Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Jan 2006

All-Pro: Gates Unanimous, 4 Colts, 4 Seahawks

The entire AP all-pro vote totals are fascinating. Seattle and Indianapolis had four first-team players each. Only one player, Antonio Gates, was a unanimous selection. I'm stunned that five voters didn't think Steve Smith was one of the two best wide receivers in the NFL this year. Willie Roaf is a terriffic player, but do you really deserve 11 all-pro votes when you miss half the season? The two people who voted for Larry Foote are going to be getting some angry e-mails. The people who made the following choices ought to have their votes taken away permanently:
Kicker Mike Vanderjagt
Kick returner Eddie Drummond
Defensive tackle Ted Washington
Defensive end Robert Mathis

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 09 Jan 2006

28 comments, Last at 11 Jan 2006, 11:03am by Mr Shush


by Ned Macey :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 9:22pm

Maybe you knew this MDS, but Mathis was a Peter King pick.

by Ned Macey :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 9:24pm

Sorry hadn't read the article yet to see that 3 people voted for the 3rd best defensive end on the Colts.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 9:27pm

Yeah, I like Mathis well enough as a situational pass rusher, and in this age of the salary cap, it's good to have a specialist who makes a salary slightly above the league minimum. But one of the two best defensive ends in the league? Give me a break.

by dbt (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 9:40pm

In a league with the Bears, Giants and Panthers, just to name three teams with two DEs better Mathis...

by Lou (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 9:56pm

Dr. Z was the only selector to not vote for Urlacher.

by Vash (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:14pm

Is it just me, or was Freeney not worth half that many votes?

by Show (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:15pm

I don't think Chad Johnson or Willie Anderson deserved All-Pro mention. As a Bengals fan, I think our most deserving players were Deltha O'Neal (over Bailey) and Levi Jones (maybe not to make it, but to get more consideration than Roaf who missed a lot of time).

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:28pm

Actually, Lou, Dr. Z doesn't have a vote, which is a real shame because he's the best in the business at picking all-pros. I always pick my own all-pro team before I read his because otherwise I'd be too influenced by his picks. This year I was particularly proud that he and I both picked Mike Goff, who not a single AP voter chose.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:36pm

You could include the guy who voted for La'Roi Glover on your list. I mean, I like Glover and all, but no way he had an All Pro year - that's just a lazy voter.

by Kevo (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:40pm

Who the HELL voted for David Akers?

by Pio (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:07pm

Wait, so Dr. Z can't vote for all-pro but Peter King can? It boggles the mind. And Neil Rackers should've also been unanimous, he set the field goal record and went 40 for 42 for chrissakes. what more can you realistically ask a kicker to do?

by Countertorque (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:25pm

Is there a publicly available list of the people who cast these votes? How do they get the job?

by Paytonrules (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:29pm

You could include the guy who voted for La’Roi Glover on your list. I mean, I like Glover and all, but no way he had an All Pro year - that’s just a lazy voter.

That's not true - he did. It just wasn't THIS year.

by Paytonrules (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:35pm

Blast from the past there -

Rosevelt Colvin got a vote. Remember when him, Urlacher and Warrick Holdman were the best young linebacking tandem in the league? They leave and are now JAGs (Just Another Guy) while Lance Briggs got a vote for defensive player of the year (Peter King).

May or may not be a coincidence.

by Paytonrules (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:37pm

I realize I'm spamming the board now but congrats to Nathan Vasher - getting a vote for safety even though that's not his position!

by Ned Macey :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:59pm

Well, Colvin went to the Patriots and promptly broke his hip. This is the first year he has really recovered. He led the team in sacks during the regular season including 5.5 in the last seven weeks (including one on Saturday).

I think he is just as good now as he was with the Bears. In Chicago, he inflated his sack total (for a linebacker) by rushing as a defensive end in passing situations.

by Catfish (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:59pm

Re: 11 - Well there's good kickoffs, but Rackers had those too. Not bad for a former Loser League MVP.

BTW. How did Nathan Vasher get a vote as a safety? That voter needs a good whack upside the head.

by RCH (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 12:36am

Anyone who thinks that Colvin is JAG hasn't seen him play in about 8 weeks. What doesn't get much mention is that Wilforks vast improvement over the 2nd half of the year has allowed NE to maintain the 3-4, and with Vrable moving to ILB that has gotten Colvin many more reps. He has responded big time and basically made the game winning play in the first Buffalo game.

by Bruce Dickinson (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 1:34am

How much are some of these writers following football if they give Nathan Vasher an All Pro vote at Safety. I understand that Cornerbacks are similar positions, but if you liked him enough to vote him to the All Pro team, shouldn't you know his position?

by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 1:35am

RCH: I agree with you emphatically. Colvin has become what Patriot fans expected back when he was signed. Expectations were high for the only big money free agent signing from the Patriots in recent history and now they are being met.
The improvement in Wilfork is something overlooked by people who don't watch all patriot games. The late season defensive improvement isn't just guys coming back or the schedule it is also some players just playing much better and Colvin and Wilfork top that list.

