2020 NFL MVP Candidates: Can Lamar Jackson Repeat?
4. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles – Tier two
Wentz was the number two pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was on pace to win the 2017 MVP award before suffering a Torn ACL and might be the the most underrated player in the entire NFL. He has a cannon of an arm, a high football IQ, and is a great improviser.
After taking a team of practice squad players to the playoffs, Wentz will have his top receivers Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson, back. This, combined with the acquisition of top cornerback Darius Slay and 2020 first round draft pick Jalen Reagor and the Eagles should absolutely win the worst division in all of sports last year. The NFC East is there for the taking.
Wentz has the talent, weapons, and division around him to return to his 2017 MVP front runner form. If it wasn’t for a dirty hit by Jadeveon Clowney in the playoffs and a lack of wide receivers, the Eagles could’ve made a huge run last year. 2020 should be a big year in Philadelphia.
5. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals – Tier two
Coming off a great rookie campaign which saw him take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, Murray should significantly improve in year two following the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins is arguably the best receiver in the NFL.
More from Ebony Bird
- Will Baltimore Ravens be rewarded for risky Lamar Jackson decision?
- The Baltimore Ravens Big Gamble
- Ravens Super Bowl odds present fascinating insight on Lamar Jackson’s future
- Should Baltimore Ravens be interested in this recently released WR
- Do the Baltimore Ravens have serious interest in this free agent wide out?
If Murray can improve significantly from year one to year two, put up better stats than 2019 and lead the Cardinals to a division title in the stacked NFC West, Murray will most likely win the MVP award. This practice is not uncommon, as we have seen recently with Mahomes in 2018 and Lamar Jackson in 2019. Do not be surprised if Murray shocks the world next season.
6. QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tier two
Coming off a lackluster year, the G.O.A.T. may very well win the MVP in 2020. Why? He has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, two of the top receivers in the NFL, who both had over 1,000 yards with a quarterback who threw 30 interceptions (Jameis Winston). Oh, and not to mention the greatest tight end of all time, Rob Gronkowski, who followed Brady to Tampa Bay from New England.
With a surprisingly good defense, led by linebacker Shaq Barrett, who led the league with 19.5 sacks last year, and an offense which significantly improved in the offseason, Tampa Bay could very well shock the world and win the Super Bowl. Brady’s stats last season are very much misleading, as he had nothing to work with on offense. If he can lead Tampa Bay to a divisional title against Drew Brees and the stacked Saints, no one should be surprised if the most accomplished player in league history wins his fourth MVP award.
7. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants – Tier two
Being the best all-around running back the past two seasons (Christian McCaffrey, mentioned later), and commonly called the best running back prospect since Barry Sanders, Barkley could very well become the first running back since Adrian Peterson in 2012 to win the MVP award. He is just that well physically gifted.
There are really no flaws in his game – he has the speed, strength, agility, and catching ability. After a mind-blowing rookie campaign, which saw him rack up over 2000 total yards on a terrible Giants team led by the now-retired Eli Manning, Barkley was plagued by injury last season, resulting in his numbers dropping.
After selecting Andrew Thomas number four overall in the draft and Daniel Jones expected to improve, the Giants offense should be much better than it was last season. This, along with the Giants defense expected improvement, should take off pressure from Barkley. This will make the offense rely on his less, which will make him less injury-prone. If the Giants can improve, and Barkley regains his 2018 form, then the most talented running back in recent memory will have a great shot to win the MVP honors.