Patrick Mahomes II:
Let’s start with the obvious. The reigning Super Bowl MVP comes in at the top of this list for multiple reasons. Patrick Mahomes II is the son of Patrick Mahomes, former Major League Baseball player. His dad played for 11 years, splitting time between the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates. Patrick Mahomes II goes by “Patrick” to differentiate himself from his father. In 2014, while Mahomes was still attending Texas Tech, the Detroit Tigers used a 37th round pick to select Mahomes in the draft. He opted to stay in college. In 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs used the 10th overall pick in the NFL Draft to select Mahomes. In his first season, he sat behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of the 21st century, Alex Smith. Smith led the Chiefs to a first-round bye in that season, but a loss to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs sealed his legacy as a Kansas City Chief. In 2018, Patrick Mahomes threw for more than 50 touchdown passes, a mark last reached by Peyton Manning in 2013 with the Denver Broncos. Those 50 touchdown passes, along with a 12-4 record ultimately led to Mahomes’ first major accomplishment as an NFL quarterback; an MVP trophy. After last season, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid led Kansas City to their first-ever Super Bowl victory. NFL analysts believe Patrick Mahomes II is the next $300M man.
If you watched the games last year, you’d be able to tell why Lamar Jackson was named 2019 NFL MVP. He was the only quarterback in the last 10 years to rush for a thousand yards, a benchmark usually met by only running backs. But this elusiveness was shown to the world while Jackson was at Louisville. In 2017, he accounted for more than half of the team’s total yardage. He ran for 1600 yards in two straight seasons. In Jackson’s rookie season, he took over for former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco during week 8. From that point on, they lost two total games on their way to a playoff appearance. This was unexpected out of Jackson. There were people who viewed him as a running back coming out of college. NFL Draft Analysts said that this guy wouldn’t be able to produce in year one. But the Ravens ground their way to two straight playoff appearances led by Jackson. In two seasons, his passer rating increased, his passing yards per attempt increased, and his total touchdown passes per game increased. Jackson looks to be on an upward trajectory towards the Super Bowl.
The fact that Russell Wilson has never received an MVP vote is ridiculous. The man can flat out take over a game when it matters. But Wilson’s rise to starting quarterback was an interesting one. In 2012, the Seattle Seahawks signed former Packers backup QB Matt Flynn to a three-year, $26 million deal. In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks used a third round pick to select a relatively unknown quarterback in Wilson at the time. That offseason, he beat out Matt Flynn for the starting job. Flynn took all that money to sit on the bench. In his first season, Wilson was named Rookie of the Year. In 2013, he led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl since Matt Hasselback was the starter. Wilson and the Seahawks “legion of boom” turned 2013 MVP Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos into squash. They completed the largest Super Bowl deficit of the last 20 years. But Wilson wanted more. Since then, Wilson has led the Seahawks to another Super Bowl (ended in a loss to Tom Brady) along with six more playoff appearances and seven Pro Bowl elections. Give this man an MVP trophy already.
Yes, he is very unproven, and probably wouldn’t be on the list of professionals who work for the NFL, but Kyler Murray deserves the recognition of an elite quarterback. It all started at Texas A&M, where Coach Kevin Sumlin named future Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen their starting QB. Murray had to take a seat on the bench, where he later entered the transfer portal, and successfully moved to Oklahoma to back up Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield. Fast forward to 2018. Murray has finally been given his chance to shine, but this time with Head Coach Lincoln Riley, who had received numerous offers to coach in the NFL. That year, Murray split his time between football and baseball. In each sport, he earned professional recognition. In 2015, the Oakland Athletics of the MLB used a first-round pick to select Murray. He kept that option on the table but eventually chose football over baseball. Highlight reel play after highlight reel play led to media coverage of his every snap. Sooner rather than later Murray was announced as the nation’s top collegiate athlete. He won the Heisman Trophy, the second straight Oklahoma QB to do so. In 2019, the Arizona Cardinals, who had used a first-round pick the year prior to select Josh Rosen, took Murray with the first overall pick. In his first season, Murray almost led the league in QB sacks. His offensive line was rated among the league’s worst by Pro Football Focus. Still, Murray fought his way to winning 2019 Rookie of the Year. This offseason, the Arizona Cardinals traded for stud wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Murray now has more weapons than ever and is in the perfect position to potentially win the 2020 NFL MVP.