It's hard to be an MVP in the NFL unless you're a quarterback or running back. But that doesn't mean we can't give love to those positions alongside the rest.

Here are our predictions on who will rise to the top at each place on the gridiron by the time the season ends.

QB: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

He's in his prime and the Packers look to be peaking. If Rodgers takes the MVP Award, it would be his third honor, matching Brett Favre's total.

Honorable mentions: Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Drew Brees

RB: Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Not only is Bell probably the best back in football, but he's likely one of the only ones of relevancy who will make the playoffs.

Honorable mention: David Johnson

WR1: Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants

No receiver elevates his quarterback or offense as much as Beckham does with Eli Manning and the Giants. Manning has posted a rating of 90.6 since the team drafted Beckham, compared to 69.4 in the season before they drafted the one-handed wonder.

Honorable mentions: Julio Jones, Mike Evans

Slot WR: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks

In the past two seasons, Baldwin has averaged 86 catches, 1,098 yards, 10 touchdowns, has caught 75.4 percent of his targets and averaged 9.68 yards per target. And he's done most of that from the slot.

Honorable mention: Larry Fitzgerald

TE: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce's biggest issue: Only 14 touchdowns in three seasons. But Jimmy Graham has the same issue in Seattle and Rob Gronkowski can't be counted on for more than 10 healthy games.

Honorable mentions: Gronkowski, Graham, Greg Olsen

OT: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers

Not just a great player in his own right -- PFF named him the NFL's best pass protector in 2016 with just 20 pressures allowed -- Bakhtiari is also responsible for keeping Rodgers off IR.

Honorable mentions: Tyron Smith, Ryan Schraeder

OG: Kelechi Osemele, Oakland Raiders

Osemele signed a record contract with the Raiders despite making no Pro Bowls in four years with the Baltimore Ravens, where he was always overshadowed by Marshal Yanda, then responded by beating out Yanda for the first-team spot on the AP All-Pro list.

Honorable mentions: Marshal Yanda, Zack Martin

C: Alex Mack, Atlanta Falcons

Another case of an offensive lineman who was the biggest offseason change for a team who clearly went to the next level after he arrived. Mack seemed to elevate the play of everyone around them, which is what being an "MVP" is all about.

Honorable mention: Travis Frederick

4-3 DE: Olivier Vernon, New York Giants

Vernon had 8.5 sacks last season, but his 61 pass pressures were 12 more than any other player (Brandon Graham had 49, Mack had 48) according to FootballOutsiders. He plays on a much better defense, but he also makes his defense much better.

Honorable mentions: Brandon Graham, Khalil Mack

3-4 DE: J.J. Watt, Houston Texans

There are at least a couple of years in which Watt probably should have won MVP but did not. And if he never has, he never will. But in this case, we can at least acknowledge if there's a single defensive end, defensive lineman, or defensive player who should win MVP, it's probably Watt.

Honorable mention: Joey Bosa

DT: Aaron Donald, LA Rams

Assuming he returns from his lengthy holdout, there is no defensive lineman who is more dominant this season than Donald. He forced 40.5 QB pressures last season despite playing on the interior of the line, which is more than Von Miller, Everson Griffen, Melvin Ingram, and Vic Beasley.

DT: Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

To make the playoffs, the Bucs need their defense to step up and help Jameis Winston win a few extra games this year, and McCoy would likely be the biggest reason they'd be able to do that.

Honorable mention: Fletcher Cox, Linval Joseph

3-4 NT: Brandon Williams, Baltimore Ravens

It's a bit harder to find a 3-4 nose tackle of note, and so Williams easily stands out, especially after re-signing with Baltimore at $10.5 million per year. Only Michael Brockers makes more at the position, and that's a bit questionable, especially with Donald unhappy with his current deal.

3-4 OLB: Von Miller, Denver Broncos

It feels like he'd be older, but Miller is still just 28 and coming off of his third All-Pro season with 73.5 sacks in 88 games. With just 12 more sacks, Miller will pass Derrick Thomas for most career sacks through his age-28 season.

Honorable mentions: Justin Houston, Chandler Jones

4-3 OLB: Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots

For a defense that lacks stars but has quality players all over, Hightower stood out as a linebacker whose strong leadership skills helped Bill Belichick win his fifth Super Bowl championship in 2016. Hightower has also been at his best when it has mattered the most.

Honorable mentions: K.J. Wright, Lavonte David

ILB: Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks

The only other linebacker who could possibly get consideration here is Luke Kuechly, and I do not think the Panthers defense is going to be good enough to get them to the playoffs. On the other hand, Wagner has been in the NFL for five years and since then the Seahawks have made it into at least the second round of the playoffs in all five of those seasons.

Honorable mention: Luke Kuechly

CB: Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs

Since entering the league two years ago, Peters leads the NFL in interceptions (14), passes defensed (46), and interception return yards (343, which is 134 more yards than second place Aqib Talib). Peters appears to be on a similar path to Richard Sherman, and he may be on more of an upward trend at the moment than Seattle's star corner.

Honorable mentions: Sherman, Aqib Talib, Casey Heyward

Slot CB: Chris Harris, Jr., Denver Broncos

As mentioned before with Baldwin and the slot, teams must have defensive players capable of shutting down opposing weapons that are "non-traditional" in terms of their size and where they play on the field, including inside receivers and tight ends. Harris has been the best in the league in shutting down those players recently and the former undrafted free agent was named on the first team All-Pro last season after being second team the previous two years.

FS: Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks

His value was apparent when he went down with a broken leg against the Carolina Panthers last season. Without Thomas, the defense went from allowing 7.01 yards per pass attempt to 7.77, from seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions allowed to 12 touchdowns and one interception, and from a passer rating of 77.8 to 100.3. He is healthy again and ready to return to Seattle.

Honorable mention: Devin McCourty

SS: Landon Collins, New York Giants

Collins may be the most surprising player on this list in that he's only 23 and going into last season, certainly didn't scream "superstar," but he had a legitimate argument to be named Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. Collins had 125 tackles, five interceptions, four sacks, 13 passes defensed, and a fumble recovery as the literal safety net to the back-end of the Giants defense.

Honorable mentions: Kam Chancellor, Eric Berry

K: Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

In all seriousness, Tucker had a case last season to become the second kicker to win MVP honors. Tucker went 38-of-39 on field goals, 24-of-24 beyond 40 (including 10-of-10 beyond 50), and Baltimore had some of the best kickoff coverage in the NFL.

P: Johnny Hekker, LA Rams

Hekker has been a first team All-Pro in three of the last four seasons, the exception being 2014 when he was second team behind Pat McAfee because … well, who knows why because Hekker was at least as good as him that season. Now Hekker is on his own punting planet, as the Rams' DVOA on punts last season was more than twice as high as second-place Tampa Bay.

KR: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

As all special teams units go, kick and punt returning ability can be quite volatile. If Devin Hester has a case for the Hall of Fame, it's simply because he was one of the few football players in history who was so good as returning kicks that he could sustain his success for longer than a few years. So excuse me if Hill isn't as spectacular this season as he was last season, especially because he was just so darn good as a rookie. Hill had the second-most punt returns in the league (39) and still had a punt return average that was more than a full yard better than second place. He also had a kickoff return average of 27.4 and took one to the house despite only returning 14 kicks on the year. But caution: Tyler Lockett was also an All-Pro rookie returner in 2015, and then last year was just a little less spectacular.

Honorable mention: Tyler Lockett