The NFL Draft has come and gone, and we now have a much clearer idea of the 2020 rosters we’ll be looking at. With that in mind, NFL Coach Of The Year props have been posted and New England’s Bill Belichick is favored for the award. Is he the best bet on the board or is there value elsewhere? Let’s take a closer look.
Belichick will enter the year without Tom Brady as his starting quarterback, which is the first time he’s done that since 2000. However, we do know that the Patriots have an elite defense and Belichick will find some ways to make the offense work with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. If the Patriots are anywhere near a 10 or 11-win team next year after losing Brady, Belichick will be a frontrunner for this award.
Arians looks like one of the top options as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be on the rise after acquiring Brady. Remember, though, they not only got Brady, they also picked up Rob Gronkowski, tackle Tristan Wirfs (draft) and running back Ke’shawn Vaughn. On paper, they look like one of the top teams in the NFC and if things play out that way, Arians will be in the running for Coach of the Year.
The 49ers won the NFC last year and have done some great maneuvering to make sure that their roster stays intact. They traded away All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner but replaced him with first-round pick Javon Kinlaw. The team also added wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first round and later traded for former All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams. The 49ers look like they’ll again be one of the top teams in the NFC.
Kingsbury and the Cardinals have had a strong offseason, which included not only unloading the huge contract of David Johnson but also acquiring All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. At the draft, they scooped out athletic freak Isaiah Simmons, who’ll boost their defense, plugged a lot of other holes on defense and collected tackle Josh Jones, who was a first-round talent that slipped to the third round. If the Cardinals make a push for a playoff spot, Kingsbury will be among the finalists.
The Cleveland Browns also had a productive offseason and a strong draft. Their key goal was to find protection for Baker Mayfield and they did that with the signing of tackle Jack Conklin and then using their top draft pick on Alabama’s Jedrick Wills. With a better offensive line and more weapons – including Austin Hooper, who the Browns signed – this team seems to have the right ingredients to rise up in the AFC.
The Dolphins added a lot of talent in free agency and then a lot more in the 2020 NFL Draft. The centerpiece of their draft class is quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who the team is hoping will usher them into a new era of success. The Dolphins were 5-11 last season but if they can push for a division crown now that Tom Brady is no longer in the AFC East, that might put Flores among the finalists to win Coach of the Year.