clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Windy City Gridiron picks the 2020 NFL Awards

The game seems healthier than ever thanks to a bevy of young stars. The WCG staff decides who will be rewarded for their individual prowess this fall.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

If there’s one thing the NFL has going for it in 2020, it’s an influx of exciting players and building blocks to follow. Follow the health of a league with the number of players worth watching in and spending time on. There are quarterbacks galore, like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson. Who star passers unload bombs to, like Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, and Tyreek Hill, somehow grows in relevance by the season. On defense, some big names tasked with stopping those quarterbacks includes Stephon Gilmore, Tre’Davious White, T.J. Watt, and Khalil Mack.

And the names mentioned here barely scratch the surface. Football is a better game the more field-tilters are present. In as uncertain and as unpredictable of a season as 2020 purports to be because of obvious real-world circumstances, professional football carries on with its sheer amount of worthwhile talent present.

The Windy City Gridiron staff denotes who they think will capture every major individual trophy during the 2020 season.


NFL: JAN 19 AFC Championship - Titans at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Robert Zeglinski

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes is the best player in football, perhaps the most talented quarterback to ever play. He’s surrounded by an exemplary, balanced supporting cast and a Hall of Fame coach. This is his league now, and it’s his MVP to lose year in and year out.

Defensive Player of the Year: Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills

Offensive Player of the Year: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Isaiah Simmons, Arizona Cardinals

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

The curse of Andy Dalton has been lifted! Huzzah! Burrow faces a tall task to elevate one of the worst teams in the NFL, but it’s nothing the Bayou man hasn’t solved before. Look for Cincinnati to be playing relevant football in December, thanks to Burrow’s heroics.

Coach of the Year: Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears

Offensive Player of the Year: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young, Washington Football Team

Sacks are a sexy stat, and Young will get plenty of them playing for new head coach Ron Rivera.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

With Tom Brady gone, Belichick will play to the strengths of his team and it’ll be business as usual in the AFC East with New England sitting on top.

Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Jacob Infante

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

Offensive Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

No running back in the NFL is as valuable to his team as McCaffrey is to the Panthers. An athletic and intelligent playmaker out of the backfield who runs routes better than most wide receivers, the Stanford alumnus serves as both the primary rushing and receiving option for his team. He is a strong bet to top 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards, if not more so, yet again in 2020.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young, Washington Football Team

Young was the first defensive player selected in the 2020 draft for a reason: The guy can flat-out rush the passer. He is a physical specimen who combines strength, quickness, and polished hand usage to manhandle the opposition and make plays in the backfield. He should enter Washington’s starting lineup right away and could realistically reach double-digit sacks in his rookie campaign.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC Championship - Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Robert Schmitz

MVP: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson was playing at an MVP level for most of 2019, and in 2020 I think he sustains that play all year. He’s a savant in the pocket, quick-footed when needed, and extraordinarily good at finding teammates deep downfield. I’ll say what Seahawks fans have been saying for years — this is the year Pete Caroll lets Russ cook, and the Seahawks just ride his wave.

Defensive Player of the Year: Jamal Adams, Seattle Seahawks

Offensive Player of the Year: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Queen, Baltimore Ravens

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Don’t look now, but the Dolphins’ defense looks totally different in 2020. With Kyle Van Noy and Byron Jones joining Xavien Howard, this defense looks set up to provide exactly the kind of support that a young signal-caller needs while getting his feet wet in the NFL. Combine that with DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant, and a newly-minted offensive line, and I think Tagovailoa could surprise people in a year where Burrow may have too much on his plate.

Coach of the Year: Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets

Bill Zimmerman

MVP: Russell Wilson, Seahawks

Mahomes is close to getting the Jordan- LeBron treatment of, “Well, technically he’s the MVP every year.” While that may be true, I think Wilson is poised for a career year. Being that he’s been knocking on the MVP door for some time, I think he breaks through this year.

Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears

This will be my prediction for this award every year until Mack finally earns one in Chicago. And the year after he does, I’ll pick him again.

Offensive Player of the Year: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kenneth Murray, Los Angeles Chargers

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Go look at the Patriots roster. It isn’t good. Half the team seems to have opted out of the season and Tom Brady is on the Buccaneers. When the Patriots go 10-6, win the division, and lose early in the playoffs, it may not seem like much. But when it happens, you’ll hear some people calling this season Belichick’s best performance as a coach.

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Aaron Leming

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

If Mahomes stayed healthy last year, he’d be going for the trifecta this year. Nothing against Lamar Jackson, but Mahomes is far and away the best player this league has seen in a long time. Health permitted, he wins it again this year.

Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers

Offensive Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young, Washington Football Team

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While I’m not quite sold that Tampa Bay is a Super Bowl contender, simply getting them back into the playoffs for the first time in what feels like forever would be a big accomplishment in its own right. For that, I think Arians will end up winning this award because let’s be honest, the hype around his team is massive with the addition of Tom Brady.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 CFP Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sam Householder

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers

Offensive Player of the Year: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Queen, Baltimore Ravens

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

WhiskeyRanger

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears

I know, I’m a homer. Still, with Robert Quinn lined up opposite him, and a chip on his shoulder after a down season, I think Mack puts on a show and takes home the DPOY for 2020.

Offensive Player of the Year: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young, Washington Football Team

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

I know, Joe Burrow. But with his three-down skill set, on a Mahomes-quarterbacked team, in an Andy Reid system, the sky’s the limit for this young rusher. Plus, running back is a much easier transition to the NFL than quarterback. Give me The Clydesdale.

Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Erik Duerrwaechter

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Player of the Year: Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears

Khalil Mack isn’t the only player coming back with vengeance this year in Chicago. If anything, Chuck Pagano is going to let Jackson loose in the secondary, and the fierce pass rush up front will provide him with many opportunities to make plays on the ball.

Offensive Player of the Year: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young, Washington Football Team

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Ron Rivera, Washington Football Team

Not only is Riverboat Ron going to kick cancer’s ass, he’s also changing the once-toxic culture of the Washington Football Team into one that people can respect again.

Jack Salo

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

I’ll have to see him bleed before I believe that he’s human. As if throwing 50 touchdowns in his first season as a starter wasn’t enough, he followed that up by taking his play to another level in the playoffs in 2019. 10 touchdowns to a mere two picks against playoff defenses? I would hate him if I could. To think, the consensus was that he was the third-best quarterback in the 2017 Draft.

Defensive Player of the Year: Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys

Offensive Player of the Year: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions

I love taking a cornerback this high in the draft, as the Lions did by selecting Okudah No. 3 overall this year. The NFL lately seems like a race to get a QB-WR duo in order to secure your 8-8 floor, then building one win on that total per every Pro Bowler you add to the defense. If you can get an out-of-this-world cornerback to neutralize the others team’s best wide receiver, you disrupt their whole game plan. Okudah is going to be the reason the Lions are competitive in games this year.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Divisional Round - Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Ken Mitchell

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears

Mack is a man on a mission, and the return of Akiem Hicks, the addition of Robert Quinn, the continued switch in direction of the defense and the emergence of Bilal Nichols in the middle of the line will free up Mack to do that thing that he does so well.

Offensive Player of the Year: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young, Washington Football Team

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Coach of the Year: Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys

Click on our names to follow us on Twitter: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Jack R Salo; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Bill Zimmerman; Like us on Facebook.