We are so far away from naming the 2015 NFL MVP it's not even funny. But the off-season is the perfect time for predicting what group of players might make the proverbial leap toward superstardom and attempt to nab some hardware. Below we've got 10 sleeper-style players who could potentially end up winning MVP.

One key aspect: no previous MVPs on the list and no one who was listed on the voting from last year. (Sorry, Bobby Wagner.) Fun fact: Only four people have won the MVP since 2007 and only six people have won it since 2003. They're all quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning) and running backs (Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander).

It's not likely any of the non-quarterbacks on this list are going to win the MVP. It's borderline impossible really. But it's the off-season and listing 10 quarterbacks feels silly. Dare to dream.

Next-Level Quarterbacks

So what we're looking for here are guys WITHOUT MVP awards. Peyton, Brady and Rodgers are off the table. Those dudes are favorites to win. (I'm also consciously taking Drew Brees off. How does he not have an MVP award?) Instead we're focusing on the guys in the tier after "elite" or whatever you want to call the top-end group of guys.

1. Andrew Luck — Quick confession: I created this list without Luck before realizing he met the criteria and is, frankly, the most obvious candidate to take a leap forward and win the MVP this year. It sets up really nicely for the fourth-year quarterback, with the Colts investing heavily into the offense this offseason by signing Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, then promptly drafting Phillip Dorsett, because if you can't beat anyone with defense just overwhelm them with skill-position weapons. Those three plus T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, not to mention Donte Moncrief and Duron Carter? There's an embarrassment of riches at Luck's disposal.

A lack of an elite defense should put Luck once again in the top five in passes attempted, which should mean he'll be top five in passing yards and passing touchdowns (third and first, respectively, in 2014) next year fairly easily. The Colts should win 10-plus games again in their terrible division and it'll be Luck leading the charge. It's entirely possible we see actual Vegas MVP odds and Luck will be top five. He's that strong of a candidate. But based on the criteria here, he fits, so not including him would be pretty foolish.

2. Ben Roethlisberger — The Steelers quarterback was rewarded with a massive contract this off-season, despite not being rewarded in the MVP race a year ago. Big Ben was tied for first in passing yards (4,952), seventh in touchdown passes (32), third in passer rating (103.3), third in yards per pass attempt (8.1), only tossed nine interceptions and was sacked only 5.1 percent of the time. It's entirely possible — likely? — 2014 was the best season of Roethlisberger's career. He managed to take a step in Todd Haley's offense, combining an impressive mental approach to the game with his already ridiculous physical skills. Roethlisberger looked like a quarterback who could easily manage to mature well, something that hardly seemed likely when you think about some of the hits and the style of play that marked the early part of his career.

He'll have a more experienced wide receiver corps in 2015 with Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Martavius Bryant. With Le'Veon Bell likely to miss time (up to three games depending on his appeal ruling), Ben could be forced to throw even more (although Bell actually helps the passing game), which could push him into the 5K club. If the Steelers defense is even average, Pittsburgh could easily eclipse double-digit wins. If a few things break their way and Roethlisberger carries them to 12-14 wins, it's an MVP season waiting in the wings.

3. Eli Manning — Similar situation to Roethlisberger here. Eli's a multiple ring-holding quarterback who quietly had one of his best statistical seasons in 2014. Eli crossed 4,000 passing yards for the third time in his career (4,410). He threw 30 touchdowns for only the second time and limited himself to 14 interceptions. His 63.1 completion percentage looks like a statistical aberration against the rest of his career.

Andrew Luck could be primed to claim his first MVP award. (USATSI)

Going into the second season of Ben McAdoo's offense, it's possible Eli explodes for a massive season. Losing Will Beatty is a huge blow to the offensive line, of course, but this is a quick-hitting offense that can overcome the loss, especially if Ereck Flowers is remotely ready to play. Odell Beckham Jr., is a top-five wideout in the league now. Victor Cruz returning healthy and able to man the slot (versus being a No. 1) would be a game changer. Adding Shane Vereen to Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams gives the Giants an incredibly versatile backfield. Reuben Randle and Larry Donnell are gravy. If the Eagles and Cowboys fell back to the pack it wouldn't be totally stunning. Everything's got to click, but it's not out of the question for Eli to light it up next year.

4. Matt Ryan — People don't want to like the Falcons quarterback. Why? Over the past three years he's averaged 4,643 yards, 29 touchdowns, 15 interceptions while completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 7.4 yards per attempt. Those are absurd numbers, not to mention consistent. His 23-25 record won't thrill anyone who argues that quarterbacks are in charge of wins but you shouldn't be arguing with those people anyway.

The real chance for a massive season here comes from a weak division coupled with coaching changes. Do I think the Falcons are going to win 12 games next year? No. Could they? Sure. There's six games for the taking with the Panthers, Saints and Buccaneers in the NFC South. Dan Quinn will improve the defense (and I like Vic Beasley as a strong DROY candidate just based on sack totals). He won't completely fix things, though, which means Ryan will still throw a ton. If the defense struggles and Tevin Coleman can't magically fix the running game, Ryan's going to throw a bunch again. He should be a great fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense, with an ability to drive the ball deep to Julio Jones with regularity.

Two years ago Ryan was the leader in the clubhouse for midseason MVP. He just needs everything to click next year for something similar.

