TDN's 2021 NFL MVP Is...


While we are still a few weeks away from the NFL unveiling its official award winners for the 2021 season, we here at The Draft Network feel like there’s no need to wait. The regular season has concluded and the final resumes for players and coaches have been submitted. Let’s pick some winners!

The TDN staff put together their ballots for MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year. The Offensive Player of the Year award was intentionally omitted to make the MVP race a little more interesting. More than a dozen TDN scouts and writers submitted their ballots listing the top five players/coaches for each category. First-place votes received five points, second-place votes received four points, and so on and so forth. Tie-breakers were decided in the following order: Number of first-place votes, number of ballot appearances, number of second-place votes.

Let’s get to it! Below, you will see the list of every player who received at least one vote from a TDN staff member. Here is how the voting shook out for MVP, starting with our winner.


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points
Aaron Rodgers 5 5 3 - - 54
Tom Brady 5 3 1 - 3 43
Joe Burrow 1 3 2 4 1 32
Cooper Kupp 1 - 4 5 1 28
Jonathan Taylor 1 2 2 2 2 25
Justin Herbert - - 1 1 - 5
Josh Allen - - - - 3 3
Matthew Stafford - - - - 2 2
T.J. Watt - - - 1 - 2
Patrick Mahomes - - - - 1 1


Key Stats: 4,115 passing yards, 40 total TDs, league-low 7 INTs, 68.9% completion%

Why Aaron Rodgers Deserved To Be MVP

Justin Melo: The odds-on favorite to capture this year's Most Valuable Player honor for the second consecutive season and fourth time throughout his illustrious, Canton-bound career, Aaron Rodgers has been in astounding form while catapulting his Green Bay Packers to the best record (13-4) in the National Football League. The Packers possess a first-round bye plus home-field advantage throughout the impending postseason. They've accomplished this on the back of another incredible Rodgers campaign that has seen the former California Golden Bear throw for 4,115 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Packers are an excellent bet to represent the NFC at SoFi Stadium in Super Bowl LVI. Anything is possible with Rodgers' heroic, MVP-worthy efforts in their corner.

Dissenting Opinion(s)

Ryan Fowler (Tom Brady): Similar to LeBron James in the NBA, Tom Brady could, understandably, win the MVP award each and every year. At 44 years old… let me say that again; at 44 YEARS OLD, he currently leads the league in passing yards and touchdowns. Before the season, you could sit here and say he has weapons galore at his disposal, but with Chris Godwin and now Antonio Brown out, and Rob Gronkowski in and out of uniform, Brady will have to rely upon Mike Evans and the likes of Cyril Grayson, Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, and Tyler Johnson to shoulder the aerial attack. An ageless wonder in today’s landscape of sports, he once again has Tampa Bay (13-4) in a position to compete for a conference crown. Stop taking greatness for granted.

Lucio Vainesman (Tom Brady): Tom Brady finished his 22nd year in the NFL with 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. He also finished the season ranking first in completions, passing yards, touchdown passes, passing first downs, and DYAR. The common thread behind all of this is that the Buccaneers—a team who finished tied for first in wins—game planned around their best player in Tom Brady, who in his age-44 season also led the NFL in pass attempts. He had the best statistical season out of any quarterback in the NFL and led his team to 13 wins.

Crissy Froyd (Joe Burrow): What’s a rookie transition? Well, Joe Burrow did deal with some adversity in his first season in the NFL in 2020, but he quickly became the best player on Cincinnati’s team despite being hindered by a largely incompetent supporting cast and an offensive line that ultimately led to him suffering a knee injury that required reconstructive knee surgery and extensive recovery and rehabilitation time. But Burrow came back this season like not much had happened, piloting an ever-improving Bengals offense that exceeded its projected win total and has made noticeable strides. Burrow’s best performance came against the Baltimore Ravens, when he threw for 525 yards. Not too shabby for a second season when you’re coming off a major injury.