The NFL is ready to kick off, but first, as is customary, we have to all pretend like we actually know what we are talking about for five seconds and make our predictions for who’s going to go home with some hardware after all is said an done this season. Our panel of Fansided experts sat down and discussed this very matter over fine wine and cheeses earlier this week.
Who is the 2012 NFL MVP?
Patrick Allen: Drew Brees. I think Brees puts the Saints on his back once again and shows how valuable he is not only to his teammates but to the city of New Orleans.
Josh Hill: Aaron Rodgers. It’s hard, and unheard of, for a player to win back-to-back MVP’s in the NFL, but if there is a guy capable it’s Green Bay’s master chief. Rodgers is just too good right now to pick against, and although it’s the popular pick, it’s that way for a reason.
Josh Sanchez: Aaron Rodgers. It may seem like a bit of a cop out but Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league and he has one of the deepest, most talented groups of wide receivers in the game. For Rodgers to put together another impressive season is expected and the biggest upset would him not being right at the top of the MVP race.
Consensus MVP: Aaron Rodgers -QB/Green Bay Packers
2012 Rookie Of the Year
PA: Andrew Luck. Luck looked like the real deal in the preseason. He’ll make the Colts look a lot better than they are this season.
JH: Doug Martin. The last time the Buccaneers took a running back in the first round was 2005 when they grabbed Cadillac Williams. That ended with Williams winning the rookie of the year award and the Bucs didn’t just trade back into the first round to draft Martin for their health. He’s quick, he’s strong, and he’s in a system that loves running backs. Greg Schiano’s crowning achievement is Ray Rice, now he has his own back to mold in Martin.
JS: Luke Kuechly: Few rookies have looked better than Kuechly this preseason. He is going to step right in to the Carolina defense and become the team’s leading tackler. He has an unbelievable nose for the ball and is always there to make the play. If you want to consider a bit of a dark horse for Rookie of the Year, keep an eye on Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery is going to be a big time redzone threat and should see easier coverages thanks to Brandon Marshall.
Offensive Player of the Year
PA: Tom Brady. Brady is the class of NFL QBs and he’ll prove it again in 2012.
JH: Aaron Rodgers. Again, he’s got so many weapons and he’s as good as he’s ever going to be right now which is good for his award mantle, bad for defenses. Rodgers isn’t a one year wonder with the numbers he put up last year and with the endless supply of targets in Green Bay, he’s going to come close to topping himself this year.
JS: Tom Brady. As with Aaron Rodgers, Brady is surrounded with a surplus of talent and will have plenty of options to light up the scoreboard. Brady and the Patriots will also benefit from a weaker schedule so the scoring opportunities will come in even greater amounts
Consensus: Tom Brady – QB/New England Patriots
Defensive Player of the Year
PA: Von Miller. Miller was fantastic as a rookie and he should be even better this season as teams throw trying to keep up with Peyton Manning.
JH: Von Miller. He’s a beast and he would have had a better rookie campaign had it not been for a few injuries that slowed him down. With the arrival of Peyton Manning, the Broncos are going to have bright lights on them this year and this is the perfect time for the world to be properly introduced to Von Miller.
JS: DeMarcus Ware. The Cowboys defense looks to be much improved and with the big jump in talent across the board in the Cowboys secondary, expect it to free up even more opportunities for Ware to rush the passer. Ware has always been one of the most dominant pass rushers in the game but expect him to come even harder without the fear of his cornerbacks being beaten on every play.
Consensus: Von Miller – LB/Denver Broncos
Most Improved Player
PA: Jon Baldwin. Baldwin will come out of nowhere this year to shock a lot of people in what will be an explosive KC offense.
JH: Peyton Manning. This one seems obvious as it’s going to be hard for him to be a non-factor like he was last year, but he’s coming off of neck surgery and we’ve seen great players fizzle after major injuries. Manning has a chance to let everyone know he’s alright and be the most improved player from last year.
JS: Corey Graham. The Ravens signed Corey Graham in hopes of getting a special teams ace but this offseason they have received much more. Graham has wowed the team and been making plays all throughout practice. With questionable depth in the Ravens secondary, Graham could be poised for a breakout year.