2021 NFL CPOTY Predictions Heading Into The Season
It is only a matter of time until the Comeback Player of The Year Award is named the Alex Smith Award, as the former Washington Football Team quarterback made a miraculous comeback after a severe leg injury in 2018. His career looked finished and there were even reports of his leg needed to be amputated. As we know, Smith came back, led the WFT to the playoffs, and earned the respect of every NFL fan. With a number of players returning from injury in 2021, there are a plethora of candidates to take home the award. Check out my 2021 NFL CPOTY predictions down below!
2021 NFL CPOTY Predictions – #1 Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott suffered a brutal leg injury last season which derailed the entire year for the Cowboys. Prescott had been in contract negotiations for almost two years and seeing him get hurt just made me sick to my stomach. Despite having a season-ending injury, Prescott had a very lucrative offseason, as he signed a massive contract with the Cowboys and became Jordan Brand’s highest-paid NFL athlete.
Prescott only played in five games last season and despite the Cowboys having a bad record, he was on pace for a historic statistical season. In addition, the Cowboys’ offense is stacked. Ezekiel Elliott is a premier back and Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb highlight one of the best receiving cores the NFL has to offer.
I still have a number of questions about Mike McCarthy’s coaching ability, but if Prescott can lead the Cowboys to an NFC East division title on their way to the playoffs, the award is his to lose.
2021 NFL CPOTY Predictions – #2 Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey sustained his first injury major injury last season, and his high ankle sprain ended three straight seasons of playing in all 16 regular-season games.
McCaffrey is in the elite group of running backs who are super productive in both the passing and rushing attack. He posted back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing and 800 receiving-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019.
Of the guys on this list, McCaffrey has been the most productive. If he returns to his 2019 form, the award should be his. He has an up-incoming head coach in Matt Rhule and a dynamic offensive coordinator in Joe Brady who should only help him return to greatness.
2021 NFL CPOTY Predictions – #3 Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley has had two seasons plagued by injuries. In 2019, he sprained his ankle, missing three regular-season games, and he missed all but two games in 2020 due to a torn ACL. Barkley is one of the more dynamic athletes in this league and he took home offensive rookie of the year honors in 2018.
We never really know how a player is going to return after an ACL tear. Will he possess the explosiveness he once had? Is he more cautious and hesitant when making his moves? For example, there are a number of reports coming out of Cincinnati that Joe Burrow is being very cautious and a little hesitant when it comes to his knee. Like Barkley, Burrow also went down with an ACL injury in 2020.
Saquon is going to have his work cut out for him in 2021 as the Giants’ offensive weapons are pretty damn good. I fully expect Barkley to get around 200-250 carries but there are a lot of mouths to feed. The team signed Kenny Golladay, drafted Kadarius Toney in the first round, and Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram have carved out nice roles for themselves.
2021 NFL CPOTY Predictions – Dark Horse – Nick Bosa
I think Bosa is a long shot to win the award but his production as a rookie warrants him being on this list. Like Barkley, Bosa tore his ACL in 2020 and missed 14 games, but he was just one of the many 49ers to be hit by injuries in 2020, with Jimmy Garropolo, Raheem Mostert, and George Kittle, among others, all missing games.
Bosa was impressive in his rookie season with 53 tackles, nine sacks, and an interception, and he took home defensive rookie of the year honors in 2019. San Francisco did lose long-time defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to the Jets, but Bosa’s talent should not be adversely affected by a coaching change.
If the 49ers are going to bounce back in 2021, Bosa, Javon Kinlaw, and Arik Armstead have to be huge.
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