It’s the offseason so it is the time of year to speculate about what will happen in the upcoming season.
The beauty of it is no one’s guesses are wrong (yet).
In light of that, let’s consider who could win the 2021 NFL MVP award who is not a quarterback.
That is more of a challenge since quarterbacks have earned the award for almost the past decade.
These players are already superstars and have garnered past MVP votes, but they are by far not the only three non-QBs who could nab the award.
1. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans, Running Back
Most rushing yards in the NFL since 2019
1. Derrick Henry – 3,566
2. Derrick Henry AFTER contact – 2,758
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) February 27, 2021
In the rare instance a quarterback has not won the award of late, a running back has.
This running back selection is not a stretch since Derrick Henry was the 2019 and 2020 rushing leader.
He is a beast with the ball in his hands, using his incredible upper body strength to throw people out of his path.
Henry is also an excellent ball handler; he is not prone to fumbles.
He is a workhorse and consistency should be his middle name.
In 2020, he rushed for 2,027 rushing yards; whereas in 2019, he had 1,540 yards.
2. Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers, Wide Receiver
Davante Adams set the #Packers single-season receptions record with 115 & tied Sterling Sharpe's franchise mark (1994) for the most receiving TDs in a season with 18. @tae15adams | #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/vKJPDqvbjF
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 27, 2021
Adams has the reigning 2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers throwing to him.
In 2020, he had 115 receptions for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Those were just his regular season numbers.
He added 2 more touchdowns and 133 yards in the playoffs.
Davante Adams is spectacular; he finds a way to beat the coverage, get open, and gains more yards after the catch.
Aaron Rodgers praised Adams in the 2020 preseason.
“It all starts with Davante and his abilities. He’s a dynamic player. When you have a dynamic guy like that, he opens up the field for the rest of the guys.”
3. Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams, Defensive Tackle
Donald is 29 years old and has already won the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year three times in his career.
He won the title in 2017, 2018, and 2020.
Donald earned the 2020 award despite dealing with a rib injury.
In Donald’s 110 career games, he has 247 solo tackles and 201 quarterback hits.
Donald flourishes in the postseason.
In his career, he has played 6 postseason games.
He has 12 solo tackles and 8 quarterback hits.
His head coach has nicknamed him “The Terminator” for good reason.
Rams HC Sean McVay on DL Aaron Donald's status for Saturday's game vs. Packers:
"Unless something unforeseen happens, the terminator will be ready."
— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) January 13, 2021
While there is an equally long list of quarterbacks who can earn the 2021 NFL MVP, these three guys are players to watch.
All are on good teams expected to contend in the 2021 playoffs which is certainly helpful.
I bet each of these guys would be honored and humbled to be named the 2021 NFL MVP, but they would probably trade that individual honor in a heartbeat for a chance to be part of the 2022 Super Bowl Champion team.