After the good people of planet Earth overwhelmingly projected the Philadelphia Eagles to repeat as NFC East Champions this season, SB Nation Reacts asked a few more questions of NFL fans regarding end of season awards. People were asked to select the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and the MVP and a pair of Birds placed highly.
After falling down the draft board a bit back in April, the Eagles made a move to select standout Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter at No. 9. It was arguably the steal of the draft when it happened and nothing Carter has done on the field since has made that less true.
According to SBN’s recent Reacts poll, 33% of NFL fans think that Carter is the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. I know that it is sometimes hard for interior defensive linemen to rack up impressive “counting stats,” especially as a rookie, but it appears that the fans polled here Know Ball as they respect all the attention Carter will command in the middle of the d-line.
Houston Texans EDGE rusher Will Anderson (No. 3 pick, Alabama) came in just behind Carter with 28% of the vote, Seattle Seahawks CB Devon Witherspoon (No. 5 pick, Illinois) finished third with 17% of the vote, and New England Patriots CB Christian Gonzalez (No. 17, Oregon, 14% of the vote) and Las Vegas Raiders DE Tyree Wilson (No. 7 pick, Texas Tech, 8% of the vote) rounded out the top-five.
Four of the five top vote getters were top-10 picks in April, while Gonzalez was still picked comfortably in the first round. Over the past five seasons, only one defensive ROTY has been picked lower than No. 12 (LB Shaquille Leonard, pick No. 36, Indianapolis Colts) and Leonard is the only winner over the past decade who wasn’t selected in the first round. Aaron Donald, back in 2014, was the last defensive tackle to win the award.
As far as the league-wide MVP award, it should come as no surprise that Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to repeat as the best player in the league. Coming off his second career MVP, second career Super Bowl MVP, second career Super Bowl title, and first career Netflix documentary, all eyes will be on Mahomes again this year.
38% of NFL fans think Mahomes will repeat, while his chief rival in the AFC, Bengals QB Joe Burrow, received the second highest percentage of votes with 24%. Burrow, it should be noted, finished fourth last year behind Bills QB Josh Allen and a certain fella named Jalen Hurts.
Hurts finished third in the newest Reacts poll with 18% of the vote and Allen gets a respectable 13%. Rounding out the top-five is Chargers signal caller Justin Herbert, finishing with 7% of the vote.
As the MVP has increasingly become the “Best QB On A Good Team” award, having five quarterbacks in the top-five makes a ton of sense. The last time a non-QB won MVP was back in 2012 when Adrian Peterson ran for an insane 2,097 yards and a dozen touchdowns. In fact, since 2000 only four non-QBs have won the award and they’ve all been running backs.
I find it hard to believe that there will be two quarterbacks better than Hurts this season, but if Burrow and Mahomes both stay healthy all year I’m certain they’ll be fighting Hurts tooth and nail for the top spot in the league.
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