Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Jan 2010

All-Pro Team Announced

My biggest issues:

* Wes Welker at wide receiver? I know he had a bazillion catches, but he missed two games and most of a third. And even if you want to have a "possession receiver" on the team, Reggie Wayne had more first downs than Welker in 20 fewer catches. I'd have put Vincent Jackson in here, but Wayne also would have been a good choice.

* I'd also have gone with Antonio Gates over Dallas Clark. (There were no Chargers on the All-Pro team.)

* And Elvis Dumervil over Brian Cushing? Really? Dumervil does exactly one thing well -- rush the passer -- and on plays where he does not sack the quarterback he is a complete non-factor. He had 17 sacks, but ZERO tackles for loss on running plays, which has to be a record.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 14 Jan 2010

74 comments, Last at 15 Jan 2010, 10:53pm by Big Johnson


by Theo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 4:44pm

Clark is better in my opinion.

by dmb :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 4:48pm

Well, there actually was one Charger on the all-pro team, but I can understand not counting the kicker. :)

I'd argue that Witten was most deserving at TE, since he added significant value on running plays, and is only a notch below Gates and Clark as a receiver.

by Alexander :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:18pm

Well, honestly he is more of a TE/FB hybrid the way Dallas used him this season, he lined up in the FB spot on a huge % of Dallas's plays compared to the other TEs.

by Temo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:26pm

I can understand where you'd get this wrong, because they look like twins on the field, but it's John Phillips who lines up as FB on some plays. Witten occasionally lines up as a split-back, and sometimes as an H-back.

I don't mind putting a more receiving TE on the all-pro team though, as blocking value is so difficult to measure. As long they didn't someone with similar receiving value (Celek, Vernon Davis, etc.) over Witten, it's ok with me. Both Gates and Clark (if he's a TE) have FAR more receiving value than Witten (without looking it up).

by dmb :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:55pm

Just using the names brought up here...

D. Clark_______261____2____22.3%__8
A. Gates_______358____1____38.4%__2
J. Witten_______216____4____20.1%__9
B. Celek_______201____5____19.9%__10
V. Davis_______131____14___8.8%___19

If we're going purely based on receiving value, Gates was first in DYAR by a significant margin, and was surpassed in DVOA only by a player with just 41 passes. So if we're just looking at receiving tight ends, then I'd have to agree with Vince that Gates would've been the best choice. (Visanthe Shiancoe also deserves mention for being third in both DVOA and DYAR.) However, considering that Witten not only added significant value as a run blocker but also as a pass blocker, he still would've received my vote. After all, it's pretty darn impressive to see a TE accumulate over 1000 yards, most of them meaningful (high DVOA), while also staying in to block on a non-trivial number of passes. (Plus being a factor in the run game...) I know that blocking value is difficult to quantify, but Witten was in the same ballpark as Clark for receiving value, and it's pretty easy to observe the differences in blocking.

by Temo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 6:09pm

I'm not saying that I know for sure Witten doesn't deserve, I'm just saying I don't mind them choosing the guy with more measureable stats than trying to affix some value on Witten's blocking.

At least it's not nearly as bad as giving Vincent Jackson TWO votes.

by dmb :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:18pm

I certainly wouldn't protest Gates' selection, and I don't think anyone here would disagree that Jackson got a raw deal.

I'm experiencing some cognitive dissonance over the fact that I'm a Redskins fan, and I'm more adamant about praising a Cowboys' performance than an actual Cowboys fan.

by Staubach12 :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 3:51am

I would have voted for Witten as well, but I can completely see the argument for Gates. I don't get the Clark selection at all.

by Eddo :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:30am

I'm guessing it's because Clark had such a huge first half, when more people were playing closer attention, so many writers just assumed he kept up his pace.

by Pinche Borracho (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:02pm

Where's Janikowski? His 3 misses were ALL over 45 yds...

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 9:15pm

Janikowski best kickrer in league

by bubqr :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:32pm

1 vote for Asante Samuel ? Wow.

by dmb :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:41pm

Thanks to certain announcers, it wouldn't have surprised me to see Asante Samuel with 0-1 votes, and Asante Samuels with 3-5.

by Temo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:47pm

You can only vote for two CBs, and Woodson/Revis predictably monopolized a ton of the votes.

