With most of the team based awards for 2017 being released already, the NFL announced the individual performance awards during the seventh annual NFL Honors show today. Here are the main awards that were handed out.
AP MVP: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Who else but Brady? He has the Patriots back in the Super Bowl again, and it’s not surprising in the slightest. Brady led the league in passing yardage with 4,577, also finishing third in passing touchdowns and passer rating. He’s the oldest player to ever be named MVP, and it’s the third of his career.
AP Coach of the Year: Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
In his first season as head coach, the 32-year-old McVay led a resurgence for the Rams, as they finished the year with a record of 11-5 and went to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Both the passing and rushing offenses for the team were in the top 10 for the league as a whole. The sky’s the limit for McVay.
AP Offensive Player of the Year: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Gurley didn’t quite lead the league in rushing yards, but he still had his best season as a pro. He was second with 1,305 rushing yards and was first in rushing touchdowns with 13. Gurley also led his team in receiving with 64 catches for 788 yards and 6 more TDs. He might be the best all-purpose weapon on offense in the NFL.
AP Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are getting awards left and right! Donald was near unstoppable in 2017, despite transitioning into a new defense. He had 11 sacks, which led all defensive tackles. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 99.7, the best of any player in the league. Donald is turning 27 years old in May and still has years of stellar football left in him.
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
It was going to be a dogfight between Kamara and Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt for this award. Hunt led the league in rushing, but Kamara was the better weapon, gaining 728 yards and averaging 6.1 yards per rush, a league best. He also led all running backs in receiving stats with 81 catches for 826 yards, also scoring 13 total touchdowns.
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marshon Lattimore, CB, New Orleans Saints
And the Saints get both rookie awards. Tre’Davious White of the Buffalo Bills could’ve challenged as well, but Lattimore got the nod. The two tied for the rookie lead in pass breakups with 18. However, Lattimore led all rookies with 5 interceptions.
AP Comeback Player of the Year: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen went through three straight seasons ended by injury, the worst coming last year when he tore his right ACL. But he returned better than ever, ranking third in the league in receiving yards with 1,393 and fourth in catches with 102. Best of all, he played in all 16 games for the first time in his career. Hopefully, Allen can continue that streak.
While Watt missed most of 2017 due to injury, he was quite busy off the field, raising over $37 million in donation money during the aftermath of Hurrican Harvey in order to help relief efforts and people affected by the storm.
Contributor committee: Bobby Beathard, GM
Two of the best receivers to ever play the game get into the HOF during the same year. Owens and Moss rank 2nd and 4th respectively on the all-time receiving list. Likewise, Lewis and Urlacher, two of the greatest linebackers, also enter the HOF together. Dawkins, perhaps the best safety of the 2000’s, will be honored as well.
The senior committee added Kramer, a longtime guard for the Green Bay Packers during their 1960’s dynasty, and Brazile, who played with the Houston Oilers for nine seasons in the 70’s and 80’s. Beathard, a general manager for 22 years with the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers, was also selected by way of the contributor committee.
Here are the rest of the awards that were given out during the ceremony.
Pepsi NEXT Rookie of the Year (fan voted): Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
AP Assistant Coach of the Year: Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator, Minnesota Vikings
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award: Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
FedEx Air Player of the Year (fan voted): Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
FedEx Ground Player of the Year (fan voted): Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year: The Minnesota Miracle
Greatness on the Road Award: Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
USAA Salute to Service Award: Andre Roberts, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Year: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year: Philadelphia Eagles
Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year: Robert Garrett, Crenshaw High School, Los Angeles, California
Secret Game Changer Award: Sam Gordon