- Jimmy Garoppolo is the favorite to win the 2019 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, followed by Le’Veon Bell
- Garoppolo is coming off an ACL tear, but has the benefit of playing under one the best offensive coaches in the NFL
- Who is the best bet to win the award?
What a difference a year makes. 12 months ago Jimmy Garoppolo was getting MVP buzz prior to the 2018 NFL season, but after suffering a season-ending ACL injury in Week 3, he enters 2019 as the frontrunner to win Comeback Player of the Year.
2019 AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds
*Odds taken 07/23/19
Historically, quarterbacks have been the best bet to win Comeback Player of the Year, as they’ve captured the award 57% of the time since it was reintroduced in 1998. Garoppolo will be eager to prove he’s worth every penny of his five-year, $137.5 million contract, and he’s shown flashes of brilliance in the past, most notably when he joined the Niners in 2017.
Garoppolo Has Ingredients to Be Great
Jimmy G led San Francisco to five straight wins at the end of 2017 while posting a Pro Football Focus grade of 86.6. He ranked sixth that season in passer rating with a clean pocket, and second against unblocked pressure.
Highest @PFF Grade on passes outside pocket (reg. season+playoffs, since 2016):
1. Patrick Mahomes 94.2
2. Jimmy Garoppolo 91.8
3. Aaron Rodgers 81.4
4. Deshaun Watson 80.7
5. Baker Mayfield 78.3
6. Matt Ryan 78.2
7. Ben Roethlisberger 76.4
8. Tom Brady 74.9
9. Andrew Luck 74.8
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) July 22, 2019
His receiving corps was underwhelming to say the least, but now he has the luxury of throwing to a much improved pass catching unit, featuring an elite tight end.
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) July 19, 2019
He’ll also benefit from playing under Kyle Shanahan, one of the most creative offensive play callers in the league. Shanahan was able to turn Nick Mullens, an undrafted practice squad player, into a serviceable NFL quarterback, so just imagine the ceiling Garoppolo will have under his influence.
His price seems a bit short given the stiff competition he’s up against, but he’s a much better bet than Le’Veon Bell, who checks in with the second-shortest odds.
Bet Against Bell in New York
Bell’s New York tenure is off to a rocky start and he’s yet to log a single snap.
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) July 22, 2019
Weird Instagram posts aside, he hasn’t played in over a year and his 2017 yards per carry was the second worst of his career. Now he’s moving into a new offense that ranked 30th last season in run blocking, under a new coach that didn’t want him in New York in the first place.
The entire situation wreaks of typical Jets disfunction and there’s no reason to back Bell at such a short number, especially given Gase’s history of splitting touches among multiple running backs.
2019 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Best Value Picks
- Cam Newton (+1500): The 2015 MVP is poised for a bounce back year after a shoulder injury hindered his 2018 campaign. He’s still the premier dual threat quarterback in the league and he has an arsenal of talented receiving weapons at his disposal.
- Carson Wentz (+1600): He has one of the best offensive minds calling plays for him, one of the best lines in the league protecting him and a soft schedule. If he stays healthy, he should be able to replicate his 2017 success, that saw him throw for 33 touchdowns and 3,300 yards in less than 13 full games.
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