V-Jax with 2 votes was far more surprising to me.

by bubqr :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 6:30pm

dmb : great one.

Temo : You've mistaken me. Asante Samuel wasn't close to a All Pro level this year. Most of his gambles didn't pay off, he got burned deep, and was bad on run support multiple times. Leon Hall, J.Joseph, Asomugha... You had a lot of other ways to go as a voter.

V-Jax : Really underrated by national media. 2 votes is really, really surprising.

by Temo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:27pm

Oh. I was actually surprised he didn't get more, what with the pick totals and all, which is how the media used to do voting (hint: Aeneas Williams? Good player, not great. He was Asante Samuel before Samuel was in the league).

I guess the media really has grown up the past few years... then again, with the amount of slobbering Revis got this year, it'd have been hard to miss him, pick totals and all.

by Doug Farrar :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 9:45pm

There were probably many more for "Asante Samuels", and they were all disqualified.

by langsty :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 11:06am

That's one more than he deserved. Brown's clearly a superior player.

by billsfan :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 5:54pm

I am shocked that the All-Pro voters think Peyton Manning is 36 and 1/2 times better than Phillip Rivers.

Seriously, though, isn't it time to ditch the FB or RB2 for a WR3?

(I also like the Eagles)

by Eddo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:24pm

They're not. You only get one vote per position. If all 50 voters think Manning is 0.01% better than Rivers, then all 50 voters will vote for him over Rivers. The end result is that you would be saying, "I am shocked that the All-Pro voters think Peyton Manning is infinity times better than Philip Rivers", when in reality, they think he's 1.0001 times better.

by billsfan :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 9:22am

The "Seriously, though" meant that the previous statement was, in fact, not meant seriously. Recall the Phillip Rivers Troll from the MVP discussion.

(I also like the Eagles)

by Eddo :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:30am

Sorry. My joke/sarcasm detector was way off yesterday.

by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:53pm

if the mvp voters and the all pro voters are the same people, then for quarterback (since they got all the mvp votes) the votes should break down exactly the same way. Why did rivers votes go down from 2 to 1? Why no votes for Favre? Where are they punching the votes? Florida?

by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 10:29pm

I think dumping the FB spot for a third WR would be a good idea.

by CWS (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 6:08pm

I haven't seen much of the Vikings, but I remember reading somewhere that Hutchinson didn't have a great year. Do people who watched a lot of the Vikings think he was a deserving pick this year?

by langsty :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 11:08am

Hutch was fine, it's the rest of the Vikings line that's pretty atrocious (excepting perhaps Loadholdt). McKinnie turned in an awful season, Sullivan and Herrera were merely bad.

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 6:20pm

Peyton got 39.5 MVP and 36.5 All-Pro votes. Do the same people vote in both awards, are there really 3 people that say he’s MVP but not all-pro QB?

Shenanigans on Peyton's MVP award, should have gone to Chris Johnson.

by Arkaein :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 6:30pm

I really wish they would split up the positions by sides a bit more.

Both OLBs are right side 3-4 pass rush specialists, and both DEs are also right side pass rushers. No left side power DEs, no OLBs who play the strong side or play coverage against passes.

I believe that all of the tackles are left tackles as well, as if you could just stick a left tackle on the right side and have him play great over there. There are different techniques involved on both sides.

Also, there really should be two inside backers on the team, since about as many teams run a 3-4 as a 4-3 nowadays. It adds an extra slot to the defense, but that seems fair as long as the offense gets two running backs.

EDIT: maybe there are two inside backers? Ray Lewsi is not bolded in the full roster, but the writeup says he made it alongside Patrick Willis.

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:05pm


The All Pro team should have a left and right tackle, a left and right end, a left and right backer, etc. Ray Lewis plays left hand inside in theory, although in Baltimore's defense it's not a strict positional arrangement the way it would be for a team like Indy.

Also, Woodson as DPOY and All Pro is a travesty. He's decent, but he's nowhere close to the best player on defense.

by JIPanick :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 10:13pm

This is what the All-Pro team would look like if the all-pros were the top LT and top RT in vote getting, rather than top two T's. Applied to all positions.

