There's no higher individual NFL honor than being named to an Associated Press first-team All-Pro squad. In the minds of the people whose job it is to watch football, each nominated player was the best in the world at his position.
Pro Bowl squads, while usually comprised of the NFL's top stars, are really more like popularity contests. Their rosters annually swell with "injury replacements," too, so reaching the status of "Pro Bowler" is relatively achievable for a quality starter with a respectable career.
Not so with All-Pros; they're picked by media only, and the honorees comprise a complete starting 22, plus specialists, period.
At Bleacher Report, we polled our NFL lead writers to nominate a preseason first-team All-Pro squad in an attempt to project which players would reach the peak of the football profession in 2013.
Now that the 2013 season's halfway over, we've done it again.
Many of the votes changed, and many stayed the same. Some stars have disappointed, some great players have emerged from nowhere and some have been exactly as great as our experts expected.
As with the AP's list, we've named two defensive tackles, two defensive ends, two outside linebackers and an inside linebacker—but that doesn't mean we're putting together an actual 4-3 starting lineup or only choosing from defensive players who line up in a 4-3. All defensive players are receiving votes based on the official position they play.
Before we get to Bleacher Report's projected roster of the NFL's best players of 2013, here are our esteemed voters: