My 2018 NFL Award Winners


As a dedicated amateur opinion-haver, debating the individual NFL award winners throughout the season is one of my favorite pastimes. Most times the professional opinion-havers get the awards right, but they don’t decide for another month, so I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and make some picks.


  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Russell Wilson

This one isn’t as close for me as it is for others. What Mahomes has done this season is absolutely incredible. Brees is the clear #2, and I think Wilson’s insane efficiency puts him in the third spot. Aaron Donald is the only non-QB in this conversation, but he doesn’t crack my top 3.

Offensive Player of the Year

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Deandre Hopkins

This award always confuses me. Shouldn’t it be the same as MVP? Or is it the best non-QB? I don’t know. But I’m giving it Mahomes.  He was that good. I’ll put Deandre Hopkins right behind Mahomes and Brees, as I thought he was the best and most valuable offensive player that isn’t a QB.

Defensive Player of the Year

  1. Aaron Donald
  2. Bobby Wagner
  3. Khalil Mack

Was there any question on this one? Aaron Donald continues his reign as the best defensive player in the NFL, and came very close to breaking Michael Strahan’s sack record… as a defensive tackle! That is absurd. Bobby Wagner has been the best linebacker in the league for a while now, and held together a Seattle defense that experienced some extreme turnover. Mack’s stats aren’t gaudy, but his impact on the Bears can be felt throughout the entire conference.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

  1. Baker Mayfield
  2. Saquon Barkley
  3. Nick Chubb

Saquon had a historic rookie season, but Baker turned around an entire franchise.  He set the rookie record for passing touchdowns. There’s no question which player is more valuable. With Chubb coming in at #3, and Denzel Ward registering on the DROY landscape, it has become clear that the Browns had an absolutely epic draft class.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

  1. Darius Leonard
  2. Derwin James
  3. Leighton Vander Esch
  4. Bradley Chubb
  5. Denzel Ward

In a normal year, any one of these guys would have dynamite cases for DROY, but this is a ridiculously loaded class. I’ll give the nod to Leonard, who filled up the stat sheet every single game while helping to turn around this formerly terrible Colts defense.

Coach of the Year

  1. Andy Reid
  2. Pete Carroll
  3. Matt Nagy

This award almost always goes to a new coach that turned around a team, but I think two stalwarts deserve the recognition this year. Mahomes may be Football Jesus, but he is a still a second year QB coming into the season with only one start under his belt. The Chiefs faced the toughest schedule in the league, have a weak and hobbled defense, and still acquired the #1 seed in the AFC. Even if they didn’t, Reid deserves COTY for his handling of Mahomes alone. In Carroll’s case, he took on what looked like a rebuild and pulled 10 wins out of it. It’s hard to separate the brilliance of Russell WIlson from Carroll, but getting 10 wins out of this roster is incredibly admirable.

Executive of the Year

  1. Chris Ballard
  2. John Dorsey
  3. Ryan Pace

This is a weird award, and it almost always goes to some guy who gets fired a couple years later. I’ll still give it a shot though. Chris Ballard played his cards right in Indy, realizing that he was in a full rebuild around a franchise QB, and making all his moves with that in mind. He traded down three spots in the 2018 draft, and netted three second round picks. He also snagged future all-pros Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson. Dorsey was handed a boatload of picks by his predecessor Sashi Brown, but he made the absolute most of them. He also deserves credit for trading away Carlos Hyde to force Hue Jackson to play the far superior Nick Chubb. As for Pace, he correctly identified that his team was in a championship window and made the big moves to get them over the hump.