ELF: Top 5 MVP candidates

The European League of Football (ELF) has released its nominees for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the 2022 season. They were Barcelona Dragons QB, Zach Edwards, Tirol Raiders QB, Sean Shelton and Hamburg Sea Devils RB, Glen Toonga.

Most Valuable Player will always be the most coveted award in any sport as it champions the best player in the league. Who is the MVP of a given league is however usually dependent on stats and personal bias, making it a highly controversial topic.

It is therefore only right that we at AFI put forward our selections for MVP ahead of the announcement on the eve of the Championship Game, Saturday September 24, (in no particular order).

Zach Edwards – QB Barcelona Dragons – 3,325 yards, 36 TDs, 10 INTs

Photo: Hannes Jirgal

Edwards was the league’s best passer this year and was without a doubt one of the most dangerous weapons in ELF.

His ability to make any throw on the field and extend plays with his legs led to a 8-4 record and trip to the semi-finals before being knocked out by the Vikings.

He was also, however, the most sacked quarterback in ELF, racking up 37 as he too often tried to extend plays behind an undersized offensive line.

Edwards also skyrocketed in production at the exact same time that he was paired with the division one receiver Kyle Sweet, leading to the question of the chicken or the egg.

Glen Toonga – RB Hamburg Sea Devils – 1,468 yards, 21 TDs, 6 fumbles

Photo: Michael Freitag

One of the biggest surprises this year has been Hamburg Sea Devils’ British running back Glen Toonga who has transformed himself from a good European player to one of the best players in Europe, period.

His burst, quickness and down-hill running has left his opponents looking silly on a weekly basis. He has been the single driving force on Hamburg’s offense and earned them a place in the ELF Championship game.

Jackson Erdmann – QB Vienna Vikings – 2,849 yards, 26 TDs, 13 INTs

Of the starting quarterbacks in the league, Erdmann ranks fifth. His stats, like his play, are good but not excellent.

Erdmann does, however, play a position that requires the ball to be in his hands on every play.  With the ball in his hands he has led his team to the number one seed in the league and a championship game.

He has proven that he can win close games and has come up clutch in moments where the Vikings needed him most. This cannot be overlooked when considering the most valuable player in a league.

Goran Zec – DB Wroclaw Panthers – 88 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 3 FF, 6 INTs, 8 pass break-ups

Photo: Łukasz Skwiot/Fotografia Sportowa

Just looking at his stats, who wouldn’t want a European who can apparently do absolutely everything on defense and at a high level.

His fluid hips, nose for the ball and elite athleticism have led him to be among the top names in nearly all defensive categories.

He will of course be overlooked as he played for an overwhelmingly mediocre team, the Wroclaw Panthers, but that doesn’t change the fact that Goran Zec will be one of the most sought-after players next year if teams watch even a shred of tape.

Kyle Sweet – WR Barcelona Dragons – 115 REC, 1,561 yards, 17 TDs

Photo: Eric Ribe

We finally come to the chicken, or is Kyle Sweet the egg? His collegiate pedigree and league-leading stats lead you to believe he was the X-factor in Barcelona as all you had to do was get him the ball to be successful.

Teams would often double cover the Washington State (NCAA D1) alumna and still find themselves watching him run into the endzone. He was a menace for secondaries and propelled the Dragons to their first playoff appearance.

Regardless of who propelled the other, Edwards and Sweet were a match made in heaven on and off the field. Dragons should do their best to keep the pair in Barcelona if they want a similar level of production next year.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.