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Sunday NFL Thoughts: There needs to be one big change to the All Pro voting process

July 16th, 2017 at 5:14 AM
By Sports Media 101

1. The NFL decided to change how All Pro teams were constructed in 2016 with a few pretty notable differences. Voters would now pick offensive linemen by their position, so left tackles and right tackles were no longer grouped together (opening the door for New England Patriots RT Marcus Cannon to make the team). The defensive front changed from a pair of defensive tackles, defensive ends, outside linebackers, and inside linebackers (8 players) to a pair of defensive interior players and edge defenders and three off-the-ball linebackers (7 players).

On offense, the Associated Press eliminated one of the two running back spots on the All Pro team and the fullback position (that is incorrectly considered to be in decline, but makes sense to be eliminated. More in a bit.) to create a “Flex” position “to recognize the frequency of three receiver sets or the use of two tight ends.” On defense, they added an additional spot for a fifth defensive back to reflect the wide use of the nickel defense.

This meant that instead of 12 First Team All Pro players on both offense and defense, there will be an imbalanced 11 on offense and 12 on defense. We don’t make the rules here, but we can definitely improve them.

2. Shouldn’t there be a balanced number of First Team All Pro players on offense and defense? If the fifth defensive back was add to reflect the increase in the nickel, shouldn’t they change the defensive front to just six players? Or perhaps they should add back an extra player on offense either at running back or with a second flex position?

I think having a balanced number of players on both sides of the All Pro team makes logical sense, especially if the increase on defense is a reflection of a changing offense.

I’m still on board eliminating the fullback position from the All Pro team. Only one fullback in the entire NFL played more than a third of their team’s offensive snaps (then-Ravens, now-49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk) and that’s not enough of a snap count to warrant a place on the All Pro team.

3. The Associated Press also needs to reconsider how they tally the votes. The fifth defensive back role was meant to “reward defensive backs who cover slot receivers” and they did an fine job with Broncos CB Chris Harris Jr. and Giants CB

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Tags: Antonio Brown, Aqib Talib, broncos, Casey Hayward, Chris Harris Jr., David Johnson, Devin McCourty, Dolphins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eric Berry, giants, Green Bay Packers, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, J.J. Watt, James Develin, Janoris Jenkins, Jarvis Landry, Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Khalil Mack, Kyle Juszczyk, Landon Collins, Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler, Marcus Cannon, Marcus Peters, New England Patriots, Odell Beckham Jr., ravens, Richard Sherman, Travis Kelce

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