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Jon’s 2013 NFL All Pro Team (Offense)

January 8, 2014

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With the Pro Bowl balloting being a ludicrous endeavor each year, that somehow potentially became even worse with Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice drafting teams this year, I try to avoid that hoopla and turn my attention instead to the All Pro teams. This year the Cowboys were represented by Tyron Smith (2nd team) and no one else which seems pretty deserving for an 8-8 team that set many franchise records for futility this season. Below I’m posting my All Pro team and give thoughts on each selection.

QB

1st Team: Peyton Manning-In a landslide due to his cumulative stats (5,477 yards 55 TDs) yet still not my pick to win or even make it to the Super Bowl as he continues to dominate weaker competition and struggle in the biggest games. Going into this season it was clear that his 2 biggest games of the year would be at Indy (homecoming) and at New England (Brady-Manning Part 50). He lost them both and once again looked like a different player against a top level team in a pressure situation. Last year I didn’t have Manning as a Top 3 MVP candidate but this year I think he deserves the award. Too bad it will be the only trophy he’ll be hoisting above his head anytime soon.

2nd Team: Tom Brady-Nick Foles led the NFL in QB Rating, Philip Rivers put up far superior numbers across the board in his new offense and Aaron Rodgers is still the best player in the NFL but Brady gets my vote this year as he dealt with so much adversity yet ended up with a 1st round bye and the division crown like he seems to get every year. I know some people hate Brady but just think about it for a second: His #1 TE (Rob Gronkowski) from last year missed more than half the season due to varying injuries. His #2 TE (Aaron Hernandez) from last year is in jail for murder. His #1 WR (Wes Welker) from last year joined his biggest competitor in the AFC and is only their #3 WR in that loaded offense. His #2 (Brandon Lloyd) WR is retired. His LT this year looks to be out for the season due to concussions. His RT this year is out for the season and missed about half of it due to a broken leg. His #1 WR this year (Danny Amendola) continued his injury plagued ways and missed 4 games with a number of other games being bit appearances. Finally his #1 RB (Stevan Ridley) was benched most of the year due to fumbling issues. Put this set of circumstances on any other QB and the team doesn’t make the playoffs yet with Brady it’s just another +10 win season. He is getting closer and closer to being, in my mind, the greatest QB of all time.

RB

1st Team: Jamaal Charles/LeSean McCoy-Most have LeSean McCoy as the star but Charles had a less innovative scheme, worse complentary players on the outside to draw defenses away from him and an inferior offensive line to McCoy yet put up comparable numbers. Peterson is still the most talented back in the NFL but Charles is probably second and in the right offense he could put up 2,000 yards. Shady McCoy was dominant to start the season and seemed to just cruise to the rushing title. He won it before he even played his 16th game Sunday night against the Cowboys showing how easy it was for him. His quickness and vision are perfect complements to Chip Kelly’s scheme and made them a scary team to face in the 2nd half of the season.

2nd Team: Adrian Peterson/Alfred Morris-Peterson, like I said, is the most talented back in the NFL and I do sometimes wonder what he’d be like with a good QB behind him. Those are the top 3 on pretty much everyone’s list and then it gets tough as some say Forte and others say Eddie Lacy. I’m taking Alfred Morris who had abysmal play at QB this year yet once again impressed with a 1,275 yard rushing season. That gives him almost 3,000 career rushing yards after only 2 seasons yet he seems to still be searching for respect from his peers. 

WR

1st Team: Josh Gordon/Calvin Johnson-Calvin Johnson will end his career as the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game. I’m saying that to show how huge this next comment is about Josh Gordon: Josh Gordon is currently the best wide receiver in the NFL. He only played in 14 games this year (2 game suspension to start the season) yet still led the NFL in receiving by an impressive 147 yard margin over the #2 receiver in Antonio Brown. Add in the fact that he did it with Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell throwing him passes and it makes you wonder why so many analysts were against him making the official All Pro Team. Prediction: The Browns draft a QB in the 2014 NFL Draft and he has a +1,800 receiving season next year. Yes Antonio Brown had his moments but Brown can’t catch TD passes with 3 guys covering him like Megatron can. Calvin is a diffferent animal at 6’5 235 with 4.35 speed and singlehandedly makes Matthew Stafford look like a decent NFL QB. Take him away and Stafford would have been dragged out of town years ago instead of being recently signed to a 3 year $53 million extension. 

