Tyrese Rice - G, BC Basketball
Nathan Gerbe - C, BC Hockey
Kevin Garnett - F, Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce - F, Boston Celtics
Kevin Youkilis - 1B, Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia - 2B, Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester - SP, Boston Red Sox
Marc Savard - C, Boston Bruins
Phil Kessel - RW, Boston Bruins
Wes Welker - WR, New England Patriots
Matt Cassel - QB, New England Patriots
There are a lot of good candidates for this Award, but none that really stick out. Except for one...
The winner is...
Wes Welker became the Patriots offense in 2008. With Brady down, the offensive line struggling, and about 20 different RBs, the Pats leaned on Welker, and he delivered. He nearly tied his own franchise record with 112 catches, and probably would have if the week 17 weather in Buffalo wasn't so horrendous. He had 1,165 receiving yards, and averaged nearly 10 yards per punt return.
While other receivers saw their numbers dip down from 2007, Welker's remained pretty much the same. That consistency helped Cassel evolve from a backup quarterback into a star in a matter of weeks.
Welker is the best weapon a developing QB could have. He gets yards after the catch, runs his routes well, finds space underneath in high percentage areas of the field, keeps linebackers busy in the middle, and in the event of a blitz he's the perfect safety valve.
Welker's not the tallest or the fastest or the strongest athlete in New England. But as a total package, he has enough of everything, plus the knowhow and awareness to be a force on the football field.