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SB Nation NFL Preview Tabs LA Rams QB Jared Goff As Most Improved Player, P Johnny Hekker As League’s Best In 2017

The Rams’ franchise QB and their punter make the awards predictions list.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation released it’s big, bad (which means good, according to youths) 2017 NFL preview and it’s extremely good. Bias aside, take time between work and second-guessing your fantasy draft to read it here.

Outside the team-by-team previews, SB Nation’s three-person team of Adam Stites, Jeanna Thomas and Harry Lyles, Jr., broke down their picks for a plethora of categories like Most Valuable Player and who will stop the New England Patriots.

A pair of Los Angeles Rams got the nod in their respective categories.

Care to guess what category P Johnny Hekker landed in? Yeah, it was most valuable punter. But the surprising thing in this category was Hekker was not the unanimous choice.

Hekker received one vote while Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders P Marquette King received two. If anything, the two are tied both on-and-off the field in terms of most valuable punter. Both are accurate and powerful on the field, and have a tendency to be the coolest dudes on their respective teams.

Jeanna and Harry must have taken points from Hekker for his ability to deliver a blindside hit and his ability to defend himself as a turtle would.

For the Most Improved Player, again, Adam went with the Rams and chose QB Jared Goff as the man to have the best rebound from 2016.

“Expectations are low for Goff after his poor rookie season, but he was the No. 1 pick for a reason and his slow transition to the NFL was to be expected for an Air Raid quarterback.”

Adam makes a strong point: the bar is set low for Goff, as they should. Goff was basically thrown into the deep end of the pool by unfeeling uncle Jeff Fisher. The 2016 season saw a frantic Goff impatiently searching for non-existent open receivers before the pass-rush runs into him.

If Goff can get below an interception per-game average, that alone should be a success.

“Now, he has new tools to work with like Sammy Watkins and Gerald Everett.”

Based on the preseason, Goff will have more weapons than just Watkins and Everett. Tyler Higbee is proving himself to be the favorite target for Goff, along with Cooper Kupp, and Pharoh Cooper is not far behind them.

If Todd Gurley and the running game return, Goff will be in even better shape.


Do you think Jared Goff will be the Most Improved Player of 2017?

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