T.J. Bryce has looked deep into his crystal ball, and has come up with his NFL awards, winners, and MVP pick for 2018. We know that his predictions are bold, and we welcome any comments below.
In the first two parts of our three-part 2018 NFL Preview, I covered the AFC and NFC all the way through their respective conference championship games. Here are my choices for awards and the winner of the Super Bowl between the Panthers and Steelers.
Rookie of the Year
1. Saquon Barkley/RB/Giants- Probably the best player in the draft, Barkley went second overall to the Giants. He is quite possibly the most polished running back coming out of college in recent memory. He could very well sneak onto the MVP balloting as well, depending on how the Giants perform this season as a team.
2. Roquan Smith/ILB/Bears- The trade for All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack is going leave Smith with open lanes to get to the quarterback and tackle the running back all season. This is good news for Smith.
3. Derwin James/DB/Chargers- The most talented defensive player in this draft will play safety in the Chargers defensive scheme.
4. Rashaan Evans/ILB/Titans- Evans is going to be a tackling machine in this defense.
5. Josh Jackson/CB/Packers- Jackson has been nothing but impressive so far since day one of offseasonworkouts.
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Harrison Smith/SS/Vikings- This is the best defensive football player in the world right now. End of story.
2. Joey Bosa/DE/Chargers- Bosa is on his way to becoming the best pass rusher in the league.
3. Luke Kuechly/LB/Panthers- Kuechly will once again lead the league tackles. This is the Brian Urlacher of this generation.
4. Aaron Donald/DL/Rams- A new contract, and a big-time season in the makings for Donald.
5. Danielle Hunter/DE/Vikings- Could possibly lead the league in sacks with all the attention focused on Everson Griffin on the opposite side.
1. Cam Newton/QB/Panthers- I hinted at this in part two, but this will be Cam Newton’s best season to date. He wins his second MVP award.
2. Ezekiel Elliott/RB/Cowboys- He’s not aging, he’s not coming back from injury, and he is ready to play 2018 angry over his suspension last season, which he fought to the bitter end. I expect Elliott to flirt with Chris Johnson’s record for yards from scrimmage in a single season of 2,509.
3. Todd Gurley/RB/Rams- Todd Gurley is an elite running back, but I don’t think he quite as good as Elliott, nor is he going to have as much of a workload this season as Elliott.
4. Kareem Hunt/RB/Chiefs- With new quarterback Pat Mahomes now under center, the Chiefs will rely on Hunt early and often.
5. Leonard Fournette/RB/Jaguars- Will have a great season but won’t win the MVP award mainly because of the Jaguars 7-9 campaign.
Steelers vs. Panthers – It all comes down to this. The last two standing. An aging legend on one side, the league MVP on the other. The Panthers take a 27-24 lead late, then Ben Roethlisberger leads the Steelers down the field, throws the game-winningtouchdown pass right before double zeros on the clock, and rides off into retirement a three-time champion and a Super Bowl MVP.