Predicting Award Winners for the New York Jets' 2012 Season
With only a few weeks until the start of training camp, what better time than now to make end-of-season predictions for the best player on the Jets' roster?
While the Jets have their share of flaws, their roster is littered with several elite (and potentially elite) players that can take over a game at any time.
Here are predictions for the top award winners for the 2012 season.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Stephen Hill
There is not a whole lot of competition against Hill here. Among all the offensive rookies, he is the only one likely to start and could be the only rookie to see the field on anything besides special teams duty.
Hill's role will be to stretch the field and give the Jets a speed threat that Plaxico Burress failed to provide. He probably won't catch a ton of passes, but he will get big chunks of yards and open the field up for Holmes and Keller to work underneath.
Defenisve Rookie of the Year: Quinton Coples
Coples is the only rookie defender who will see starter-like playing time. The Jets will use Coples all across the front seven, both as a five-technique and a three-technique, and they will even stand him up as a rush linebacker.
Fellow rookie Demario Davis will only see the field in passing situations, which gives Coples a huge advantage.
While he has some bust potential because of his inconsistent production at North Carolina, he will get a ton of opportunities to make a huge impact on the Jets defense in his rookie season.
Offensive Player of the Year: Nick Mangold
For those that think that a center winning OPOY is overvaluing the position, I suggest you pop in the tape of the Ravens game when the Jets were without Mangold for the second week in a row.
Judging by what we saw from that game alone, it is safe to say that no team is more reliant on one offensive lineman than the Jets are on Mangold.
Assuming he stays healthy for another season, he should run away with this award, especially if D'Brickashaw Ferguson continues to underwhelm with his performance at left tackle.
Defensive Player of the Year: Darrelle Revis
No competition here. Not only is Revis the best corner in the league and the best player on the entire Jets roster, he is the best defender in the game.
Usually, when a team has a top-end corner, such as Champ Bailey or Corey Webster, it plays single-coverage with the other team's No. 2 receiver, rolling coverage to the top receiver.
What makes Revis unique is that he can handle the game's top receivers on his own with incredible consistency. It is a strange sight to see him let up just a few completions in a game. What is even more impressive is how he does this in today's age of pass-first offense with rules slanted toward the other side of the ball.
By the time Revis is done, he will be known as the best corner in NFL history.
Most Improved Player: Muhammad Wilkerson
Rex Ryan loves to talk up his players, so a lot of what he says sometimes needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but he is extremely excited to see what Wilkerson can do this year.
Even Wilkerson's teammates are excited with the development he has undertaken. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been particulary impressed with what he saw from Muhammad this spring:
"Looking back on the spring, if I had to rank our guys - out of Revis - (Wilkerson) was the best player on the field."
Wilkerson was considered to be a raw prospect coming out of a smaller program at Temple, but he was able to start in his rookie season and play well. Wilkerson has a very high ceiling and could make a Jason Pierre-Paul-esque jump to being considered one of the best players at his position with a strong sophomore campaign.
MVP: Darrelle Revis
As I stated in the earlier slide, Revis is the best, most consistent player on the Jets and perhaps in the entire NFL.
In a position that is becoming more and more difficult to play, Revis is a rock at the corner position who allows the Jets to get away with using all kinds of exotic defensive coverage concepts without worrying about getting burned for a big play from the opponents' top receiver.
The only question surrounding Revis is whether or not he will holdout for a new contract. While that may be a question only Revis can answer, we do know that whenever he does take the field, he is immediately the best player on said field.