The NFL season may be several months away, but it’s never too early for some bold predictions. Few things say bold quite like predicting the associated press awards winners. With that in mind, here’s a look at who I think is getting some new hardware in 2013.
MVP, Russell Wilson: This pick seemed relatively easy. As amazing as his rookie season was as a whole, it wasn’t until the halfway mark that he really started to find his stride. With a bevy of new weapons at his disposal and year under his belt, expect big things from Russell Wilson. Last I checked Vegas had the Seahawks as a 4:1 bet on the Super Bowl. That’s the best mark of any team in the league. Now if that doesn’t say something about the quarterback, since this is a quarterback league and all, I don’t know what does.
Offensive Player of the Year, Peyton Manning: Not only does Peyton Manning have an embarrassment of riches in his receiving corps, but he’s also Peyton Manning. If Manning can make Brandon Stokley look like a good receiver, just imagine what he’ll do with Wes Welker working out of the slot? Manning also has a new check-down option in Montee Ball that won’t hurt and his young receivers on the outside will be entering their prime. Things are looking good for Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt: This one is too easy. J.J. Watt was by the far the most dominant defensive player in the entire NFL last season and I see no reason why he can’t build on that performance going into next year.
Offensive Rookie of the Year, Terrance Williams: When choosing winners for the rookie awards, opportunity has to play into the decision making. Williams will get no shortage of that in Dallas. Williams will be the third receiver in a top heavy receiving corps in a pass happy offense. It’s also very likely, that at some point, Miles Austin will get hurt. When this happens Williams becomes the second option behind Dez Bryant. Expect big things from Williams.
Defensive Rookie of the Year, Dion Jordan: Once again, opportunity beckons with this pick. With Cameron Wake drawing a lot of the offense’s attention on the right side, expect Jordan to wreak havoc on the left. This pick is a little dependent on whether they start him at DE or LB, but I imagine he’ll succeed either way.
Coach of the Year, Greg Schiano: Schiano did a swell job of becoming easily the most hated coach by his peers in his first season with the Bucs and I can’t wait to see what he does for an encore. This team is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and could make a lot of noise in 2013. This one is a bit of a dark horse pick, but don’t be surprised if his name is in the discussion late in 2013. Assuming the Bucs are in playoff contention of course.
Comeback Player of the Year, Robert Griffin III: If RG3’s knee is healing as well as some are reporting it, this one’s an easy pick. Even if it isn’t healing quite as well as it’s rumoured to be, it’s a relatively easy pick. This kids got charisma and physical ability like none other. With a lot to prove in 2013, I’m expecting big things out of RG3.
You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV