Here at Sports-Stack.com, we don’t do awards. If we did, Ryan Smith, our champion, would be the undisputed MVP and king of the world. Fortunately, we don’t, because we’re a team! However, the NFL does have awards, and we at the Stack got together and made our picks for all of the major awards. Enjoy!
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Sports Stack Round Table Award Picks
General Manager of the Year
Ryan Smith (@RyanSmithNFL): Mickey Loomis, New Orleans Saints
I fought the other Sports-Stack writers tooth and nail about this. I don’t think it’s possible to determine whether or not a general manager had a good year or not until years after the fact. They all ganged up on me and insisted we include this stupid award, so here we are. Loomis drafted a franchise corner in Marshon Lattimore, a franchise left tackle in Ryan Ramczyk, and a beast of a tailback in Alvin Kamara, and all three rookies made an immediate impact. There ya go.
Conner Fleegle (@McFleegle): Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz needed a weapon at receiver and got him Alshon Jeffrey. Torrey Smith made a nice addition, along with Legarette Blount, a mid season Jay Ajayi trade, and the addition of Chris Long, Tim Jernigan, and Ronald Darby on defense. The signing of Nick Foles flew under the radar, but he managed to do okay in the room.
Ryan Seiple (@Ryan_Seiple): David Caldwell, Jacksonville Jaguars
The additions that Caldwell made this year have changed Jacksonville completely. Signing A.J. Bouye and Calais Campbell were great for the defense. Then drafting Leonard Fournette in the first round of the draft and then first-round talent Cam Robinson in the second? Incredible. Caldwell is the clear choice.
Christopher Bolden (@Bolden7): David Caldwell, Jacksonville Jaguars
William Frost: (@willfrost_): Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles
This Eagles team went from worst to first in the NFC East and likely the Super Bowl if it wasn’t for Carson Wentz’s knee injury. Derek Barnett has added to the defensive front, whilst the Eagles transformed their team with Free Agency acquisitions and trades. Neither of the running back duo were on the team last year, along with newly resigned Alshon Jeffrey. Roseman was able to turnover his team on both sides of the ball with massive success.
Comeback Player of the Year
Smith: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
When Rob Gronkowski went down against the Seattle Seahawks last year, many thought New England’s post-season chances took a steep dive. However, they were able to pull off the miraculous Super Bowl win without him, and he came back in 2017 as explosive as ever, catching 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.
Side note: You know Gronk deliberately stopped trying to get open after his sixty-ninth catch.
Fleegle: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots.
After playing only eight games last year and posting the worst statistical season of his career, Gronkowski responded this year by leading all NFL tight ends in yards (1084) and yards per catch (15.7) while posting 8 touchdowns and missing only two games.
Seiple: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen had an incredible season coming off of a torn ACL, hauling in 102 passes for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. In his first fully healthy season in three years Allen looked like a top-tier receiver and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Bolden: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Frost: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
How fun were the Rams to watch this year? Not only did Jared Goff have some fresh new audibles, he also looked every bit worth the first overall pick from a year ago. Whilst Carson Wentz steamrolled the Eagles toward a division title before his injury, Goff quietly racked up a very impressive year whilst riding within McVay’s new, Gurley led offense with steady play and fewer mistakes. 28 touchdowns and a division title is a successful year for Jared Goff.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Smith: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
Instead of picking one of the two rookie cornerbacks, I ran with Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt. Watt had seven sacks, forced a fumble, and registered an interception. Watt played so well, he took James Harrison’s spot on the roster. Pass rusher is arguably the hardest thing for a rookie to learn, and Watt adapted to the pro game famously. Watt might be the future of Pittsburgh’s defense.
Fleegle: Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints
Saints sweep the ROTY awards thanks to Lattimore, who has quickly grown into the role of a shutdown cornerback on a Saints defense that was absolutely desperate for playmakers.
Seiple: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
T.J. Watt took over the outside linebacker spot opposite Bud Dupree and did not disappoint. Watt had seven sacks, eight passes defensed and an interception in his rookie year. His production and high motor set him apart from other rookie defenders this year.
Bolden: Marshon Lattimore
Frost: Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints
Marshon Lattimore is pushing to be one of the top five cornerbacks in football as a rookie. A PFF rating of 90.5 ranked him as the fourth best of this year’s corners. Constantly shutting down premier wide receivers in the tricky NFC South, Lattimore made play after play and made himself the obvious defensive rookie of the year.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Smith: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Is there really any debate? Sure, Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rushing yards, but he was nowhere near as explosive as Alvin Kamara. After a fantastic start, Hunt was mostly mediocre for the last ten games of the season. Kamara ended up with over 1,500 all-purpose yards despite sharing snaps with Melvin Ingram and playing on an offense with Drew Brees. The guy can kill you as a rusher, receiver, and a returner, and nobody else should even be considered for this award.
Fleegle: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
1,554 total yards of offense to go along with 13 touchdowns and a league best 6.1 YPC makes Kamara a slam dunk choice. And to think, he’s still the #2 running back in New Orleans behind Mark Ingram. Scary thought, right?
Seiple: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
While splitting time with Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara proved to be a dangerous scoring threat whenever he touches the ball. Kamara rushed for 728 yards and eight touchdowns, caught 81 passes for 826 yards and five scores, and returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown for good measure. Kamara had an incredible rookie year.
Bolden: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Frost: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
This award belonged to Deshaun Watson before his untimely knee injury. Beyond the Texans’ QB, Kamara has been the standout rookie amongst the rest of the class. Over 1500 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns is an unfair reflection of Kamara’a ability. A nightmare for defenders in the backfield and as a pass catcher he has become one half of the perfect one-two punch in the league.
Defensive Player of the Year
Smith: Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
This isn’t a popular pick. Most people are going to say Aaron Donald, and he’ll probably even win the award. But I’m going with Campbell because his 14.5 sacks were the most on the Sacksonville Jaguars. The team was one of the least effective pass rushing teams in football last year and they struggled. This year they added Campbell, they could rush the passer, and they made the playoffs. Coincidence? I think not.
Fleegle: Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
Hard to believe we’re talking about a Jags player being named player of the year, but in reality, 3-4 Jags could be considered for this award. My nod goes to Campbell, who finished second in the league with 14.5 sacks and forced three fumbles for a Jaguars defense that finished the year second in the league to only Minnesota in both yards and points per game allowed.
Seiple: Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
Cameron Jordan played out of his mind this year. 13 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick six from the defensive end position. The Saints had a huge defensive turnaround this year and Jordan was a pivotal piece of the puzzle.
Bolden: Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
Frost: Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
No single free agent has transformed the face of a team in the way Campbell has affected Jacksonville. The All-Pro defensive end dominated offensive lines all year on his way to multiple team records for the Jaguars. His 14.5 sacks and constant pressure from across the line was a major reason as to why Jacksonville’s secondary enjoyed so much success this year.
Offensive Player of the Year
Smith: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown is having one of the best runs of any receiver in NFL history. In 2017, brown caught 101 catches, marking the fifth straight season with at least 100 catches. That’s incredible. Brown ended his regular season with 101 catches for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns. That’s a fantastic season, right? Well Brown pulled that off in what was basically 13 games. If Brown had finished the season at that pace, he’d have had 128 catches for 1,856 yards and 16 touchdowns. Insane. Worth honoring.
Fleegle: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley responded from a sophomore slump by rushing for 1305 yards, 4.7 YPC, and 13 touchdowns and added another 788 yards receiving, averaging 12.3 yards per catch with 6 more touchdowns. All these numbers are better than that of Le’Veon Bell’s for Pittsburgh and helped the Rams go from 4-12 last year to 11-5 and top of the NFC West this year.
Seiple: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown is the most reliable receiver in the NFL. He was fifth in the league in catches and led in yards with 101 catches and 1,533 yards while also catching nine scores in only 14 games. He was a consistent offensive threat while constantly being gameplanned against. He’s always a candidate for this award, this year he gets it.
Bolden: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Frost: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
There is nothing to be said about Gurley that hasn’t already been said. A monumental year for the best player in the league this year.
Coach of the Year
Smith: Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay is the obvious answer, right? Could anyone else even compete in this category? Sean McVay took a lethargic Rams team and turned them into one of the NFC’s best. The 31 year old head coach is wise beyond his years, and is still capable of motivating his team. They’ve got some great young pieces and look to be a fixture in the post-season for years to come.
Fleegle: Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills
Sean McDermott was hired this January and guided a Bills team that traded away their best cornerback in Ronald Darby and their best wide receiver mid season in Sammy Watkins into the playoffs in a division that features the Patriots. If that doesn’t scream coach of the year, what does?
Seiple: Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles
The development of Carson Wentz in his second season has been incredible, before his injury he was a serious MVP candidate. The turnaround as a team in Philadelphia is another reason Pederson gets the award. Going from last in the division to first in the conference is no small task.
Bolden: Sean Mcvay, Los Angeles Rams
Frost: Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars
For someone to take the pitiful three win Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC Championship game (and maybe further) is frankly ridiculous given the franchise’s recent history. Sean McVay has done a great job in LA, but the inability for the Rams to progress in the playoffs ultimately made the decision easier.
Most Valuable Player
Smith: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady is 40 years old. I need to write that down, because when you watch the film, you just don’t see it. He’s 40 years old, and yet he was able to throw for 4,500 yards, 32 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions while leading his team to the number one seed in the AFC. If Antonio Brown or Carson Wentz had stayed healthy, they could’ve pushed #12, but at the end of the day, the greatest of all time is the most valuable player.
Fleegle: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
I hate that I’m typing this, but the numbers back it up. At age 40, Brady threw for a league leading 4,577 yards and was third in the league with 32 touchdown passes for a Patriots team that once again locked up the top seed in the AFC and looks poised for a return trip to the Super Bowl once again.
Seiple: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley had a monstrous season for the Rams. In addition to his 1,305 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, he also caught 64 passes for 788 yards and another six touchdowns. With 2,093 total yards and 19 touchdowns from the running back position, Gurley runs away with the award.
Bolden: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Frost: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
I mean, if the awards season was just this is the only pick to make, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t. Tom Brady will be the name ultimately called on Super Bowl weekend. Gurley racked up over 2000 yards from scrimmage for 19 touchdowns. A monster performance which launched the Rams’ to the NFC West crown.