2018 NFL season award predictions: Aaron Rodgers' third MVP?

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  • By NFL.com
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With the 2018 NFL season just around the corner, our analysts provide their predictions on individual award winners and playoff teams. Check back later this week for Super Bowl picks.

Participating analysts: Brian Baldinger, Judy Battista, Jeremy Bergman, Gil Brandt, Reggie Bush, David Carr, Charley Casserly, Cynthia Frelund, Marcas Grant, Elliot Harrison, James Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steve Mariucci, Willie McGinest, Kevin Patra, Adam Rank, Michael Robinson, Gregg Rosenthal, Adam Schein, Marc Sessler, Nick Shook, LaDainian Tomlinson.

Most Valuable Player

1. Aaron Rodgers (12 votes: Battista, Carr, Grant, Harrison, Jones, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, Robinson, Rosenthal, Schein, Shook, Tomlinson)
2. Drew Brees (7 votes: Baldinger, Brandt, Bush, Frelund, McGinest, Patra, Sessler)
3. Tom Brady (2 votes: Bergman, Casserly)
4. Philip Rivers (1 vote: Rank)

Why Steve Mariucci chose Aaron Rodgers: He will become the sixth player to win at least three league MVP awards, joining Peyton Manning (five), Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas (each with three).

Offensive Player of the Year

1. Antonio Brown (7 votes: Brandt, Bush, Carr, Mariucci, McGinest, Robinson, Sessler)
2. Ezekiel Elliott (4 votes: Baldinger, Frelund, Patra, Schein)
3. David Johnson (3 votes: Bergman, Grant, Harrison)
4. Odell Beckham Jr. (2 votes: Rank, Tomlinson)
T-5. Le'Veon Bell (1 vote: Jones-Drew)
T-5. Drew Brees (1 vote: Casserly)
T-5. Aaron Rodgers (1 vote: Battista)
T-5. Matt Ryan (1 vote: Shook)
T-5. Deshaun Watson (1 vote: Jones)

Why Marc Sessler chose Antonio Brown: Look, I get it. No receiver has won this award since Jerry Rice did the deed in 1993. We're overdue for voters to get creative here. Brown remains a singular talent who takes over drives -- and games -- with next-level artistry and precision, but his best is yet to come. It's 1993 all over again.

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Von Miller (5 votes: Baldinger, Bush, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, Robinson)
2. Myles Garrett (4 votes: Grant, Harrison, Sessler, Shook)
3. Joey Bosa (3 votes: Brandt, Rank, Tomlinson)
4. Jalen Ramsey (2 votes: Battista, Patra)
T-5. Calais Campbell (1 vote: Carr)
T-5. Fletcher Cox (1 vote: Rosenthal)
T-5. Aaron Donald (1 vote: Frelund)
T-5. Melvin Ingram (1 vote: Bergman)
T-5. Chandler Jones (1 vote: Jones)
T-5. Khalil Mack (1 vote: McGinest)
T-5. Patrick Peterson (1 vote: Schein)
T-5. J.J. Watt (1 vote: Casserly)

Why Michael Robinson chose Von Miller: With Bradley Chubb in the mix, Miller will rack up at least 15 sacks this season -- something he hasn't done since 2012, when he posted 18.5. That'll be enough to take home his first DPOY award.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

1. Saquon Barkley (12 votes: Battista, Bergman, Brandt, Bush, Carr, Casserly, Frelund, Grant, Harrison, Mariucci, Patra, Tomlinson)
2. Sam Darnold (3 votes: Baldinger, Sessler, Shook)
3. Calvin Ridley (2 votes: Jones, McGinest)
T-4. Baker Mayfield (1 vote: Rosenthal)
T-4. Anthony Miller (1 vote: Rank)
T-4. Quenton Nelson (1 vote: Schein)
T-4. Josh Rosen (1 vote: Jones-Drew)
T-4. Courtland Sutton (1 vote: Robinson)

Why LaDainian Tomlinson chose Saquon Barkley: This award routinely goes to the player who has the most production. Barkley will be relied on the most in this rookie class.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

1. Derwin James (7 votes: Battista, Grant, Patra, Schein, Sessler, Shook, Tomlinson)
2. Roquan Smith (6 votes: Bush, Carr, Casserly, Jones-Drew, McGinest, Robinson)
3. Tremaine Edmunds (3 votes: Baldinger, Bergman, Mariucci)
4. Minkah Fitzpatrick (2 votes: Frelund, Rosenthal)
T-5. Bradley Chubb (1 vote: Brandt)
T-5. Marcus Davenport (1 vote: Harrison)
T-5. Daron Payne (1 vote: Jones)
T-5. Nathan Shepherd (1 vote: Rank)

Why Adam Schein chose Derwin James: I still cannot believe this cat fell to No. 17 in the draft. He's a do-it-all safety. Playing with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will fuel his ability to pick off passes.

Comeback Player of the Year

1. Deshaun Watson (5 votes: Mariucci, McGinest, Patra, Sessler, Tomlinson)
T-2. David Johnson (4 votes: Carr, Harrison, Robinson, Schein)
T-2. Andrew Luck (4 votes: Battista, Brandt, Bush, Rank)
T-4. Odell Beckham Jr. (2 votes: Grant, Shook)
T-4. Dalvin Cook (2 votes: Baldinger, Jones-Drew)
T-4. Aaron Rodgers (2 votes: Bergman, Frelund)
T-7. Teddy Bridgewater (1 vote: Rosenthal)
T-7. J.J. Watt (1 vote: Casserly)
T-7. Carson Wentz (1 vote: Jones)

Why Kevin Patra chose Deshaun Watson: Watson was in the midst of one of the most spectacular rookie campaigns of the modern era, tossing 19 TDs in just seven games, before it was wiped away by a knee injury. This preseason, the sophomore QB has looked fully healthy. I expect some negative regression from the otherworldly start to his career, but even three-quarters of the show he put on would be enough to win CPOY. If everyone stays healthy, the Texans have a playoff-caliber roster. While teammate J.J. Watt is also a candidate for this award, if Houston dives into the postseason, it will be thanks to Watson pulling a Houdini act each week behind a potentially terrible offensive line.

Coach of the Year

T-1. Bill Belichick (3 votes: Bergman, Patra, Rosenthal)
T-1. Pat Shurmur (3 votes: Brandt, Carr, Grant)
T-3. Anthony Lynn (2 votes: Rank, Shook)
T-3. Bill O'Brien (2 votes: Casserly, Robinson)
T-3. Sean Payton (2 votes: Frelund, Sessler)
T-3. Kyle Shanahan (2 votes: Bush, Tomlinson)
T-3. Mike Zimmer (2 votes: Mariucci, McGinest)
T-8. Hue Jackson (1 vote: Jones-Drew)
T-8. Doug Marrone (1 vote: Harrison)
T-8. Doug Pederson (1 vote: Battista)
T-8. Dan Quinn (1 vote: Baldinger)
T-8. Frank Reich (1 vote: Jones)
T-8. Andy Reid (1 vote: Schein)

Why Marcas Grant chose Pat Shurmur: The first-year coach has the benefit of a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley occupying the backfield. This could be a 10-win playoff team in the NFC, which would be quite the turnaround from last year's 3-13 disaster.

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