Monday, January 14, 2008

My NFL All-Pro Team

While sitting back, watching some great NFL action this weekend, I composed my 2007 NFL All-Pro team, and that follows here. A couple of note prior to revealing the squad: first, yeah, I've got 12 guys on defense. I couldn't decide between a 3-4 and a 4-3, so I went with the ever difficult 4-4-4 defense, a defense I should probably patent. The quad defense. And certainly, if populated with the players on my list, an inpenetrable one.

Second, I'd like to briefly mention some of the guys who were the final cuts from my team. I had a tough time deciding on my tight end. Jason Witten certainly had a great year. Antonio Gates, while perhaps not as explosive as last year, was phenomenal as well. But, I couldn't keep from getting Tony Gonzalez on my list one more time, as he put together a great year.

Even with putting four defensive linemen and four linebackers on my squad, there were still some phenomenal performers left on the cutting room floor, starting with a couple rising stars in Texas, and perhaps not the Texas team you would expect. Both Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans put together strong seasons for an up-and-coming Texans defense. While Williams was probably not deserving of a spot on this team, Ryans was certainly a tough guy to leave off. Likewise in the AFC South, Kyle Vanden Bosch put together another fine season for a team that was perhaps the strongest defense in the league when healthy. However, that Titan did not make the squad (although a couple others did).

Also, a special shout-out to several Patriots who did not make my squad. First and foremost, the entire Patriot offensive line. I couldn't bear to put one of you guys on my squad to the exclusion of the other four, but suffice it to say, I think the Patriot offensive line is a perfect distillation of the entire Patriot franchise: perfect team play. While there are certainly larger-than-life personalities and performers on the Patriot squad, the franchise is based around building a team, and the Patriot offensive line is just that, five guys, working in unison with the other more celebrated players who surround them, working together as five fingers on one hand to create an environment where players like Brady, Moss, Welker and the rest can succeed. Also, Vince Wilfork just missed being included here.

Anyway, now, without further ado, here is my MK-Ultra 2007 NFL All-Pro Team:

QB Tom Brady, New England
RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
RB Ladanian Tomlinson, San Diego
WR Randy Moss, New England
WR Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
TE Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City
C Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis
G Steve Hutchinson, Minnesota
G Kris Dielman, San Diego
T Walter Jones, Seattle
T Flozell Adams, Dallas

DE DeMarcus Ware, Dallas
DE Jared Allen, Kansas City
DT Haynesworth, Tennessee
DT Kevin Williams, Minnestoa
LB Lofa Tatupu, Seattle
LB Patrick Willis, San Francisco
LB Shawne Merriman, San Diego
LB Mike Vrabel, New England
CB Antonio Cromartie, San Diego
CB Champ Bailey, Denver
S Bob Sanders, Indianapolis
S Ed Reed, Baltimore

K Rob Bironas, Tennessee
P Mike Scifres, San Diego
KR Devin Hester, Chicago

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Adrian Peterson
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Willis
Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady
Defensive Player of the Year: Albert Haynesworth

A couple notes about my selections:

Do I think Antonio Cromartie is one of the two best corners in the NFL? Not on your life, but given the year he had, he is impossible to leave off this list, and given the talent that he has, I don't doubt that he is capable of being one of the two best corners in the NFL at some point.

I put Kevin Williams here as my second defensive tackle, but that spot could just as easily have gone to his teammate Pat Williams.

I had a hard time filling that second offensive tackle position. In the end, Adams got the spot over Chris Samuels and perhaps Matt Light. Apparently Jason Peters also deserves consideration, but I only saw him play once this year, and while impressive, I just didn't feel comfortable putting him there.

I suppose DeMarcus "Every" Ware should possibly have been a linebacker, but that would have meant that I would have had to leave off Merrimann, and it just wasn't worth it to me. For what it's worth, if I had done that, Vanden Bosch would have been my next choice at defensive end. Sorry Patrick Kerney.

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