Every year towards the end of the regular season, the NFL hands out awards. There are seven individual regular season awards a player could get. I will be predicting who wins each award, but it will be a Patriots edition.
MVP: Mac Jones
While there may be a few other players more deserving of this, there is only one reality. The MVP is a quarterback award; it will take a historic season for a non-quarterback to become a candidate. Nevertheless, the quarterback is the most important position in the NFL, so Mac Jones is the Patriots’ MVP.
The Patriots need him to take a healthy leap, and Mac Jones must show he can win his team games. But, with more chemistry and new weapons, we can see a much improved Mac Jones next season. So, since I’m expecting Mac to take a healthy jump and the fact that MVP is a quarterback award, my pick is Mac.
Jonnu Smith could honestly agree with me with some of his most recent comments.
“Honestly, man, just the way he can turn it on,” Smith said of the QB. “Mac is definitely one of the most goofiest guys in the locker room, to be honest, man. But when he steps on that field, he’s a different character. He’s just got so much ability and so much dog in him. Once he flips that switch, he’s a whole different character. Some guys don’t know how to cut that on and cut that off when it’s time to do it. He’s so young. He’s poised. He’s got a little swagger to him, man. I’m glad he’s throwing us passes. That’s my guy.” Kevin Patra NFL.com
Hearing all the off-season buzz about Jones has been incredible, but when his teammates go out of their way to praise him for his leadership.
Offensive Player Of The Year: DeVante Parker
As mentioned, Mac Jones can take a healthy leap this upcoming year. Devante Parker is likely to be the Patriots’ number one receiver. Mac is likely the best quarterback Parker has played with in his career. This Patriots team has the deepest skill group he’s ever been a part of. DeVante can fill a considerable need for the team while not being double-teamed constantly.
Parker can be the big-bodied receiver the Patriots need, and he can get contested catches. Parker’s skill set fits with New England very well, and he can have an excellent year. Parker has a good chance to be a 1,000-yard receiver if he stays healthy. He also steps into a possible double-digit touchdown season. For these reasons, Devante Parker is my pick to win OPOTY.
Defensive Player Of The Year: Matthew Judon
Matthew Judon started the 2021 season on fire. While he cooled down towards the end of the season, finishing with 12.5 sacks is still a fantastic year. Matthew Judon seemed to break out in the Patriots’ defensive scheme.
There is a possibility Matthew Judon can replicate his 2021 start. With emerging star Christian Barmore, defenses will likely not be able to give Judon all of their attention. Because of that, Judon is my Patriots pick to win DPOY.
The Patriots need to keep Judon fresh and healthy if they would like him to be the player he was during the first half of last season. He most likely has the best odds on this list to succeed
Coach Of The Year: Bill Belichick
Since the award is for coach of the year, it has to be Bill Belichick. Belichick had a terrific year in 2021, leading a young Patriots team to the playoffs with a rookie quarterback. Another solid year with a playoff appearance can give Belichick a shot to win the award against all of the coaches in the NFL.
Most voters tend to stay away from Belichick because he has always been a contender, the team would have to show out for him to win.
OROTY: Tyquan Thornton
Tyquan Thornton is my pick because he fills a glaring need. The Patriots need to do a better job pushing the ball down the field, and they lack a true burner. Tyquan provides them with the deep threat they need, and he can really help Mac. Thornton is the fastest receiver the Patriots have, and he could really help the receiving core.
He would have to greatly improve his route running and add some weight to his frame so he can handle the physicality. Realistically Thornton will make a few splash plays but ultimately be used as a decoy if he has enough production to merit a
DROTY: Jack Jones
Cornerback was also a massive need for the Patriots. They selected two in the draft. Jack Jones has turned many heads since the minicamp started. He’s been described as a ballhawk. He has been compared to Malcolm Butler but with more speed. The cornerback room for the team is essentially wide open waiting for someone to take the reign.
The opportunity and talent are both there for Jones to step up and become a rising star. Bill Belichick has a knack for turning late-round picks into very good starters, and there’s a chance he could be doing it here.
Comeback Player Of The Year: Malcolm Butler
Malcolm Butler winning this award wouldn’t be the first time he shocked the world. Butler came out of nowhere in the Superbowl against the Seahawks and got the game-winning interception. After that, he became a star corner for the Patriots. Butler eventually departed and went into retirement a few seasons later.
His expectations being low is one of the reasons he’s my pick. Butler is still only 32 and may have more good seasons in him. Butler is a trusted veteran and a good year could make him a candidate for this award.
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