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2016 AP All-Pro Teams Announced

On Friday, the AP announced the 2016 All-Pro teams. One confusing change this year: the removal of the fullback and the second running back spot (there used to be 12 first-team All-Pros on offense), and the substitution of a “Flex” spot that seems to go to… anyone? David Johnson finished second in running back voting, but first in Flex voting, whatever that means.  And while 12 1APs may not make sense, there are still 12 on defense, which makes it pretty odd.   There’s also now a defensive back category in addition to CB and S, which… again, I don’t quite get.  But there are 2 first team edge rushers, 2 interior defenders, 3 linebackers, 2 cornerbacks, 2 safeties, and one defensive back.

Quarterback

Matt Ryan, Atlanta, 29; Tom Brady, New England, 15; Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 5; Derek Carr, Oakland, 1.

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas, 47; David Johnson, Arizona, 3.

Wide Receivers

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, 43; Julio Jones, Atlanta, 30; Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, 16; Mike Evans, Tampa Bay, 6; Jordy Nelson, Green Bay 5.

Tight End

Travis Kelce, Kansas City, 44; Greg Olsen, Carolina, 5; Rob Gronkowski, New England, 1.

Flex

David Johnson, Arizona, 24; Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh, 18; Odell Beckham, New York Giants, 3; Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, 1; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, 1; LeSean McCoy, Buffalo, 1; Jarvis Landry, Miami, 1; Travis Kelce, Kansas City, 1.

Left Tackle

Tyron Smith, Dallas, 27; David Bakhtiari, Green Bay, 8; Joe Thomas, Cleveland, 7; Trent Williams, Washington, 3; Jason Peters, Philadelphia, 2; Taylor Lewan, Tennessee, 1; Donald Penn, Oakland, 1; Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati, 1.

Right Tackle

Jack Conklin, Tennessee, 27 1-2; Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City, 6; Marcus Cannon, New England, 6; Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay, 5 1-2; Zach Strief, New Orleans, 2; Ryan Schraeder, Atlanta, 2; Marcus Gilbert, Pittsburgh, 1;

Left Guards

Kelechi Osemele, Oakland, 47; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 2; James Carpenter, New York Jets, 1. Right Guard

Zack Martin, Dallas, 40; David DeCastro, Pittsburgh, 5; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 4; Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati, 1.

Center

Travis Frederick, Dallas, 29; Alex Mack, Atlanta, 14; Rodney Hudson, Oakland, 5; Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh, 1, Brandon Linder, Jacksonville, 1.

Defensive Players

Edge Rushers

Khalil Mack, Oakland, 46; Vic Beasley Jr., Atlanta, 30; Cameron Wake, Miami, 3; Olivier Vernon, Miami, 3; Jadeveon Clowney, Houston,m 3; Brandon Graham, Philadelphia, 3; Michael Bennett, Seattle, 2; Cameron Jordan, New Orleans, 2; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota, 2; Cliff Avril, Seattle, 2; Everon Griffen, Minnesota, 1; Joey Bosa, San Diego, 1.

Interior Linemen

Aaron Donald, St. Louis, 47; Damon Harrison, New York Giants 16; Ndamukong Suh, Miami, 12; Calais Campbell, Arizona, 7; Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay, 7; Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia, 6; Geno Atkins, Cincinnati, 5.

Linebackers

Bobby Wagner, Seattle, 48; Von Miller, Denver, 47; Sean Lee, Dallas, 41; Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo, 4; Luke Kuechly, Carolina, 2; C.J. Mosley, Baltimore, 1; Zach Brown, Buffalo, 1; Zachary Orr, Baltimore, 1; Alec Ogletree, Los Angeles, 1; Dont’a Hightower, New England, 1; Bernardick McKinney, Houston, 1; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay, 1; Whitney Mercilus, Houston, 1.

Cornerbacks

Aqib Talib, Denver, 27; Marcus Peters, Kansas City, 23; Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 17; Malcolm Butler, New England, 8; Casey Hayward, San Diego, 8; Richard Sherman, Seattle, 7; Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota, 5; Chris Harris, Jr., Denver, 4; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants, 1.

Safeties

Landon Collins, New York Giants, 47; Eric Berry, Kansas City, 31; Devin McCourty, New England, 4; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay, 4; Earl Thomas, Seattle, 3; Harrison Smith, Minnesota, 3; Reggie Nelson, Cincinnati, 2; Kam Chancellor, Seattle, 2; Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia, 1; Eric Weddle, Baltimore, 1; Quintin Demps, Houston, 1; Darian Stewart, Denver, 1.