Defensive-minded fellas

Really, really unlikely we see a defensive player win the MVP next year. Think about what J.J. Watt did in 2014 and he wasn't close to carrying the award. The NFL is just too offensively based. But these three guys could potentially make noise if everything breaks right and at least should be considered dark-horse candidates for Defensive Player of the Year.

5. Ndamukong Suh — Like everyone in the AFC East NOT named the Patriots, the Dolphins are getting some offseason hype. Surely it has to transfer to the regular season for one team? Maybe not. But Suh's a guy who could come to Miami and bolster a defense that finished 12th in yards per game and 20th in points per game last season. (That's what they're paying him for!) If he helps to turn the Dolphins into a top-five defense and registers big sack numbers (his career high is 10.5 and he's averaged 7 over five years) while the Dolphins win double-digit games and steal the AFC East from the Patriots, someone is going to get the credit.

Suh's that guy, barring an absolutely incredible breakout from Ryan Tannehill or a 2,000-yard season from Lamar Miller. If all those things happen and Suh looks like a brilliant off-season signing who can transform an 8-8 squad into a divisional champion and Patriot-beater, he'll get some consideration as an MVP.

6. Earl Thomas — Over the past three years the Seahawks have two division titles, two trips to the Super Bowl, one championship and 36 regular season wins. They changed as a franchise once Russell Wilson was acquired. Marshawn Lynch is dominant force in the running game and Richard Sherman grabs all the headlines for being a dominant corner, but anyone who watches the Seahawks defense knows Thomas is the fulcrum of that unit.

It's not like he's underrated insofar as safeties go either — Earl's got three consecutive years of All-Pro nods under his belt. But couldn't you see a fourth consecutive year of dominant defensive play from the Seahawks, followed by Seattle winning 12-14 games, Thomas recording five picks (he's done so twice), a bunch of forced fumbles (four last year), passes defensed (19 the past two seasons) and everyone deciding, in lieu of a truly standout quarterback, it's time Thomas is recognized for putting Seattle's defense over the top? I sure could. Oh, and by the way, he's only 26.

7. Von Miller — Miller found himself a somewhat surprising sixth overall in Pete Prisco's Top 100 list this off-season, but considering the forward-pivoting nature of Prisco's list it might end up looking salient. Miller is coming off a sneaky good season where he recorded 14 sacks, 66 tackles and one forced fumble, while establishing himself as a dominant force against the run. He's moving to a role as a 3-4 outside linebacker in Wade Philips' defense for the Broncos and, unlike DeMarcus Ware or Mario Williams before him, he fits the role perfectly. Miller's combination of strength and speed on the outside could lead to massive sack numbers (especially with Ware opposite and Shane Ray added to the mix) and he'll be deployed as a Swiss Army tool of defensive destruction.

It's really hard to win an MVP when you're on the same team as Peyton Manning, but if the Broncos win a bunch of games on the strength of defense and a run game while saving Manning's arm and body for a late season/playoffs run, maybe it's Miller who's recognized.

Skill position explosions

8. Odell Beckham, Jr. — Putting multiple Giants on this list will look really stupid if they end up going 7-9 this season. Or even 9-7. But it's impossible to ignore what ODB would've done over a full season last year. Extrapolate his numbers and you get 121 catches, 1741 yards and 16 touchdowns. That would be a pretty impressive season.

Even just 100 catches, 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns would put Beckham in crazy impressive company. If — and it's a big if — because Beckham can put up the season he put up last year but over the course of 16 games, he could approach those numbers. If Beckham does that, the Giants offense cranks it up in the second year under Ben McAdoo and New York wins a totally winnable division, it wouldn't be unheard of for people to start talking about him as the guy who transformed Eli into a 5,000-yard passer.

9. Jamaal Charles — To be perfectly honest, Charles deserved more MVP recognition the last two seasons. He averaged 1,652 yards from scrimmage the last two years, rushing for 2,320 yards over that span and catching 110 passes for 984 yards the last two seasons. He's also got 33 total touchdowns since Andy Reid took over in Kansas City.

And Charles did all this with Alex Smith under center and no help from the outside. Not sure if you heard but the Chiefs wide receivers aren't great at catching touchdown passes. Jeremy Maclin's addition should make things easier and Travis Kelce blossoming into a top tight end would open things up for Charles, who's only 28 and still on the good side of his rushing career. If he blows up for 2,000 scrimmage yards and the Chiefs topple the Chargers and Broncos for an AFC West title and a high playoffs seed, Charles will get run in the MVP talk.

10. LeSean McCoy — Really wanted to go with DeMarco Murray here but he got votes last season. Instead, I'll go with a motivated and angry Shady who's been all over the media this offseason. McCoy's going to a team with no quarterback (EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel are all slapping it out for the starting role) and a coach in Rex Ryan who's committed to running the ball like crazy.

Shady doesn't feel like the best fit for a ground/pound offense, necessarily, but he's a superb talent. He struggled last year relative to his previous success, but he'll have ample opportunity to run the ball and remind people what he's capable of in 2015. The Bills will have a great defense (likely top five — they were there anyway and Rex has a history of producing those teams) and if they're able to take down the Pats in the AFC East, McCoy could be a big reason why.