* not named Peterson, Rodgers, Brady, Brees or Manning
LeSean McCoy, RB
Eagles coach Chip Kelly knows how to get the most out of McCoy, who finished with 2,146 yards from scrimmage last season. The scary part is that Kelly has had several months to figure out new ways to use his speedy running back.
Andrew Luck, QB
The Indianapolis quarterback existed just outside of the NFL’s list of elite quarterbacks last year. Eventually, he’s going to bust down the door. This could be the year. Having Reggie Wayne healthy should help him put up bigger numbers.
Colin Kaepernick, QB
If Kaepernick becomes the quarterback the 49ers expect him to be, he’ll be an MVP candidate. If he doesn’t, Kaepernick will never see all the money included in the big extension he signed this offseason. The potential is there, but the time has come for Kaepernick to deliver.
Robert Quinn, DE
It will probably be quite some time before a defensive player wins the MVP award, but Quinn should have been in the mix last season. He recorded 19 sacks, 21 quarterback hits, 51 hurries and 45 stops last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Those are game-changing numbers.
Calvin Johnson, WR
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford wouldn’t be as highly regarded if not for his star wide receiver. Johnson is the best player at his position, and proved as much by racking up nearly 3,500 receiving yards over the last two seasons. What else does he have to do?