49ers 2020 predictions: Team MVP, most improved and more

Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

49ers Team MVPs


The 49ers organization and coaching staff have handed out the Bill Walsh Award every season since 2004, and the award essentially functions as the team MVP.

For 2019, the winner was now-Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, giving you an indication of how much the coaches liked Buckner and considered him one of the team’s top players.

But for the purposes of this exercise, I’ll provide an MVP for both sides of the football.

On offense, there are several directions to go, including George Kittle and wide receiver Deebo Samuel. However, the best-case scenario for an offensive MVP for most teams is the most obvious one: the quarterback.

So in this case, the 2020 Offensive MVP for the 49ers will be quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It stands to reason that if the offense takes a step forward, it’ll be largely on the improved play of Garoppolo who, while good in 2019, still has room to improve his play heading into next season.

If players like Kittle, Samuel, rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk and other pass catchers on the team are all having strong seasons, it’ll mean Garoppolo is as well. That should be enough to catapult the quarterback into this award.

Nick Bosa, 49ers
Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /


Turning attention to the other side of the ball, there are also several directions that this award could go, including linebacker Fred Warner, defensive tackle Arik Armstead, safety Jimmie Ward or cornerbacks Richard Sherman or Emmanuel Moseley.

But given how much the defense improved from 2018 to 2019 by adding to their quality and depth at EDGE, the award, in this case, should go to second-year pass-rusher Nick Bosa.

The hope here is that fellow EDGE Dee Ford plays a full season, helping Bosa to build upon his nine sacks and 80 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades for 2019.

With an NFL offseason under his belt to improve and add to his pass-rushing repertoire, it stands to reason Bosa should be just as impactful as he was 2019, if not more so.