49ers coach Kyle Shanahan recently has said it would blow his mind if defensive end Nick Bosa isn’t the NFL’s defensive player of the year for 2022. On Friday, Shanahan made the case for Bosa to be the overall MVP.
“It’s always tough with quarterbacks because of how big of a deal quarterbacks are to their teams and in the league and how great some of them are, so they do usually get it,” Shanahan told reporters. “The other position that’s so impactful are pass rushers, so you think of someone like Lawrence Taylor, that make sense for someone like that to win it. I think it would make sense for someone like Aaron Donald in some of the years that he’s had and you look at Nick, who I think is right in that league right there of those two people that I just mentioned and I think he’s having that type of year, so it depends how the votes go. It always surprises you because of the quarterback situation, but by no means is it not warranted, he’s that good of a player and those guys are like that every once in a while.”
Only two defensive players have won the league’s MVP award: Lawerence Taylor in 1986 and Alan Page in 1971.
A non-quarterback last won the award in 2012, when a late run at the single-season rushing record by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pushed him past Peyton Manning for the prize.
Typically, the award goes to a quarterback from one of the top seeds in either conference. This year, the favorite ultimately will be the quarterback of the top seed in the AFC, given that Jalen Hurts has missed at least one game and possibly will miss a second and a third, while Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Joe Burrow jockey for pole position.
Then there’s Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, who is arguably more valuable to the Vikings than any of the various quarterbacks are to their teams — and who could set the single-season receiving yardage record.