The 2019 NFL season not only brought us the youngest MVP in league history, it gave us a nearly-unprecedented Year 2 leap from Lamar Jackson. In the spirit of projecting similar jumps from good to great, Colin Cowherd took a stab at predicting which of the sophomore quarterbacks has the best chance to win MVP in 2020.
As a brief aside, the most outrageous thing Cowherd says here is that all of these guys are better pocket passers than Jackson. What does this guy have to do to receive the credit he deserves as a passer? Even if he was as immobile as Tom Brady I'd take him over everybody here. Come on.
Now, on to his actual point. Cowherd actually has some solid reasoning. Haskins, Minshew, Jones, and Stidham could all be solid next year, but an MVP-caliber season would be a stunning development. Murray has the best chance to put up big offensive numbers, but the Cardinals play in the NFC West, the toughest division in football. The wins will be tough to come by, and those are a large part of the equation.
The Broncos play the Chargers and Raiders twice each, and neither of those teams projects to be better than average. They'll get beat down by Kansas City, but otherwise their schedule isn't terribly difficult. Lock has a loaded receiving corps that includes Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and now Jerry Jeudy. With what should be an improved defense, it wouldn't be crazy to think the Broncos could put together 10 wins and Lock throws for over 3,000 yards and 25-plus touchdowns to put himself in the running.
I just can't get behind Lock after what we saw last season. It wasn't that he was bad, per se, but he only played five games. Yes, the Broncos won four of his starts, and as Cowherd notes, he completed 64 percent of his passes in that stretch. But he also averaged 200 yards per game and threw for seven touchdowns and three picks. That's good for a first-year quarterback, but nothing to suggest he'll blow up next season, even with an improved receiving corps.
It would take a down year from Patrick Mahomes, Jackson, Brady, and other elite QBs for the stars to align for any sophomore to even be in the running for MVP. In that case, I'd put my money on Murray. Even if the Cardinals lose eight games, Murray could be a force in his second year under Kliff Kingsbury. That alone will give him a case, even if a quarterback without a winning record would never win MVP. Lock has potential, but it's doubtful he rises to the top after five starts in the league.