In early January, the Associated Press announced its All-Pro team. The voting process is pretty simple: 50 voters select their top players at each position, and a first-team All-Pro squad is announced. The runners-up at each position are placed on the second-team, but that leads to some very odd results. If fans, teams, and Hall of Fame voters are going to put weight on a player being considered a 2nd-team All-Pro, then the voters should actually vote for both a first and second team. Simply naming the second vote getter (or third and fourth vote getters at positions with two starters) as the second-team All-Pro(s) invites significant abuses of the system.
Let’s take a look at the detailed voting breakdown. I’ve bolded the first-team All-Pro(s) at each position, and italicized the second-team “choices.”
Peyton Manning, Denver, 50.
This one’s pretty easy.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, 48; Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, 47; Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, 1; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay, 1.
Did you hear that Eddie Lacy was a second-team All-Pro choice in 2013? That’s because one voter — presumably one in Wisconsin — decided that Lacy was better than McCoy or Charles in 2013. And that’s it. Is Lacy, or for that matter, Peterson, a more-deserving choice as a 2nd-team All-Pro than Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris, Knowshon Moreno, or DeMarco Murray? Who knows — and that’s the point. The 2nd-team All-Pro honors going to Peterson and Lacy are essentially meaningless pieces of information. All we know is that 1 voter out of 50 decided that those two were top-2 running backs in 2013. Gregg Rosenthal noted that it was a shame that Forte was passed over for 2nd-team honors, and I agree with that sentiment. But Forte wasn’t passed over in the literal sense: had the 50 voters actually selected a second-team pair of running backs, I suspect Forte would have been chosen.
It’s also worth noting that it appears as though 3 voters selected only one running back. Brilliant.
Mike Tolbert, Carolina, 31; Marcel Reece, Oakland, 8; Anthony Sherman, Kansas City, 5; Bruce Miller, San Francisco, 4; John Kuhn, Green Bay, 1.
Anyone want to offer me 49:1 odds that the AP voter who selected Kuhn also selected Lacy?
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, 49; Vernon Davis, San Francisco, 1.
Vernon Davis was a 2nd-team All-Pro in 2013 because…. 2% of all voters thought Davis was better than Jimmy Graham. Graham should have been a unanimous pick, but we all know what happened here: some voter decided that he wanted Davis to get some love, and figured he could ensure such accolades by placing Davis on the 2nd team by casting just one vote for him. I love Davis, and think he’s probably an underrated player nationally, but how can anyone give any credibility to this “accomplishment”?
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