NFL players, coaches, execs make their 2021 NFL predictions

NFL players, coaches, and executives give their thoughts on how the 2021 season will play out … Who the sleeper teams, players, and eventual Super Bowl champs will be 

The NFL season is finally here.

Before the NFL kicks off the 2021 season with one of the biggest games on the entire schedule as Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hoist their Super Bowl championship banner Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys, FanSided surveyed some of the league’s power brokers about how the upcoming season will play out.

FanSided spoke to over a dozen current coaches, executives, scouts, and players, including a pair of current NFL head coaches, to get their thoughts on some of the biggest storylines of the 2021 NFL season.

Who is the sleeper team that will come out of nowhere and exceeds expectations?

Who is the player that no one is talking about who can push for an MVP-caliber season?

“Watch out for Justin Herbert,” an NFC head coach tells FanSided. “If they correct game management issues, he’ll have the stats and wins to make an MVP push.”

And when the confetti swirls in mid-February, who is raising the Lombardi Trophy?

Can the Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl in three seasons?

Although the Chiefs were a popular selection among those polled, Patrick Mahomes and Co. weren’t the favorites among those inside the league.

“Buffalo against whoever Tom Brady plays for (the Buccaneers),” an AFC South scout tells FanSided. “The Bills win that game.”

The coaches, executives, scouts, and players were surveyed anonymously to get their selections for the above questions. Some gave multiple answers for their Super Bowl teams.

The results are listed below in order of how many votes were given for each player/team.

How NFL players, coaches, scouts and execs think the 2021 season plays out

The NFL team that exceeds expectations and surprises this season:

“Denver’s the surprise team that’s flying too far under the radar. They have the pass rush. They have excellent cornerbacks. On offense, Jerry Jeudy is a year older, and they get Courtland Sutton back. The only thing that could hold them back, in my opinion, is Vic Fangio. He isn’t very good.”

– AFC Scouting Director

  1. Denver Broncos (5 votes)
  2. New England Patriots (4 votes)
  3. Cleveland Browns (2 votes)
  4. Minnesota Vikings (2 votes)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (1 vote)
  6. Philadelphia Eagles (1 vote)

Player who is flying under the radar, but could win the MVP:

“Don’t sleep on Raheem Mostert. Here’s a running back who is all about speed, speed, speed. He looks like he’s jogging out there, and you look at the defense and they’re sprinting to catch him. If the 49ers make a run, he’ll be a big reason why.”

– NFC player

  1. Justin Herbert (4 votes)
  2. Baker Mayfield (2 votes)
  3. Ryan Tannehill (2 votes)
  4. Chase Young (2 votes)
  5. Matthew Stafford (2 votes)
  6. Dak Prescott (1 vote)
  7. Jalen Hurts (1 vote)
  8. Raheem Mostert (1 vote)

Who wins the Super Bowl?

“The Bills. Don’t sleep on this team. They have the talent and the balance to get it done.”

– NFC head coach

  1. Buffalo Bills (6 votes)
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6 votes)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (4 votes)
  4. Cleveland Browns (1 votes)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (1 vote)