This Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Steve Harvey returns to host *NFL Honors. The ninth edition of this annual event, which will be nationally televised on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/PT, features the announcement of the Associated Press awards and the newest Pro Football Hall of Fame class.*
Before the official hardware is handed out, our analysts provide their picks for the major individual awards:
Participating analysts: Brian Baldinger, Judy Battista, Jeremy Bergman, Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gil Brandt, David Carr, Charley Casserly, Brooke Cersosimo, Jeffri Chadiha, Gennaro Filice, Cynthia Frelund, DeAngelo Hall, James Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Willie McGinest, Shaun O'Hara, Dan Parr, Kevin Patra, Adam Rank, Gregg Rosenthal, Nick Shook, Joe Thomas, Jim Trotter.
Most Valuable Player
Why Willie McGinest chose Lamar Jackson: With his arm and legs, Jackson electrified the NFL every time he stepped on the field, and while others had MVP-worthy moments or stints, Jackson impressed from Week 1 all the way through his final game in Week 16.
Offensive Player of the Year
1. Michael Thomas(9 votes: Bergman, Brandt, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Hall, Jones, O'Hara, Patra, Sessler)
2. Lamar Jackson (8 votes: Carr, Casserly, Bhanpuri, Baldinger, Parr, Shook, Thomas, Trotter)
*3. Christian McCaffrey (4 votes: Blair, Filice, Jones-Drew, Rank)
*4. Russell Wilson *2 votes: Jones, McGinest)
*4. Patrick Mahomes *(1 vote: Battista)
Why Jeffri Chadiha chose Michael Thomas: Thomas set a new NFL record for receptions in a single season and he did it with opponents knowing he was the Saints' best weapon in the passing game. Hard to beat that.
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Stephon Gilmore(12 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Casserly, Chadiha, Hall, McGinest, Patra, Sessler)
T-2. Chandler Jones (5 votes: Bhanpuri, Cersosimo, Jones, Jones-Drew, Trotter)
*T-2. T.J. Watt (5 votes: Filice, Parr, Rank, Rosenthal, Thomas)
*T-4. Aaron Donald *1 vote: Shook)
*T-4. Za'Darius Smith *(1 vote: O'Hara)
Why Judy Battista chose Stephon Gilmore: Gilmore had six interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, 20 pass deflections and only allowed one touchdown pass for the unit that led the league in total defense and scoring defense. He was the best player on a defense that carried the Patriots when the offense sputtered.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
1. Josh Jacobs(11 votes: Bhanpuri, Carr, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Jones-Drew, O'Hara, Patra, Rank, Shook, Trotter)
2. Kyler Murray (9 votes: Baldinger, Blair, Battista, Brandt, Hall, Jones, Parr, Rank, Sessler)
*3. A.J. Brown (3 votes: Bergman, Filice, Rosenthal)
*4. Miles Sanders *1 vote*: McGinest)
Why Maurice Jones-Drew chose Josh Jacobs: Jacobs was the top running back in last year's draft and proved why every time he got the rock in Jon Gruden's offense. Providing the Raiders with a solid rushing attack for the first time in years, Jacobs broke several franchise records before finishing the season with 1,150 rush yards.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Why Gregg Rosenthal chose Nick Bosa: I'm glad this is the blurb my editors asked for because it's the easiest. Bosa was one of the best edge rushers in football -- rookie or not -- in a year when he helped transform the 49ers defense with 80(!) pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. No other rookie was remotely close in this race.
Comeback Player of the Year
1. Ryan Tannehill(10 votes: Baldinger, Bhanpuri, Brandt, Chadiha, Filice, Parr, Sessler, Shook, Thomas, Trotter)
2. Jimmy Garoppolo (6 votes: Battista, Blair, Jones-Drew, McGinest, O'Hara, Patra)
*3. Darren Waller (4 votes: Bergman, Carr, Cersosimo, Rosenthal)
*T-4. Teddy Bridgewater *1 vote: Jones)
*T-4. Dalvin Cook *(1 vote: Casserly)
T-4. Travis Frederick *(1 vote: Hall)
T-4. Emmanuel Sanders *( vote*: McGinest)
Why Jim Trotter chose Ryan Tannehill: Thought to be a disappointment -- or a bust -- by many fans during his time in Miami, Tannehill statistically and contextually was one of the game's most efficient and productive quarterbacks after replacing Marcus Mariota roughly midway through the season, helping to lead the Titans to the AFC Championship Game. His season showed how a player's success or failure has as much to do with the circumstances he's plunged into as the player himself.
Coach of the Year
1. John Harbaugh(12 votes: Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Casserly, Chadiha, Filice, Patra, Rosenthal, Thomas, Trotter)
2. Kyle Shanahan (8 votes: Baldinger, Cersosimo, Hall, Jones-Drew, Parr, Rank, Sessler, Shook)
*3. Mike Vrabel (2 votes: Jones, McGinest)
*T-5. Sean McDermott *1 vote: O'Hara)
*T-5. Sean Payton *(1 vote: Carr)
Why Charley Casserly chose John Harbaugh: Harbaugh's willingness to radically change the offense and commit to a full-time option approach was not only bold, but incredibly successful, as apparent by the Ravens' NFL-best 14-2 record.