFL award predictions is about to get underway.
NFL award predictions 2021
Sure, the regular season hasn’t even started yet. But it’s never too early to look ahead at some hardware.
One of the things that is always on fans’ minds during the football season is awards like MVP, Rookie of the Years and others. From week to week, the conversation changes with new favorites coming in and others dropping out.
Let’s look at some 2021 NFL award predictions for this season.
MVP – Josh Allen
It’s taken just three years for Josh Allen to become an elite QB. The Buffalo Bills quarterback finished last season third in MVP voting after taking another leap forward. He helped the Bills to a 13-3 record and an AFC East title. Allen’s 4,544 passing yards ranked 5th in the NFL, as were his 37 TDs.
The Wyoming product is quickly becoming the best QB out of a loaded 2018 draft class. The Bills went out last season got him an elite WR1 in Stefon Diggs. Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders provide two solid secondary options, as does tight end Dawson Knox. The trajectory of Allen’s career is continuing up, and if he is even better this season than last, the MVP trophy could very well head up to Buffalo.
Offensive Player of the Year – Alvin Kamara
Running backs haven’t won back-to-back Offensive Player of the Years since 2005-06 when Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson. However, that could change this season. Derrick Henry ran away with the award last year, leading the league in rushing yards and TDs. But sneaking two of those votes was New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara.
Kamara should be relied upon more with Drew Brees now in retirement. Outside of Michael Thomas, the Saints’ offensive weapons are not all that enticing. While Jameis Winston, who loves to sling the ball, is the starter, it would be smart of Sean Payton and the offense to focus it around Kamara and his duel-threat ability in the backfield.
Defensive Player of the Year – Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett was arguably snubbed last season for the Defensive Player of the Year, with it instead going to Aaron Donald. Garrett has become one of the biggest threats on the edge, as he racked up 12 sacks and four forced fumbles last season.
The Browns brought in Jadeveon Clowney to pair with Garrett on the edge, a move that could benefit Garrett. With the defense having to focus on both the left and right side, it could mean there are more opportunities for Garrett to get into the backfield. The key will be for Garrett to stay on the field, as he only has one full season in his NFL career. If he can though, expect Garrett to be in the conversation again for DPOY.
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Justin Fields
While Andy Dalton may be the Week 1 starter, it’s only a matter of time before Justin Fields takes over the QB job for the Chicago Bears.
Frankly, it seems everyone in the football world outside of Matt Nagy knows Fields should be under center when the NFL season kicks off. But alas, we will wait for his debut.
Fields was a stud at Ohio State, throwing for 5,701 yards, 67 TDs and just nine interceptions in his three years with the Buckeyes. He added 1,133 yards on the ground with 19 TDs as well.
He’s a dynamic, duel-threat QB with a top receiver in Allen Robinson. There’s no denying how close the competition could be this season for OROY. But Fields, in my opinion, was the second-best QB in the draft and has much better personnel around him than Trevor Lawrence does in Jacksonville.
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Micah Parsons
Arguably the best defensive prospect from this year’s draft, the Dallas Cowboys took Micah Parsons at No. 12 in this year’s draft.
The linebacker out of Penn State opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have been a reason for him falling on team’s draft boards. But there’s no denying how much of a beast he will be in the middle of the field.
At Penn State, Parsons had 191 tackles, 6.5 sacks, five deflected passes and a forced fumble. He won the college football award for best linebacker in the nation his sophomore season in 2019. Oh, and he’s been absolutely dominate in the preseason.