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 1:56am

Yeah, I'm VERY glad the Pats have JAG Colvin this year. His effectiveness allowed Vrabel to move inside. He took over from Willie McGinest this year as the Pats top sack guy during the regular season.

by Reno (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 2:55am

Wow, that link to the bizarre discussion thread a year ago where the Steeler fan was so insistent that Larry Foote was GARBAGE cracked me up. Fred Taylor broke 4 tackles!

At the time, that guy was just completely baffling to me, but re-reading it is high comedy.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 4:54am

Re #7: I don’t think Chad Johnson or Willie Anderson deserved All-Pro mention. As a Bengals fan, I think our most deserving players were Deltha O’Neal (over Bailey) and Levi Jones (maybe not to make it, but to get more consideration than Roaf who missed a lot of time).

Now, granted, I don't watch a whole lot of Bengals games, but when I do watch, I make a special point (as a Denver fan) to watch Deltha O'Neal. And from what I've seen, he's pretty much exactly the same player in Cincy as he is in Denver- he gambles a ton. This makes him look good in statistics, because he comes down with an above-average number of INTs, but it makes him look very very bad in a team sense, since he gets burned a TON. He was a very good fit for a Cincy defense whose only method of stopping an offense is picking them off (since he's not the only guy getting lit up like my roomate after an exam), but he's not one of the best corners in the NFL. I'd even go so far as to say that he wasn't worthy of his pro bowl trip. Neither was Ty Law, another CB with an inflated INT total that convinced people he was better than he really was. Remember, too, that his totals were boosted by a 3-int outing back in week 2 when Daunte Culpepper was giving the ball away like... well, a suitable simile escapes me, but he was giving it away a lot.

Champ, however, had a spectacular year. I was all over him last season saying he probably made the pro bowl based on reputation, but he was still one of the top few corners in the league... but this season he's certainly deserved everything that's come his way. Remember, he's played the equivalent of 4 fewer games than Deltha (2 complete games, plus the second half of 4 others), but he still has 8 INTs (without a single multi-int game, which speaks of consistancy). He's been hobbled all season and he still made them pay. It was actually pretty spectacular. After the first few weeks, I was convinced that this was going to be another shaky year and he'd make it on reputation (because it's clear his injury was taking him out of his game), but then his hamstring healed up, and his play went to another level.

Also, I feel vindicated to see Al Wilson on this list. A friend of mine is constantly arguing with me and telling me that Al Wilson isn't one of the five best MLBs in the league. I'm sure seeing Wilson on the All-Pro list will piss him off to no end.

by Show (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 5:32am


I guess I should also place the caveat that I don't see many Broncos games, and the ones I did see were early when two rookies were producing for Denver at CB. Most information I get is looking at stats and reading as much as I can about football. However, the few Denver games I did see seemed to validate what others were saying. The fact that he is a "big name" also led me to believe he made it on rep alone. While he could have had a great year, I find it hard to believe he any better than Deltha.

I too think INTs are vastly overrated. Cincy's weak corner, Tory James, illustrates this point. A Pro Bowler last year and an alternate this year, James is bolstered by solid INT numbers (8 last year and 5 this year). However, good teams like the Colts beat him like a drum. He is too slow to cover a reciever consistently.

O'Neal may have been bad in Denver, but he was great this year. There were several games this season where the other teams # 1 guy wasn't a factor (The first Pittsburgh game and the Indy game come to mind). He was the best player on the field in the Packers game, making several second half plays to secure the win for the Bengals. Also, Cincy was the best in the league at stopping the other teams # 1 according to DVOA. Denver was # 16.

by stan (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 9:14am

23, 24,

INTs are vastly overrated. I once coached a player who had been a first team major college All-American for leading the nation in INTs. A few years later, I worked with a coach who had been on that college staff. He said the guy was never even a starter. He played because of injury to the first team guy and graded out poorly every game, even after a 3 INT game on national TV.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 1:12pm


I think INTs, as a consistent skill, are very important. Some corners will catch balls that others will just defense, and there's certainly an advantage to the former.

It's more accurate to say that many people judge Corners by their highlight plays (read: INTs) and fail to note their quietly good plays (read: QB looks elsewhere). Which, basically, is true of every other position in football as well.

by ChicagoScott (not verified) :: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 6:43pm

I don't know how they choose who gets to vote for the All-Pro Team & the other awards & who does not. Most of them are beat writers in NFL cities but some cities get a vote while others do not.

For example, I know that the Indy beat writer in recent years & it has an impact. In 2003, McNair & Manning tied for MVP--the Nashville beat writer had a vote, the Indy writer did not. In 2004, the Detroit beat writer (Mike O'Hara-- I still send sarcastic remarks to him periodically) gave Vick his MVP vote while Manning got the other 49. Whether Detroit actually has an NFL team is up for debate.

Seems like Indy players got too much respect this year-- Vandy, Mathis? Not sure I'd put Freeney as the best DE & June as the 3rd best OLB either.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 11:03am

Seconded. People think the Indy defense is better than it is because 1. its continued weakness against the run is shielded by the great offense and 2. it's really good at chewing up bad offenses, but not so hot at stopping good ones.