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Wild Bill Barnwell’s NFL MVP Predictions

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There’s some Texans on this list.

Houston Texans v New York Jets Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Football. Football never stops. Well, the game may come to an end, but the content, the content never stops.

Earlier this week, Wild Bill Barnwell at ESPN went through every possible MVP candidate. There’s no in-depth talk of Deshaun Watson, or DeAndre Hopkins, or Jadeveon Clowney, or Lamar Miller, but there is of J.J. Watt. With odds of 250:1 to win the MVP, Watt is Barnwell’s favorite pass rushing pick to win the MVP.

My favorite from this group: J.J. Watt (250-1). I’m going to go for the player who has exhibited the highest ceiling here, and that’s the Texans star. Watt stayed healthy and racked up 16 sacks a year ago, and while he wasn’t quite at the heights of his 2012-15 peak, if I have to pick one pass-rusher to get to 25 sacks, it’s him.

That’s a fine selection, but Watt has still played only one healthy season in the last three years. The concerns are still there.

I do think picking Jimmy Garoppolo as the rookie deal favorite is a mistake, though. I like the 49ers as a surprise playoff team this year, but a MVP season from a quarterback who struggles against pressure, coming off an ACL tear, in front of a mediocre offensive line is crazy.

I like Watson the most of that group. The Texans’ pass defense is going to give up points. They are playing a bunch of great passing offenses and will need to have shootouts this year. If Will Fuller and Keke Coutee stay healthy, and they can find IT with their offensive line, the stage is going to be set for Watson. The Texans need DW4 to be great this year. They won’t be able to consistently win games how they did last year.

Give me Watson, not Watt, as the Texans’ most likely MVP candidate, even within the template provided.