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Falcons 2017 season awards: Our roundtable debates the MVP and more

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Who will walk away with the Falcons’ awards this season?

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Our team decided to consider who might walk away with team awards for the 2017 season. It may be too early, but in June, nothing is really too early.

Kevin Knight

Team MVP - Matt Ryan

Ryan was the league MVP last season, so it’s only fitting that he should be the team MVP in 2017. He’s a rock-steady presence at QB that brought his game (and the Falcons’ offense) to a new level in 2016. If the Falcons are going to be contenders again this year, Ryan will be a major catalyst in their success.

Best Offensive Player - Julio Jones

This one is almost too easy. Jones is the GOAT, and is likely some form of human-alien-cyborg hybrid. Whatever he is, he’s amazing at football, particularly the wide receiver position. He’ll help the Falcons offense stay amazing in 2017 and beyond.

Best Defensive Player - Grady Jarrett

OK, this one is a little bold. But I genuinely think Jarrett is going to take the next step this season and become a borderline-elite player on the interior of the defensive line. If he does, this Falcons’ pass rush could really be something special. Interior pressure is arguably even more important against QBs like Drew Brees and Jameis Winston.

Rookie of the Year - Duke Riley

This is tough to predict, because it’s hard to tell at this point who will even be on the field come Week 1. I believe Riley is the most likely player to see significant snaps in 2017, and thus he’s got the best chance to make a name for himself. If he’s even 80% of what Deion Jones was in his rookie year, the Falcons will be very well-off at LB for years to come.

Comeback Player - Desmond Trufant

With Trufant missing the final stretch of the 2016 season, he’ll be hungry to re-establish himself as one of the best CBs in the league. If the Falcons’ defense improves, Trufant’s skills will become even more well-known to the rest of the league. I think this is the year he stops being under-rated and plants himself firmly in the top-5 CBs in the NFL.

Dave Choate

Team MVP - Matt Ryan

Ryan is the team’s quarterback, he’s playing at a high level, and he’s fresh off an MVP. The offense is also loaded with weapons, which gives Ryan all the tools he needs to have a great season, while preventing any one of those weapons from upstaging him. He’s an easy, slam dunk choice.

Best Offensive Player - Julio Jones

If you’re giving the MVP to Ryan, you’ll need to give the best offensive player award to Julio. Barring injury, he’ll be good for well over 1,000 yards receiving, 100 receptions, and perhaps more touchdowns than in years past. He’s the best receiver in the NFL, so he should get this barring a truly massive year from Devonta Freeman.

Best Defensive Player - Deion Jones

Not exactly a bold choice, but one I feel good about. Debo is hyper-talented and should thrive behind an even better defensive line. I don’t think 100-plus tackles, four or five picks, and a few forced fumbles are out of the question, and he’s going to be a vital piece of this defense.

Rookie of the Year - Takkarist McKinley

He may take a little while to get up to speed, but I think McKinley will wind up with plenty of playing time, five or six sacks, and enough trash talk to stagger your average offensive lineman. He could be great, but this year, he’ll at least be very good.

Comeback Player - Desmond Trufant

No-brainer. He’s coming off of a major injury and should be one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks again.