QB - Peyton Manning (IND)
RB - Chris Johnson (TEN)
FB - Leonard Weaver (PHI)
FL - Andre Johnson (HOU)
SE - DeSean Jackson (PHI)
TE - Dallas Clark (IND)
LT - Ryan Clady (DEN)
LG - Steve Hutchinson (MIN)
C - Nick Mangold (NYJ)
RG - Jahri Evans (NO)
RT - Jon Stinchcomb (NO)
RE - Jared Allen (MIN)
DT - Jay Ratliff (DAL)
DT - Kevin Williams (MIN)
LE - Robert Mathis (IND)
RLB - Elivs Dumervil (DEN)
LLB - Brian Cushing (HOU)
MLB - Patrick Willis (SF)
RCB - Leon Hall (CIN)
LCB - Darrelle Revis (NYJ)*
FS - Darren Sharper (NO)
SS - Adrian Wilson (ARI)
K - Nate Kaeding (SD)
P - Shane Lechler (OAK)
R - Joshua Cribbs (CLE)

*I used my own discretion to break a tie with Charles Woodson (GB)

I think that naming a 12-on-12 all pro team is stupid in an 11-on-11 sport, so I dropped the spare RB (Adrian Peterson) and consolidated the defense to 4-3 (Chosen over 3-4 because Williams had more votes than Ray Lewis).

by Eddo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 10:30pm

I don't mind the 12 defensive positions, but I don't think I'd give two inside linebackers, considering the skillset for a 4-3 MLB isn't that different than for a 3-4 ILB. I might, however, replace it with an extra outside linebacker, as there's a big difference between a 3-4 OLB and a 4-3 one.

As for the offense, it's purely ridiculous that two running backs get put on the team. Why not two tight ends too? Or three receivers? It makes about as much sense, really.

Also, neither Wayne nor Fitzgerald plays split end? I didn't realize that. I thought both didn't really have a "true" receiver position, and sometimes lined up off the line, other times on it.

by JIPanick :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 11:10pm

"Also, neither Wayne nor Fitzgerald plays split end? I didn't realize that. I thought both didn't really have a "true" receiver position, and sometimes lined up off the line, other times on it."

I think you are right, I just thought I would be thorough in breaking wide recievers down by side since I had done it at every other position. I looked up who was SE vs. FL via the NFL.com depth charts, which was quick and easy but probably not super accurate.

by Eddo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 11:40pm

I hope I didn't come across as snarky; I meant it as an honest question.

I'm also wondering about Andre Johnson, now. Is he a true flanker?

I also think wide receiver is one position where you don't need to split by skillset. I mean, you don't want two burners or two slot-only guys, but with Johnson, Fitzgerald, and Wayne being so versatile, having two of those three seems adequate, if not ideal.

by JoeHova :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 1:05am

Wrong. Woodson was easily one of the 2 best CBs this year (and he's much better than Revis (or any other CB) in run support). He's far more than decent. You must still be thinking about how he looked in his last couple years in Oakland. To call him "decent" is appalling.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 9:03am

I don't really agree with too much of the "split positions further" sentiment when it comes to all-star teams. The best left tackles would play right tackle better than any actual RT: the reason they're left tackles is because left tackle is a more important/valuable/high leverage position. You really think Jake Long wouldn't do a better job at right tackle than Whitworth, or whoever? Similarly at end, most 4-3 teams do play one guy who's primarily a pass-rusher and one who's a more balanced player, but it's far from ubiquitously the case. Pass-rushers are worth more, cost more, and if a team had two (Colts, recent Giant teams) it would happily play them. The best wide receivers will probably all be listed as flanker, but will line up at split end and in the slot frequently - that distinction is almost completely spurious in the modern game. The fact that a guy who really is primarily a slot receiver got in is a travesty - I wouldn't want any of the asshats who voted for Welker over Jackson, Wayne, Fitzgerald et al running my team. The linebacker issue is really complicated - I grant that it doesn't make much sense for Lance Briggs and Elvis Dumervil to be competing for the same spot. The fairest solution, if you wanted your team to look like something that could sensibly take the field (and I don't particularly see why it should have to), would be to have the All Pro defense run a Rex Ryan style hybrid (and let's face it, who else would you want co-ordinating your All Pro defense anyway?). 1 nose tackle, 1 other interior lineman of any description (any 3-4 DL or 4-3 DT), 1 defensive end (any), 1 pass-rusher (4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB), 3 conventional linebackers (any 4-3 linebacker or 3-4 ILB), 2 corners and 2 safeties (making no distinction between strong and free as the best guys could play either). And just can the second running back. It's ludicrous.

by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 6:31pm

Well maybe everyone is right when they say there was no bias in favor of peyton manning. The only bias here is against the chargers. Could they possibly have been screwed more than this? Gates just put up the highest dyar season ever for a tight end and looked damn near unstoppable. He is by far the best tight end in the league. V-Jax 2 votes is kinda shocking but not as disastrous as Gates' snub. Besides Gates and Kaeding, the whole chargers team received 5 total votes.

