5 NFL MVP candidates who aren’t quarterbacks

LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 29: Defensive tackle Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams leads the team on to the field for the game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The NFL MVP Award almost always goes to a quarterback – but what if it didn’t? 

Since 2012, only quarterbacks have won the NFL MVP award. This trend goes back much further than this, though, as only four non-quarterbacks have won the award since the year 2000 (all running backs).

But, if the trend is to be bucked in 2020, who are the most likely candidates to beat out the quarterbacks.

Aaron Donald

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald may end up being amongst the best defensive players in NFL history. In 2017, he came the first defensive tackle to win the AP Defensive Player of the Year award since 1999 (Warren Sapp). In 2018, he became the first back-to-back award winner at the position.

So, if we’re making bets on who may be the NFL’s MVP if they buck the trend of giving it to a quarterback, giving it to the top defensive star is as good a bet as any.

In six seasons in the league, Donald has six Pro Bowl appearances and five First-Team All-Pro honors. He’s recorded 72 sacks in those six seasons, along with 117 tackles for loss, 173 quarterback hurries, and 15 forced fumbles.

The other half of Donald’s candidacy is visibility. As one of the premier defensive players in the league, all eyes set to Donald on nearly every Rams’ defensive snap. He’s also, by a wide margin, the best player on Los Angeles’ defensive unit.

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