MARK CRAIG’S NFL PICKS
I might sit out the presidential election. From MVP Lamar Jackson to Hall of Famer Steve Hutchinson, I’ve been voting on more qualified candidates the past two months.
As one of the 50 voters on the Associated Press’ All-Pro committee, here is how I voted on the NFL’s top honors:
MVP: Lamar Jackson, Ravens. (Unanimous winner: Jackson)
If you can get 50 people in sports media to all agree on something, that’s a great season. Hard to argue that this wasn’t the best individual season in NFL history.
Coach of the Year: Matt LaFleur, Packers. (Winner: John Harbaugh, Ravens)
Harbaugh is a good choice. LaFleur improved the Packers by seven games in his debut as a head coach. The last two NFL coaches of the year – Matt Nagy and Sean McVay — improved their teams by seven games in their debuts as NFL head coaches.
Assistant Coach of the Year: Greg Roman, Ravens. (Winner: Roman.) It’s amazing how much Jackson improved in one season.
Comeback Player: Ryan Tannehill, Titans. (Winner: Tannehill.) “It’s not a category you want to be in,” Tannehill joked Saturday night. Yeah, but it beats staying down, Ryan.
Defensive Rookie: Nick Bosa, 49ers. (Winner: Bosa.) He’s lived up to the hype. And more.
Offensive Rookie: A.J. Brown, Titans. (Winner: Kyler Murray, Cardinals.) You can’t go wrong with Murray. I went with Brown’s electrifying 20.2-yard average per catch.
Defensive Player: Stephon Gilmore, Patriots. (Winner: Gilmore.) He was the key piece on what was the best defense in the regular season.
Offensive Player: Jackson, Ravens. (Winner: Michael Thomas.) Normally, I don’t give one guy MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Jackson’s season warranted an exception.