Defensive Back

Chris Harris, Jr., Denver, 14; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie New York Giants, 6; Malcolm Butler, New England, 5; Eric Berry, Kansas City 3; Casey Hayward, San Diego, 3; Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia, 3; Patrick Peterson, Arizona, 2; Marcus Peters, Kansas City, 2; Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota, 2; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay, 2; Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 2; Aqib Talib, Denver, 1; Darius Slay, Detroit, 1; Devin McCourty,, New England, 1; Brent Grimes, Tampa Bay, 1; Richard Sherman, Seattle, 1; Eric Weddle, San Diego, 1.

Special Teams

Placekicker

Justin Tucker, Baltimore, 50.

Punter

Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles, 42; Marquette King, Oakland, 4; Pat McAfee, Indianapolis, 2; Brad Wing, New York Giants, 1; Sam Martin, Detroit, 1.

Kick Returner

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota, 41; Tyler Lockett, Seattle, 5; Tyreek Hill, Kansas City, 5.

Punt Returner

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City, 50.

Special Teamer

Matt Slater, New England, 14; Nate Ebner, New England, 12; Dwayne Harris, New York Giants, 6; Justin Bethel, Arizona, 3; James Develin, New England, 3; Michael Thomas, Miami, 3; Chase Reynolds, Los Angeles, 3; Eric Murray, Kansas City, 2; Chris Maragos, Philadelphia, 1; Eric Weems, Atlanta, 1; Josh Bellamy, Chicago, 1.

  • Thing that stood out to me that probably wouldn’t have happened without the switch to line-side specific voting: Joe Thomas missed the first or second All Pro team for just the second time in his career. The first time was his rookie year. He has, however, made the Pro Bowl every year of his career. I really wish a contender would trade for him so he could experience team success before he retires.

    • Piggybacking on Richie’s comment, yeah, it seems like Jack Conklin “stole” a 1AP from Joe Thomas because of this new rule. I don’t think I like it. Although I also don’t think most sportswriters have any clue who is actually better, Conklin or Thomas.

      • Richie

        It seems like it would be impossible for any one person to get an honest opinion of which linemen had a better season without analyzing the game film for every game.

        And even then, it can be pretty tough. In the Pit-Mia game, Miami had a chance to get back in the game at the end of the first half. They were inside Pittsburgh’s 10-yard line. James Harrison lined up across from Branden Albert. Then just before the snap, he jumped out wide across from Jarvis Landry. When the play started, Harrison rushed the passer and Albert never looked his way until it was too late. I assume this was mostly Albert’s fault.

        Would this sack have happened if Tyron Smith was playing LT?

        But is it possible that Matt Moore should have seen that and audibled a different protection, or even called a timeout? Is it possible that the play call involved a RB who was supposed to pick up the blitz, but he didn’t come on the field?

        Maybe it doesn’t matter for picking an All Pro. Maybe you just say Albert blew it and count that against him no matter what?

        Here’s the play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEXW0M5bK34

        • The thing that’s weird about this play is that it looks like Moore sees Harrison coming and starts to flee because of it, but then makes no effort to protect the ball.

          • Richie

            At a minimum, if Tannehill was in on that play, I doubt he fumbles. I’ve seen him hang onto the ball during some big hits that surprised me he was able to hold on.

  • Richie

    Isn’t a right tackle usually just a tackle who isn’t good enough to play on the left?

    Seems kind of like naming a pinch hitter or “sixth man” to those sport’s all-star teams.

    • That probably used to be true, but I think we’re moving more and more toward needing both tackles to be equally adept in pass protection. Guys like Watt and Miller are attacking from the defensive left, leaving the superior blocker to block a lesser defender. Of course, having a lockdown guy at LT can allow a shift to the RT, but I really think having the two bookends is the future.

      • Richie

        Is Watt on the defensive left purposely to exploit the weaker tackle?

        Seems like this can just be a back-and-forth thing. Teams start moving their better tackle to the right to block Watt and Miller. Then the next generation of pass rushers move back to the (defensive) right side.

        • I can’t claim to know that at all. I know Watt, specifically, lines up in many different spots, including MLB on occasion. If they can exploit matchups with him on a certain guy, I’m sure the Houston coaching staff goes for it. It makes me think of the debates I had in my head watching tape of Bruce Smith and Reggie White. White always looked like a more dominant player, but Smith attacked LTs while White attacked RTs, so maybe the gap was smaller than people give Smith credit for.

    • LightsOut85

      I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but PFF had 4 RTs in their top 10 OTs (as of week 16 per https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/5kyt1o/pff_oline_grades_for_every_team/). And half the teams actually had their RT grade higher than their LT. The median grade of LTs was less than 2 points higher than for RTs.

      • Richie

        I wonder if it’s easier to grade well at RT because most of the best pass rushers are on the other side.

    • Adam

      I think there’s an element of chain theory here. Defenses will attack the weakest link on the offensive line, regardless of which side it’s on.

  • Anders

    What I do not get is why Von Miller takes a spot from a LB and not an edge rusher

  • Richie

    Do you like having minor corrections pointed out? You have Olivier Vernon playing for Miami.