Rivers 1
V-jax 2
Mcneil 1
S. Phillips 1

Its turning into a joke. This is just sad how ridiculous the bias is getting. I am practically in tears from all the crying lately.

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:12pm

Cry more then.

Gates should have gotten the nod, I agree, but Rivers wasn't even in the top 5 this year (Favre/Manning/Brees/Brady/Rodgers), and while Jackson is probably every bit as deserving as Welker, choosing him over Fitzgerald and Wayne would be just silly.

And a defensive player? The Chargers defense was awful this year. Awful! And their line was so terrible in run support that it's hard to imagine a lineman being honored.

by Eddo :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:26pm


I'm sick of Big Johnson's crying, too, but you're just as wrong.

Rivers is pretty clearly a top-three QB this year, along with Manning and Brees. Personally, I'd have him #2, ever-so-slightly below Manning.

Secondly, Fitzgerald isn't even on the team alongside Welker; Andre Johnson is. And I don't think anyone has a problem with Johnson being the top receiver on this team.

Welker's pretty clearly below Jackson, as well as Wayne. Fitzgerald, too, probably.

by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:27pm

wasnt in the top 5? eesh. this is why charger players get no love. he was the most efficient quarterback this year, and by a pretty large margin. and Gates shouldnt have just gotten the nod. His voting should have been extremely close to unanimous.

by DaveRichters :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 8:43pm

and Gates shouldnt have just gotten the nod. His voting should have been extremely close to unanimous.

I think TE is a very difficult position to judge. I would assume some voters would prefer blocking skills and others receiving skills, so I doubt a player who does not excel at both would get almost all the votes.

by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 8:53pm

yeah i agree that it is very difficult to judge but based on the pro football prospectus 2008 (maybe it was 2007) Clark lines up so often as a wide receiver that he was classified as such. Since Gates was a better receiver this year than Clark who lines up exclusively at receiver, one can only assume Gates is doing a lot more blocking. Based on where the votes went (clark, Gates, Vernon Davis) it seems pretty safe to say they voted based on receiving totals alone.

by Trogg Palin (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:57pm

When did the definition of 'bias' officially become 'having an opinion that doesn't coincide with mine'?
I'll grant you that the Chargers have, so far, had a very good season, but really who on the team can one argue is the 'most' deserving? Or, more to the point, is clearly better than the player who was named. Rivers? God, no. Gates, well, the argument is there. Vincent Jackson? No. Anybody else?
It's all meaningless, anyway, except for the player's contractual bonus stips.

by Still Alive (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 12:08am

When FOX News entered the cultural mainstream and started using it that way constantly?

by nat :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:33am

I thinks it's against FO rules to criticize a political party's advertising like that.

by Sophandros :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 11:49am


Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 6:34pm

And almost *all* of Dumervills sacks are coveragesacks! I would love to see some numbers on that. I would guess 8-10 of them!

And I say this as a Broncos fan!

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 8:26pm

I would guess that most pass rushers get a similar proportion of their sacks as coverage sacks. I'd REALLY like to see some numbers on that!

by Fan in Exile :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 9:01pm

With as bad as our d-line was I'm just happy he was getting any sacks at all. That also goes for the comment about none of his tackles being for a loss. His numbers adjusted for how bad his own d-line was are pretty good. Although I don't think I'd make the argument that he was all-pro.

by tunesmith :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 12:04am

On the other hand, he had more than a handful of pressure-situation drive-ending game-changing sacks. Those are as good as interceptions. And then forcing fumbles that get recovered. Those are better than interceptions. Say there are 8-9 of them. Those are all-pro numbers for defensive backs.

by Eddo :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 12:26am

But you're not comparing Dumervil to defensive backs, you're comparing him to outside linebackers. How many drive-killing tackles for a loss did Cushing, for example, have? How many turnovers caused?

I don't know if Dumervil is the right choice or not; he very well may be. But estimating numbers and then saying they'd be good for a defensive back is not the way to make his case.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 9:11am

Cushing had 5 sacks, 4 interceptions (two of which I think ended potential go-ahead/tying drives inside the two minute warning and iced games), 2 fumbles forced, 10 passes defensed and God knows how many drive killing run stops.

Also, sacks, even drive-ending sacks, are not worth as much as interceptions because interceptions also give you field position. Strip sacks are also probably not worth as much as interceptions, because the offense will sometimes recover.

I wouldn't have put Cushing on the All Pro team (though I did vote for him for the Pro Bowl). But I think there's a pretty strong case to be made that he was more deserving than Dumervil (not that Dumervil wasn't extremely valuable).

by TimK :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:21pm

Surprised, and kind of alarmed, to see Dumervil there as a Bronco's fan. I wonder if this might push his impending salary demands into ridiculous areas. Ryan Clady also seemed to play better last year : although how much of that was better support from inside I'm not sure.

Also, as a Broncos fan, let me support the opinion that the Chargers got snubbed badly.

by Kibbles :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 8:02pm

Clady probably didn't deserve the 1st team AP All Pro this year (although I don't know, I didn't see anybody this year who just dominated like I've seen in years past), but he definitely deserved it last year, so as a Broncos fan I just consider this the AP's way of correcting a past wrong.

by JasonTaylorEatsBrady (not verified) :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 7:43pm

Ryan Clady was a beast last year, but in no way deserved to get the most votes at OT. The guy gave up 8 sacks this year!


by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/14/2010 - 9:28pm

Freguson, D Stewrat, j Thomas all better Left Ts than Clady. Weird voting this year.
The vogers Votefd for Dumerivl. Writers probably pounded too many beers during ghames (too drunk to see straight) and then with voting at end of year only looekd at stats and saw Dumervil 1st in sack and said he's the best. But that is wrong. More doesn't always equal best.

Also wrong is Janikowski not the kicker. He probably have more long field goals than anyone. Didn't look at stats but just from watching football you know he best

by Staubach12 :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 3:45am

What about Sidney Rice? #1 in DYAR?

by Staubach12 :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 3:49am

Johnson and Welker were 1 and 2 in terms of receiving yards. It appears that most of the voters simply looked at the receiving yards--what a joke!

by billsfan :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 9:42am

And that's with Welker only playing 13 1/2 games, in which he came in second all-time for receptions in a single season. I don't get the Welker hate. He compiled absurd statistics over the past three seasons, and, based on post-season awards, has been criminally underrated. Also #3 in DYAR, for whatever that's worth.

Maybe I'm just biased, since I'm a 5'9" white guy.

(I also like the Eagles)

by Nathan :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 11:48am

The Welker votes probably have more to do with "grit" and "heart" than receiving yards.

Personally, I don't really disagree with placing value on intangibles. Anyone who watches the way Welker plays and take the shots he does compared to a receiver like Ted Ginn (totally different skill set, I'm aware) who would lead the league in TDs if the sidelines were endzones has to recognize that, while "heart" is a pretty vague term, the willingness to lower your head and get blasted for a few extra yards does have quantifiable football value. Welker reminds me of Steve Smith (CAR) in a lot of those ways... you have to factor his ferocity into his value. A receiver taking a shot and fighting for a 1st down can really galvanize a crowd and turn the momentum of a game.

by tuluse :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 1:15pm

intangibles are fine, but you don't really need them to see the difference in value between Welker and Ted Ginn Jr. Ted Ginn Jr is below replacement level.

The top ten receivers in YAR (which is what voting should be based on, what actually happened) in order are:

I'm surprised how well Rice and Austin come out.

Can you make a convincing argument for Welker to move ahead of any of the receivers who did better than him statistically?

by Nathan :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 1:36pm

If I had to, I'd probably argue the same two you ID'ed... Rice and Austin. Austin is the tougher of the two, he had a really good year especially considering he only started 9 games and was opposite a pretty much worthless Roy Williams. Rice I like too but I think he benefitted a lot by having a full compliment of weapons around him deflecting attention. AP brings a safety into the box, Shiancoe is a monster in the red zone, Berrian clears it out deep. I think Rice's season had a lot to do with how balanced an offense the Vikings have this year. Welker WAS New England's offense at times this year.

