Matt Williamson is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns and spent 10 years at ESPN as a scout and co-host of “The Soccer At present Podcast.” Discover him on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL.
Six groups have performed 4 video games so far, and the remainder of the NFL franchises have 5 video games underneath their belts. Whereas that is a considerably small pattern measurement and lots of issues will clearly change, it is sufficient to go on when figuring out which gamers are actually shining so far. Under are my approach-too-early picks for the key NFL awards.
Most Worthwhile Participant: Alex Smith
Smith is main the NFL’s greatest staff proper now. His yards per try are additionally the most effective in soccer – one thing few ever thought can be the case. As standard, Smith isn’t turning the ball over, however he is making extra huge performs than we’re accustomed to seeing from the thirteen-yr veteran.
Smith has been extremely correct to all ranges of the sector whereas performing very properly beneath strain. Andy Reid’s scheming and the emergence of Kareem Hunt have been instrumental within the success of Kansas Metropolis’s assault – a really troublesome offense to play towards – however Smith is the one making all of it go.
Offensive Participant of the Yr: Aaron Rodgers
The MVP and Offensive Participant of the Yr are principally the identical award, however let’s stray from that precept a bit to unfold the wealth. Nobody is enjoying higher soccer proper now than Rodgers, and with all due respect to Smith and the Chiefs, Inexperienced Bay’s document is just one recreation worse. As traditional, Rodgers is deadly in all phases of quarterbacking, as Dallas came upon Sunday.
Rodgers’ thirteen-to-three landing-to-interception ratio tells lots about this particular participant. Once more, as normal, Rodgers’ highs are very excessive and happen with nice regularity. In the meantime, his lows are few and much between. Rodgers has additionally carried out all this regardless of suspect move safety, with the Packers’ offensive tackles lacking vital time via 5 video games.
Defensive Participant of the Yr: Aaron Donald
J.J. Watt gained’t be in rivalry for an award that he used to personal. Final season’s winner, Khalil Mack, has picked up the place he left off in 2016, and most of the normal names have began the season very robust on this aspect of the ball. Nevertheless, none have been as robust to play towards as Donald.
Regardless that Donald didn’t play the primary recreation of the season, he’s performing at the least in addition to at any level of his superb, considerably underappreciated profession. He’s an utter wrecking machine that destroys offenses up the center, and he is lived on the opposite aspect of the road of scrimmage in 2017.
Return and watch what Donald did to the Seahawks on Sunday. It was yet one more superb displaying from the NFL’s greatest defensive participant.
Offensive Rookie of the Yr: Kareem Hunt
Deshaun Watson and Leonard Fournette are approaching robust, however Hunt deserves this award regardless of barely slowing down prior to now two video games – a minimum of, in comparison with the amazingly excessive requirements he set to start his profession. A lot of Hunt’s manufacturing is now coming late in video games, and he in all probability gained’t be capable of maintain the quantity of very lengthy runs he put up at first of the season.
He is an each-down again that’s fairly helpful within the passing recreation, though his blocking nonetheless wants enchancment. However Hunt does his greatest work when handed the soccer. He has energy and stability, and finishes runs with depth and consistency. Having Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and now Hunt at Reid and Smith’s disposal has accomplished Kansas Metropolis’s deadly offense.
Defensive Rookie of the Yr: Jamal Adams
This one’s a troublesome decide.
Although he is solely performed 19 snaps in 2017, Myles Garrett nonetheless has a shot at profitable this award; he had two sacks in his debut Sunday. Cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Marshon Lattimore have been terrific on defenses that struggled in 2016. However Adams is the decide right here – and it shouldn’t be lengthy earlier than this do-it-all security ranks among the many greatest gamers at his place.
The Jets have a blitz-completely happy protection, and Adams goes after quarterbacks nicely and sometimes on this scheme, one thing Todd Bowles should love about his first-spherical decide. He is a extremely succesful run-stuffer, can align close to the road of scrimmage or far off the ball, and has wonderful man and zone protection expertise.
Fellow rookie security Marcus Maye has additionally performed nicely, however Adams is a star within the making and a constructing block for New York.
(Photographs courtesy: Motion Photographs)