The people over at Pro Football Focus announced their final 2016 All-Pro Team and the first thing we need to talk about is their apparent love affair for Khalil Mack (+93.9) who ever so slightly seems to edge Von Miller (+91.1) out in their grading system every year.
Miller, instead, was a second team all-pro on this list to both Mack and Brandon Graham. I guess we’ll have to accept that. And we’ll get to see how Mack plays when it really matters, since the Oakland Raiders finally made the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
There were another Denver Broncos player who managed to notch an honorable mention and that was center Matt Paradis (+90.7). Though he finished with the top grade at center, he was snubbed for two other centers instead.
Now that the annoying part is out of the way, here are the two first team all-pros on their list. First up, Aqib Talib.
First team: Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos, 91.3 (tied No. 2); and Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots, 90.8 (tied No. 5)
Second team: Casey Hayward, San Diego Chargers, 88.9 (No. 7); and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 88.3 (No. 8)
Aqib Talib didn’t allow a touchdown all season for Denver, surrendering just 351 receiving yards and giving up a passer rating of only 49.5 when targeted. He also played the run well and was a true shutdown force for much of the season. New England’s Malcolm Butler gave up more than Talib did, but also broke up a dozen passes and had four picks to his name while maintaining close coverage all year. On the second team, Casey Hayward stepped into a bigger role that became even bigger when the Chargers lost their No. 1 CB (Jason Verrett) to injury, and responded by leading the league in interceptions. Janoris Jenkins put together the best season of his career in New York after a big-money move in free agency.
Honorable mention: Brent Grimes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 90.8 (tied No. 5); and A.J. Bouye, Houston Texans, 90.9 (No. 4)
If you are wondering where Chris Harris Jr. is, I had the same thought. I was about to go ballistic on Twitter, when I noticed they added a special position for the "extra" defensive back.
First team: Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos, 92.9 (No. 1 CB)
Second team: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants, 91.3 (tied No. 2 CB)
The All-Pro’s new "defensive back" designation allows us to recognize an extra defensive back to better reflect the changing nature of personnel throughout the league. That said, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. has once again been as good as anybody for the Broncos. Harris led all corners in defensive stops, with 28, and was beaten for just 8.9 yards per reception all season. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie saw time in the slot this season for the Giants, and ended the year with six interceptions, including three over the final two games against division opponents.
Honorable mention: William Gay, Pittsburgh Steelers, 85.4 (No. 10 CB)
Okay, so I can live with that. The Broncos No Fly Zone was clearly the best individual unit in the entire NFL in 2016 and having both Talib and Harris as the #1 guy at their respective positions makes me happy.
On with the daily news!
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