Chicago Bears: 5 players who could earn NFL honors, awards in 2021

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Chicago Bears, Khalil Mack
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Chicago Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack could win NFL Defensive Player of the Year

This is the most bold take across the entire list, here, but Khalil Mack is still more than capable of being the league’s best defensive player. The sheer strength, speed and technique is still there. Mack is one of the league’s most fierce defensive players. Don’t forget that. The last two years haven’t been exactly what Bears fans have expected, with double-digit sacks not adding up.

However, like Jackson, Mack will benefit from Desai as his defensive coordinator now. Chuck Pagano was a little different and laid off in some areas. Desai saw first hand how aggressive Fangio was, and it paid off. Assuming Desai takes a page out of Fangio’s book, Mack will be right back on track for one of the best years of his career.

People may forget that Mack is a three-time All Pro and has made six straight Pro Bowls. The hype around guys like Aaron Donald still remains at an all-time high, but folks cannot forget how dominant Mack can be. This is a pure game-wrecker. We’re talking about a player who went on a streak of five straight games with a sack fumble back in 2018.

My bold prediction: Mack ends up with 14.0 or more sacks, six forced fumbles and a pair of defensive touchdowns en route to the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.