Pro Football Focus recently named the five most likely Comeback Player of the Year candidates. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made the list.
After being the Madden cover boy last season, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was unable to defeat the curse. Even though the Patriots were without Gronkowski, they were still able to have a great regular season and eventually won the Super Bowl.
Coming into 2017, there are a few big-name players that are coming back from injury. Gronkowski will certainly have some competition to win his second Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Most notably will be the return of defensive end J.J. Watt. As a former Defensive Player of the Year Award winner, Watt has a good chance of winning the award. John Kosco of Pro Football Focus recently ranked Watt above Gronkowski to win the award. Here’s what he had to say.
"A recipient of the 2014 award, Rob Gronkowski should be a heavy favorite in 2017 as he looks to return from back surgery on a herniated disk. In his active weeks of the 2016 season, Gronkowski graded as the best tight end in the NFL, while teammate Martellus Bennett earned the third-best grade among TEs in the same timeframe. As good as the Patriots are without him — obviously still able to win the Super Bowl — Gronk transforms the New England offense like no player in the league can."
Even though Gronkowski missed half of the season last year, he was able to perform quite well when he was on the field. In 2016, Gronkowski totaled 540 receiving yards and ridiculous 21.6 yards per reception.
As of now, Watt certainly appears to be the main competition for Gronkowski. With both players coming off major surgeries, nothing is guaranteed. However, both are elite players at their respective positions and will be competing for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.