K: Daniel Carlson, LV
Season stats: 40-43 FG | 12-13 40-49 YDS | 6-7 50+ YDS | 30-33 PAT
Even without considering his late-game heroics, Carlson had an exceptional season for Las Vegas—missing just three field goals while drilling a bunch of long-distance kicks with one of the league’s most powerful legs. But it’s the game-winners that gives Carlson the clear edge, as he was five-for-five on “walk-off” attempts, including in three of the final four weeks to get the Raiders into the postseason.
P: Bryan Anger, DAL
Season stats: 65 P | 3,143 YDS | 48.4 AVG | 44.6 NET | 24 IN20 | 25 RET
In his first season with the Cowboys, Anger led the league in net average by a full yard, and his play down the stretch was a big help for Dallas as the offense struggled at times. The former third-round pick of the Jaguars has likely earned himself a long-term deal heading into free agency.
KR: Kene Nwangwu, MIN
Season stats: 18 KR | 579 YDS | 32.2 AVG | 2 TD
An injury prevented Nwangwu from making his NFL debut until Halloween, but he didn’t take long to establish himself as one of the game’s top returners with a couple of touchdowns in November. The rookie’s speed and feel in space should be a weapon for Minnesota in 2022.
PR: Jakeem Grant, CHI
Season stats: 26 PR | 309 YDS | 11.9 AVG | 1 TD
Grant wasn’t able to get much going in four games with the Dolphins (7.4 yards per return), but his explosiveness was on full display in Chicago (13.9 yards per return)—with the latter number putting him right behind Devin Duvernay (13.8) to lead the league. A highlight, 97-yard touchdown is what gives Grant the edge.
ST: J.T. Gray, NO
Season stats: 22 TKL
Gray was rightfully recognized with All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl nod this season, as he led the league in special team tackles (19) and solo tackles on special teams (16). Called “elite” by head coach Sean Payton last month, Gray certainly proved his worth after being named a captain for the 2021 season.