The only non-quarterbacks to have won the MVP Award since the year 2000 all have something in common: they were all running backs, and they were all utterly dominant in seasons where their teams had a lot of success. That's what happened with Marshall Faulk in 2000, Shaun Alexander in 2005, LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 and, most recently, Adrian Peterson in 2012, who ran for the second most yards in a season in league history coming off a torn ACL.
These were all truly special seasons, and that's what a running back has to do in order to top a quarterback for the league MVP Award. But in 2021, it's certainly not out of the question, and the initial round of Pro Bowl voting might be our strongest indication so far that this is the case.
On Wednesday, the NFL unveiled the top-five players after the first week of Pro Bowl voting along with a position-by-position breakdown of the top vote-getters. Jonathan Taylor, with 81.087 votes, was highest in the NFL, followed by four other non-quarterbacks. With a league-high 1,444 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns, it truly seems like he has a legitimate shot at the MVP Award, though he still ranks behind nine quarterbacks on BetMGM's odds, at +2000 — talk about an intriguing value!
For comparison's sake, last year's Pro Bowl vote featured Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson atop the ballot in the league's first look into how the numbers were looking, so it's an interesting note