Green Bay’s Most Likely ‘NFL Honors’ Award Winners for 2022

Seven Packers who could challenge for silverware at the 'NFL Honors' ceremony for the 2022 season.

The Green Bay Packers have had reason to celebrate during the NFL Honors ceremony over the last couple of years, with Aaron Rodgers collecting the Most Valuable Player award in both 2020 and 2021, but there are plenty of other accolades which members of the Packers may be in the running for in 2022.

Let’s take a look at Green Bay’s most likely candidates for a number of key awards which will be handed out before Super Bowl LVII.

Most Valuable Player – Aaron Rodgers

Clearly this award has essentially become exclusive to quarterbacks, and rightfully so. Rodgers is therefore easily Green Bay’s most likely candidate to win the MVP award for the 2022 season, but even that possibility seems remote.

Brett Favre if the only player in NFL history to win three MVPs in a row, and Rodgers will face an uphill battle to match that achievement.

It seemed voters didn’t really want to give Rodgers the award last year, but in the end his level of play was simply too good compared to the rest of the pack for them to ignore.

His pursuit of another MVP title will be made more challenging by losing Davante Adams, as well as the possibility of Green Bay’s offense leaning more on the run game.

However, there’s a chance that being forced to play more in the structure of Matt LaFleur’s offense makes him even more ruthlessly efficient, and it’s hard to deny that Rodgers is still one of the top two QB’s, if not the best outright, in the NFL. As long as that’s the case, he always has a chance of taking home the game’s biggest individual honor.

Coach of the Year – Matt LaFleur

LaFleur has built a strong case to be named Coach of the Year in each of the last two seasons, but has been snubbed both times.

No coach in NFL history has begun their career with a better win-loss record than LaFleur, and there is a sense he could eventually be awarded Coach of the Year as almost a lifetime achievement award if nothing else.

It’s naturally difficult to get as much recognition when Rodgers is your quarterback, but LaFleur seriously doesn't get the credit he deserves for pulling 12 out of the malaise he was stuck in at the end of the Mike McCarthy era and returning him to MVP form.

With Adams gone and the Packers potentially needing to approach the offensive side of the ball in a different way, fans may see more of the true LaFleur offense in 2022. If that unit is still able to find success sans the game’s best wide receiver, Green Bay’s head coach may finally get the respect he deserves.

Offensive Player of the Year – Aaron Jones

This award has often been used to single out the NFL’s best offensive contributor outside of the quarterback position, and while losing Davante Adams lowers the chances that one of Green Bay’s weapons could be recognized in that vein, Aaron Jones may represent the team’s best chance.

Jones has proven himself to be an electric presence both as a traditional running back as well as out of the backfield in the passing game. With targets going spare now that Adams is in Las Vegas, Jones could become like a Christian McCaffrey-like chess piece for the Packers in 2022 and push for OPOY honors.

Defensive Player of the Year – Rashan Gary

There is a feeling 2022 could be the year Gary takes a big jump and becomes one of the NFL’s truly elite edge rushers.

Winning DPOY could be tough for Gary even if he does fulfil his potential, because he simply doesn’t have the name recognition of others at his position right now.

There’s also some guy named Aaron Donald who could essentially win the award every single year if the voters felt like giving it to him.

Gary would need to rack up a significant number of sacks and produce game-changing plays during key games, particularly in prime time, to push himself more into the national spotlight, but he’s absolutely talented enough to challenge for the NFL’s top individual defensive award.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Christian Watson

Watson has a freakish physical makeup which gives him a ceiling any wide receiver would envy, and he also has a real opportunity to earn playing time in his rookie year.

Of course, the transition to the NFL is a tough one for more rookies than not, but there have been numerous high-profile examples of receivers hitting the ground running in recent years. Watson has the best chance of any of Green Bay’s offensive rookies to make his mark quickly.

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Quay Walker

While the Packers’ other first-round defensive selection, Devonte Wyatt, is more pro-ready than Walker, linebacker is a flashier position for voters to observe than defensive line.

If Walker is able to showcase his incredible athleticism through splash plays, maybe even as a pass rusher much like Micah Parsons did a year ago, he could make a name for himself as a rookie.

Comeback Player of the Year – Robert Tonyan

David Bakhtiari would be a candidate for this award, but they don’t give awards to offensive linemen.

Tonyan wasn’t having a great year before his season-ending ACL injury in 2021, but he was terrific in 2020 and it has been consistently reported that the tight end will be ready to go by the time the new season begins.

With Rodgers looking for trustworthy targets to lean on and Tonyan entering another contract year, don’t be surprised if he blows up in 2022 and puts himself in the conversation as a top pass catcher in the NFL.

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Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @Marko7LW

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Comments (5)

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ricky's picture

July 17, 2022 at 12:32 pm

I don't care if Rodgers wins league MVP this year, as long as he is the MVP of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers again. How about three of those MVP's in a row? Something to dream of, something to shoot for.

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splitpea1's picture

July 17, 2022 at 01:21 pm

Are we still pining for MLF to win Coach of the Year? Why? This is an award that usually goes to coaches either orchestrating a significant turnaround from the depths or overseeing a perfect/near perfect record in the regular season. Now if Rodgers was to go down and MLF was able to achieve a similar record with Love at the helm AND have special teams playing at a competent level with his smart hire, then he would probably be the front runner.

I really don't care if Rodgers wins another MVP unless it's for the Super Bowl.

It would be pretty noteworthy if any of the other players mentioned won an award--especially a rookie, because it means our coaches have done a great job with development. I can honestly say that I am more excited about this Packer rookie class than I have been about any other.

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dobber's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:37 am

"Are we still pining for MLF to win Coach of the Year? "

Well, since coach of the year typically goes to an HC, I thought this was kind of a gimme.

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PatrickGB's picture

July 17, 2022 at 06:06 pm

All those mentioned above would be happy if that happens. But my guess is that they would treasure a Super Bowl ring more.

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Turophile's picture

July 17, 2022 at 10:42 pm

I'll admit straight off the bat that I'm not using the same criteria as Mark, so my conclusions are different - I don't care if a position is 'sexy' or not for 'my' awards.

Packers defensive player of the year. Kenny Clark at least has to be in the conversation. He just wrecks stuff, without great players alongside him. What he does isn't as sexy as what Gary does, but it matters. He might be even better in 2022, with Devonte Wyatt alongside and Walker behind. Alexander might be in the picture as well, and he might be targeted more with Stokes and Douglas as difficult alternative choices for an opposing QB to target.

For the same non-sexy reason, it's Elgton Jenkins as the comeback player (I could easily have chosen Bakhtiari, as well).

For the offensive rookie (you may sense a trend here), I'll go with Sean Rhyan, who I thought was an excellent pickup in round three. I have him displacing Newman by halfway through the season, or earlier. Watson as ORY would be my HOPE - if he does well in his rookie year things are very bright for the Packers.

For DROY, I'll agree with Mark and pick Quay Walker.

My "didn't see THAT coming" player, is another ACL recovery guy, RB Kylin Hill. If he is as good as I think he could be, he could be part of a starting duo with Dillon, as Jones may prove too expensive to keep past 2022 (his cap hit in 2023 is $20m).

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