Will Kamara win OPOY in 2021?
By: Jeremy Trottier
Alvin Kamara in his first season after the large extension he received had an absolute monster of a year, half of the time even carrying the unit to wins. With Michael Thomas out most of last season and a declining Drew Brees, he had to do the most work he has ever had to do so far in his young career. His balance, shiftiness, and pure agility are something to behold and something we have never seen outside him to date.
In this article, I will be going over three reasons as to why Kamara should end up with the OPOY award in 2021, as well as why these reasons connect to him winning this prestigious award.
Lack of Receiving Weapons
One of the most notable things in Kamara’s elite 2020 campaign was the lack of receiving weapons Brees had to throw to. Now with even more of them gone, such as Jared Cook, Emmanuel Sanders, and to an extent Josh Hill, they have even less in that department. This means the primary two playmakers in Alvin and Michael will have to take the brunt of the work, as the other options are:
- Adam Trautman (TE) – Solid second year TE who had a decent season as the third tight end on the roster last year. However needs to develop, and really prove he can take the leap to being a starting tight end.
- Tre’Quan Smith (WR) – 2018 third round pick who has not turned out to be what he was hyped up as. Solid hands and good route running, but physicality and speed leave quite a bit to be desired. Good WR3 or so.
- Deonte Harris (WR/KR) – UDFA two years ago who has proved to be an exceptionally elite kick returner, and occasionally good in end arounds/WR misdirection. However should not play every down or majority of them due to slight frame
- Marquez Callaway (WR) – UDFA last offseason, has proved his worth so far but also needs to take the next step.
This lack of a true starting WR2 leads Kamara to a role where he will rush and play screens a ton.
New Quarterback Play
Granted, Brees dumped the ball off to Kamara last year a ton, and I mean a ton. But with either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill likely starting, both of which will need to let their playmakers do the work. What does that mean? More touches for Kamara, likely more than he has received in prior years as well.
This new quarterback play also means if Kamara can break off big chunks of yards like we have seen him do before, he will likely get his number called if the passing game cannot get things going like they should.
Something we cannot forget is that Alvin is only 25 years old, 26 by the start of the season. He has not even really hit his “prime age” as a player yet (normally 26-29) and is already an elite back in the league. Throughout the offseason he will have the chance to go through camps again and training unlike last season which should put him even further up the ladder.
Kamara has also shown improvement each year he has played, going from a shared role behind Mark Ingram, to a primary in a dual back committee, to a full time starter who is mainly considered top three at the position. Even last year we saw him break/tie the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a game (six, most since 91 years ago). If this growth continues, we should definitely see an OPOY in the near future for Alvin.