Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan, Nick Bosa, Trey Lance among favorites for these NFL awards

May 18, 2021 at 3:51 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to be much-improved compared to last season's six-win effort. Much of that was due to the significant amount of injuries the team endured throughout the year. With some better luck in that area, many expect to see the Niners fighting for playoff positioning late in the season — maybe even winning the NFC West.

Should that happen, Kyle Shanahan could be a strong candidate for Coach of the Year. In fact, the 49ers' play-caller is tied for the best odds to earn the award, per DraftKings Sportsbook (h/t to Patrick Tulini). Two others, first-year head coach Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers and Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns, own the same odds as Shanahan.

Below are the 10 coaches with the best odds to win Coach of the Year, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Kyle Shanahan, 49ers +1300
  • Brandon Staley, Chargers +1300
  • Kevin Stefanski, Browns +1300
  • Sean McVay, Rams +1400
  • Frank Reich, Colts +1600
  • Ron Rivera, Washington +1600
  • Sean McDermott, Bills +1700
  • Bill Belichick, Patriots +1800
  • Sean Payton, Saints +1800
  • Arthur Smith, Falcons +1800

The 49ers are tied with the New York Jets and New England Patriots for the 19th-toughest schedule when sorted by opponent records from last season. That is mostly thanks to a schedule based on the team's last-place finish within the NFC West in 2020. Getting back players like Nick Bosa on defense and Jimmy Garoppolo on offense will go a long way in providing a boost heading into the upcoming season.

The Chargers schedule is ranked No. 17, while the Browns own the ninth-toughest schedule.

Speaking of Bosa, he is among those favored (+1100) to win Defensive Player of the Year, again, per DraftKings Sportsbook. Only Aaron Donald of the Rams (+400), Myles Garrett of the Browns (+600), and T.J. Watt (+700) of the Pittsburgh Steelers own better odds. Nick Bosa's brother, Joey Bosa of the Chargers (+1300), comes in at No. 5.

Donald won the honor last season. It was his third time being named Defensive Player of the Year.

Bosa is rehabbing from the torn ACL he suffered during Week 2 of the 2020 season. He is expected to be fully recovered by the start of the upcoming season.

"There's lots of good players in this league, and Nick's only played one year, but I think everyone saw the type of player he is now and that he was his rookie year," Shanahan recently said of his young defender while explaining what his return means to the team.

Bosa is also among the favorites to be named the Comeback Player of the Year. He has the fifth-best betting odds (+700) with Dak Prescott (+175), Saquon Barkley (+600), Joe Burrow (+600), and Christian McCaffrey (+600) owning better odds.

49ers quarterback Trey Lance (+600) is among the betting favorites for Rookie of the Year. Only Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars (+300) and Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears (+600) are listed higher. Both figure to receive more playing time in 2021 than Lance, who is expected to be Garoppolo's backup.

San Francisco selected Lance No. 3 overall in this year's draft.

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