I think a lot of the confusion has to do with the fact that the Pats #2 WR has a skillset you'd generally see in a #3 WR... he's just SO good at it that you can't justify keeping him off the field. So he's being asked to do different stuff than a #2 usually does and it results in different numbers. Or maybe I'm just talking out of my ass to justify picking such a plucky little guy over a bunch of bona-fide #1s.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:06pm

Gotta say, I think FO's individual receiving stats are near-as-damnit worthless. They're more confusing than raw yardage, because they're harder to adjust mentally for context. If I were to rely on one stat as the only definitive indicator of receiver performance (which clearly would be retarded) it would be yards per game (with some minimum games played qualification). That said, I really, really don't buy the arguments in favour of Welker. He's not one of the ten best receivers in the NFL, never mind the best two.

by justinf (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 6:45am

In the same course of logic they should have a 1 technique DT/NT and a 3 Technique DT Since they're also totally different positions.

by Theo :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 7:28am

The UFL MVP Brooks Bollinger is not mentioned in the All Pro team? Shocking.

by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 8:43am

Good point. It's All PRO, not All NFL. CFL players are also curiously absent from this list.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:24am

Ok, let's go by position.

QB: Peyton Manning

Great season for quarterbacks, and I wouldn't have complained too hard if they had picked Brees or Rivers, I think the voters got this one right.

RB: Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson

It's hard to argue with Johnson's numbers, but I honestly think in a lot of ways Jackson's performance on that terrible team was even more impressive, and if I were to pick only one RB it would actually be him. Peterson was good this season, but not as dominant as in years past, especially when one factors in opponents actually having to respect the past. I don't think he was a good choice.

FB: Lousaka Polite

God knows, frankly. Polite looked very good whenever I saw the Dolphins, which wasn't that often. Looking at the players receiving votes the "running FB" bias seems alive and well.

WR: Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson

There are any number of players (Wayne being the one I most nearly went with) who I would have been happy to see alongside Johnson. Wes Welker is not one of them. I'm not saying he's not a good player, but I am saying the proportion of his production that he is personally responsible for, and that other cheap-ish players couldn't easily replicate, is nothing like as large as the voters seem to think. Awful selection.

TE: Antonio Gates

Really tough call between Gates and Witten, as discussed above. Dallas Clark is a very poor choice, not because his season wasn't good, but because it very clearly wasn't the best.

T: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jake Long

There was no tackle who I thought had a great season, but these two both seemed to play very well. I have a tough time buying PFF's Joe Thomas love, given the Browns' offensive performance both overall and on runs to his side, but I admit I didn't watch the Browns a whole lot (why would you?) Willie Colon was much improved this season, but the idea he should be getting All Pro votes is ludicrous. I also have precisely no idea what the voters who backed Oher were thinking, unless it was some oblique and ill-conceived attempt to get into Sandra Bullock's pants.

G: Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs

I was pleasantly surprised that they picked Evans, but Hutchinson is a lazy lifetime achievement selection. He may well heal up over the summer and dominate in 2010, but his 2009 play in no way merited this.

C: Nick Mangold

Not particularly close, in my opinion. They got this one right. How 'bout that 2006 first round for the Jets?

DE: Jared Allen, Trent Cole

Freeney was spectacularly effective rushing the passer when he was on the field, but he played roughly 60% as many snaps as the above-named. Randy Starks had a nice enough season, but whoever picked him is just trying to be different for the hell of it.

DT: Haloti Ngata, Jay Ratliff

It's bizarre: everyone knows Ngata's a complete beast, but he never seems to win any sort of post-season honours. This year, he really should have. Pat Williams was not a good pick by whoever that was.

OLB: Lamarr Woodley, DeMarcus Ware

Given that this team is supposed to honour the best performances of the last season, not line up and play games, it bothers me not in the slightest that I'm picking two guys whose primary job is to rush the passer. I don't think any 4-3 OLB had a season as good as either man, and I say that as a Texans fan who could not love Brian Cushing much more or the Cowboys much less.

ILB: Patrick Willis, David Harris

Lewis over Harris is a travesty.

