NFL Offensive Player of the Year Predictions

Judging the best offensive player in a given season of NFL football isn’t easy. Indeed, there are three separate awards to recognize the best player and in only one of the past six seasons have all three awarding bodies agreed on the same player for the title. That was Patrick Mahomes in 2018. However, when most people talk about the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, the award that they mean is the AP award, and this is the one that sportsbooks generally pay out on.

There are certain things that you can count on with regard to the award. Although it doesn’t say so anywhere in the rules, the players who receives the award will inevitably be at a skill position. In fifty years of awarding the title, it has never gone to an offensive lineman. The winner has also never been a tight end, although the presence of players like Travis Kelce and Kyle Pitts means that it could be one day. Between wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks, the chances are it could be any of the three in a given year – and the current betting odds list makes clear that this year is no different.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

It’s a surprise, looking back, that Taylor fell into the second round of the 2020 NFL draft because he has always had the tools and the production to be one of the best backs the NFL has ever seen. He led the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns last season, with 18 of the latter, and produced more than 2,000 yards total offense. This season, he could attain that mark in rush yards alone, and he’ll continue to offer a viable receiving option out of the backfield. With Matt Ryan at QB – a definite upgrade over Carson Wentz – the Colts should get ahead in a lot of games too, which means more chance to accumulate yards for Taylor.

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Samuel is likely to be a player that is leant on early and often in the 2022 season, as the 49ers begin the Trey Lance era and wave goodbye to running back Raheem Mostert. Mostert has joined the Miami Dolphins and will be coached there by Mike McDaniel, another individual to leave San Francisco in the offseason. This is likely to mean a steep learning curve for the Niners’ offensive players and staff under a new OC, which makes a do-it-all receiver like Samuel an essential security blanket. Equally capable of taking the ball in the backfield and getting yards on the ground, or making catches and breaking tackles for a big gain, this could be a big season for Samuel.

Cooper Kupp, WR, LA Rams

The holder of this title and a freshly-minted Super Bowl ring, Kupp can’t be ruled out in the running for the Offensive Player title. Kupp caught a monstrous 145 passes in the regular season last time out, his first 100-catch season, and went on to catch the winning score for the Rams in the Super Bowl, in which he was also MVP. His 1947 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air were – along with that incredible catch total – NFL-leading numbers. The big question over Kupp for this season is “How do you even begin to top that?”, but he actually might.

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

A quarterback hasn’t won the OPotY since 2018 when Mahomes did it, but if there is one name in the frame to break that run it’s probably Allen. There is a single question mark over his chances of producing big performances this season, and it’s the departure of OC Brian Daboll to try and coax a decent season out of the New York Giants. Allen is entering his fifth year in the league, his fourth as a confirmed starter, and he has everything in his game to take the Bills to the title. Two consecutive seasons with more than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns via his arm, and rushing stats that would look good on a top backup running back’s resume, mean that Allen has to be considered for this award.

There are as many names not on this list that could have a good enough season to be unanimous winners of the Offensive Player award. We haven’t even mentioned Derrick Henry or Davante Adams, and that’s before you consider that someone always has a breakout season that wasn’t even considered before the kick-off. Nonetheless, it would be a big surprise if the above names weren’t in the conversation at the end of the season.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!