The Denver Broncos are about a week away from starting their 2018 campaign. Bronco Country is hoping for a bounce-back year after a couple disappointing ones. Here are some individual award predictions for the Broncos this NFL season.
Predictions for Denver Broncos Individual Awards
MVP- Von Miller
This is the easiest one. Von Miller could win the defensive player of the year for the entire league and is consistently the best player on the team. Last year, Miller had a bit of a “down” year with only 10 sacks but still was a disruptive force in every game. Look for him to bounce back in a big way. Miller plays best when he has an effective pass rusher opposite of him. This year, Shane Ray and Bradley Chubb are poised for big years, which will allow Von to get after the quarterback consistently. Expect anywhere between 15-20 sacks, on his way to his first defensive player of the year award (should be his second, but somehow Khalil Mack stole that one).
Rookie of the Year – Royce Freeman
There are so many good options to choose from here. The Broncos rookie class is loaded on both sides of the ball. Along with Chubb and Royce Freeman, Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton can all have big years. Expect the young guns to play important roles for the Broncos throughout the year. But I think Freeman will stand out in their rookie seasons. In the preseason, he has shown the ability to find holes at the line of scrimmage and explode through them. He will quickly move above Devontae Booker on the depth chart, and be the bell cow for the Broncos. Expect around 1,000 yards rushing and eight touchdowns for Freeman this year. The Mile High finally got their running back.
Most Improved Player – Demaryius Thomas
For most improved player, it was a toss-up between the offensive line and Demaryius Thomas. The offensive line is bound to improve with the addition of Jared Veldheer and the general improvement of Garett Bolles, but Thomas is ready for a bounce-back year. After a couple underwhelming seasons due to poor quarterback play, Thomas finally has a quarterback who can consistently get him the ball. Thomas has had a drop problem in the past couple years, but that can be attributed to many throws being thrown behind him or overthrown. Case Keenum is a very accurate thrower and will get Thomas the ball where he needs it and in stride. Thomas is best when he gets short tosses in stride and makes big plays out of them. He has the quarterback to get him the ball finally, and he will produce. Expect a 1,000-yard season and double-digit touchdowns.
Newcomer of the Year- Case Keenum
When the Broncos finally get a quarterback who doesn’t specialize in leading the offense in three-and-outs every other possession, they are bound to improve. This off-season, improving the quarterback position was a priority for the Broncos. Keenum, who had 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season, is the best quarterback the Broncos have had on their roster since Peyton Manning. The last time the Broncos had a top tier defense combined with a serviceable quarterback, they won the Super Bowl. Keenum has effective wide receiver targets just like he had with the Minnesota Vikings, so expect him to produce in a similar way. Keenum will not put up MVP numbers, but he will do exactly what the Broncos need him to do, which is to move the chains and limit turnovers. Expect 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions as he leads the Broncos back to the playoffs.