NFL Awards Watch: The Final 5 Picks Include Patrick Mahomes As MVP, Nick Bosa As Top Defensive Player

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Welcome to NFL Awards Watch, my weekly column that takes a look at the five major awards handed out in the NFL: MVP; Offensive and Defensive Player Of The Year; and Offensive and Defensive Rookie Of The Year.

JONATHAN HUTTON NFL AWARDS WATCH ARCHIVE

With the season complete, it’s time to hand out accolades to the top players in the 2022 NFL Season. Let’s get to it:

NFL Awards Watch: Week 18

Nick Bosa and Patrick Mahomes. (Getty Images)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

WINNER: QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs 

Kansas City finished with the NFL’s best record and Mahomes produced incredible numbers despite the team trading away Tyreek Hill. He passed for 5,250 yards, becoming just the third quarterback to eclipse the 5,000-yard mark for a second time in a career. The other two? Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Mahomes also passed for 41 touchdowns, surpassing 40 for the second time in his career.

The Two Who Missed:

  • QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles.
  • QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON, Minnesota Vikings

How often does a season like Justin Jefferson’s overshadow the play of a quarterback? That’s why he should win this award. He’s been outstanding throughout the season, leading the league in receptions (128), receiving yards (1,809) and first downs (80). He dropped just one pass on 181 targets. He was close to becoming the first wide receiver to reach the 2,000-yard mark in a single season. MVP is mostly reserved for QBs. This award shouldn’t go to anyone but the Vikings star player.

The Two Who Missed:

  • WR Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins.
  • RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders.

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

RB KENNETH WALKER III, Seattle Seahawks.

K9 was fantastic in Seattle, finished the regular season with over 1,000 yards rushing despite not entering the starting lineup until Rashaad Penny was placed on Injured Reserve in mid-October. He sealed this category by closing out Week 18 with 114 yards in a must-win overtime victory over the Rams.

The Two Who Missed:

  • WR Garrett Wilson, New York Jets.
  • QB Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

DE NICK BOSA, San Francisco 49ers

Bosa led the league in sacks (18.5) and quarterback hits (48). No other player finished within 13 QB hits this season. The other players with at least 17 sacks and more than 40 quarterback hits in a single season since 2006: J.J. Watt (2012, 2014, 2015) and Aaron Donald in 2018. Both players won Defensive Player of the Year honors following each of those seasons. Bosa’s next accomplishment after winning Defensive Player of the Year — a massive payday becoming the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the league.

The Two Who Missed:

  • OLB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys.
  • OLB Matthew Judon, New England Patriots.

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

CB SAUCE GARDNER, New York Jets

The Jets missed the playoffs, but Gardner shined throughout the year, easily leading the NFL with 20 pass breakups. Offenses would completely avoid his side of the field at times, not even trying to test the rookie with top receiver options.


The Two Who Missed:

  • CB Tariq Woolen, Seattle Seahawks.
  • DE Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions.

Jonathan Hutton is the host of OutKick 360 and writes weekly about NFL awards. Follow Hutton on Twitter.

Written by Jonathan Hutton

Jonathan Hutton hosts OutKick 360 each weekday afternoon. He spent 16 seasons as the gameday host and sideline reporter for the Tennessee Titans Radio Network and covered the biggest NFL events. Follow @HuttonOutKick on Twitter/Instagram.

One Comment

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  1. Mostly great choices here but OROY is way off. Tyler Allgeier was the best rookie RB, and Chris Olave was better than Walker or Wilson. Purdy was great, but he only played a quarter of the season – immediately disqualified.

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