CB: Darrelle Revis, Charles Woodson

Not a tough one, really. The Samuel vote, as noted above, is ludicrous.

S: Ed Reed, Nick Collins

I didn't think Wilson had one of his better seasons, and Sharper is a classic stats-over-play selection. Poor job by the voters.

K: Sebastian Janikowski

RJ's dead right about this: Janikowski's had his best year as a pro by far. It's not his fault the Raiders can't cover.

P: Ben Graham

Too many touchbacks and not enough inside the 20 for the very good but over-rated Lechler. Scifres has been the best punter of the decade, but this wasn't his best year.

KR: Josh Cribbs

Cribbs for the win.

by bubqr :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 11:34am

Very, very good list IMO. I agree on every single position (can't comment on punters, haven't watched closely enough).

by Nathan :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 12:05pm

It's hard to argue with Johnson's numbers

It's not just hard, it's impossible. The guy set the all-time record for yards from scrimmage and was only the sixth person ever to break 2,000 yds rushing... what more does he have to do to be the #1 RB in the league in your mind?

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 3:42pm

It's not all about numbers. Johnson's a spectacular big play threat, but he doesn't gain his yardage that consistently - too many stuffs for my liking. He also benefits from a very good run-blocking line and, for the second half of the season, a running quarterback (research strongly suggests that quarterbacks who are themselves running threats open things up for their RB's). He still had a great year, but to my mind not quite as impressive as Jackson's ability to rush for over 1400 yards at 4.4 ypc on what was otherwise a spectacularly awful offensive unit. It should go down as one of the best individual seasons that no-one will ever remember. In summation, I think it's easier for a running back to look great on a fairly good team than to look very good on an indescribably awful team.

by Nathan :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:01pm

I agree with you that Jackson had a great year considering how incredibly bad the team around him was... I only watched 5-6 Titans games but I didn't see Johnson getting stuffed a ton... FO's stats seem to back this up, he and Jackson have exactly the same success rate, 45%.

by tuluse :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:17pm

According to offensive line stats both teams were stuffed 22%, Ten is ranked 28th and STL is ranked 25th

by Phil Osopher :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 12:45pm

Browns have been a travesty for years now, but Joe Thomas and Cribbers are great selections.

Once the Browns dumped st. Clair from RT and put Pork Chop back in they ran all over teams and with a passing game a high school coach would laugh at and an RB that gets no love from his coaches, even when they change fat suits.

I think JT did have an all-pro year. You have to remember he is blocking for Jamal "runs the 40 in 5.5" Lewis for most of the year and DA "Worst QB in the league" and Brady "Suxor" Quinn. Give the guy a break.

Cribbs is great. I am so happy he is getting national recognition as the Browns suck and no one watches them, but us losers in C-Town.

Welker seems to be a "We can't have this guy in the HOF, unless we give him some AP awards now"---Fitzy and Wayne are elite and welker is a great posession WR, but those other guys are out of this world great. V-Jax will get his next year if he continues. This is his pub year, and next year his national media year. If the Chargers start hot and finish cold, better for Pro-Bowl and AP votes. Sad but true.

Gates over all other TE's. He had an unreal year.

Guards are hard to call without really looking at the tape. Centers-Mangold is a good call. I look for Mack being in the mix in the next couple of years. He really came on at the end of the year. I am counting his draft as a win in my column. The Sanchize for a billion dollars or some scraps and Mack for juist over 1M. I'll take Mack and scraps everytime.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:15pm

Interesting to hear you say that about Thomas. I certainly think he's a very good player, so maybe he really was playing lights out on a team that just had so little other offensive talent it made next to no difference. Like I say, my actual watching of the Browns this year was extremely limited, and I wasn't particularly focussing on line play when I did see them.

by huston720 :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 5:00pm

As a Browns fan I can assure you Thomas definitely deserved All-Pro and probably had the best year of any tackle with Jake Long a close second. On the offensive line page you can see the Browns were 4th on runs to left end, and 15th in adjusted sack rate. Also their adjusted line yards were better than their running back yards. Basically Jamaal Lewis couldn't break any long runs despite there being holes, and as soon as the better backs were exploiting those same holes there was a big difference. Also Thomas is amazing in pass protection, most teams simply give up against him. He had 3 sacks, and on two of them the qb essentially ran into Thomas' man.