2nd Team: AJ Green/Antonio Brown-Some had Brown on the 1st team but he was the #4 guy on my list and neck and neck with Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall for even that spot. I continue to dislike Brown’s lack of size and skills in the red zone but I must admit that in the 2nd half of the season Brown put that Steelers team on his back. Green is like Calvin Johnson in that he’s the only reason his QB hasn’t been run out of town. Dalton sucks on the road and sucks against top end talent. It surprised me that they lost to the Chargers last weekend as they were 8-0 at home this season but it didn’t surprise me to see Dalton wet the bed again in a key situation as that’s what he does. The TCU standout is very Matt Cassel like in that regard and I expect him to be a backup, like Cassel, 1-2 years from now.

TE

1st Team: Jimmy Graham-The obvious choice as he led all tight ends with 1,215 receiving yards and led the NFL with 16 TDs. What’s even more amazing is that he played most of the year with a gimpy ankle that noticeably affected his speed. It didn’t prevent him from dominating though due to his NFL best hands and huge frame. He’s a future Hall of Famer who should get a record breaking free agent deal this spring by the Saints. The only question is how can they afford it as they’re already over the 2014 salary cap. 

2nd Team: Jordan Cameron-Everyone had Vernon Davis as their #2 guy and, let’s be honest, the only reason we’re having this discussion is because Gronk missed so much time this year but Cameron impressed me more than Davis, Gonzalez, Witten or Julius Thomas this year. He was #2 in receiving yards for a TE and #3 in receptions for a TE (Tony Gonzalez was #2) despite having far inferior QB play compared to the other candidates for this award. I predict a massive year for him in 2014 and yes Mike Mentemeyer I was wrong on him.

OT

1st Team: Joe Thomas/Joe Staley-We might as well call this award the Joe Thomas award as I’ve considered him 1st Team All Pro since his 2nd year in the league and don’t see any end in sight with him. He isn’t a great run blocker and, at 29, he’s about to be leaving his prime but I still doubt anyone takes his crown as the best LT in the game until 2016 at the earliest. It was a bit of a down year for the LT position as Staley had an inferior year compared to 2013, Jason Peters wasn’t fully healthy from his torn Achilles and young pup Tyron Smith had too many penalties for my preference. Staley wins by default as almost a placeholder as he had a good season on a great line and no one came and snatched his award from him.

2nd Team: Andrew Whitworth/Tyron Smith-Whitworth had a good year both at LT and LG yet impressed me even more with how he handled the team moving him inside. Their LG got injured and they knew that their backup LT (Anthony Collins) was far superior to their backup LG so they asked if team captain Whitworth would move inside. He did it without a thought and showed what real leadership is. Smith is on my shit list due to the inordinate amount of penalties he commits, especially in the red zone where I suspect he leads the league, but as a pure athlete he might be the best in the NFL. He has grown exponentially in his 3 seasons in the NFL as profootballfocus ranked him as the #40 (out of 80) offensive tackle in the NFL in 2012 but in 2013 he moved up to #5 (out of 76). Considering he just turned 23 years old, the future is bright for the young man. It’s probably a year too early for Smith as he only had a good season, not a great one, but it definitely won’t be the last and if he can just tone down his penchant for penalties he could become the 2nd best LT in the game as early as next year.

OG

1st Team: Evan Mathis/Logan Mankins-Mathis is far and away the best OG in the NFL the past 3 years per profootballfocus and it shows when I watch him. Mankins is coming off an injury plagued season but seemed to look much better and gave the Patriots the usual strength and toughness they crave from him. He was a big reason LeGarrette Blount went from cast off with the Bucs to productive tailback with the Patriots and allowed Tom Brady to step up in the pocket away from pass rushers like he’s so adept at doing.

2nd Team: Louis Vasquez/Jahri Evans-Manning’s quick release makes most guards jobs a lot easier but Vasquez looked especially adept in the Denver offense. I don’t watch a ton of guard play, more than the casual fan mind you but it is rather tedious, so I will give my 4th spot to the consistent Evans who has been one of the better guards for quite some time now. Iupati shockingly went from 1st team to off the All Pro team due to a down year but I expect him back here soon as he’s the most talented guard in the NFL by far.

C

1st Team: Ryan Kalil-The former USC star was missed terribly last year and might have finally gotten the respect he deserved when he was hurt. This season he has been the consistent blocker in an offense that has flipped running backs weekly from DeAngelo Williams to Mike Tolbert to Jonathan Stewart and then back again. He also handled the massive number of injuries to the offensive guard spots next to him that caused the team to move a DT to OG for a few games. 

2nd Team: Alex Mack-The talented former 1st rounder is finally getting his due. John Sullivan and Nick Mangold had down years in 2013 so Mack gets the honor and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a contract year for him. With the Browns new regime owning 2 first round picks and plenty of cap space the fans will be looking for change on the team but I doubt any of that will be related to the center position as they have one of the best in the league and he seems quite content to stay as part of the dog pound.

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One Comment
  1. Jeff permalink

    Jon will you be posting a defensive team?

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