Bleacher Report's 2013 NFL All-Pro Team

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IDecember 31, 2013

Bleacher Report's 2013 NFL All-Pro Team

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Forget the Pro Bowl—the All-Pro team is the real honor in the NFL

    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.

    At the midway point in the season, the lead writers were polled again

    As with the Associated Press list, we've named two defensive tackles, two defensive ends, two outside linebackers and an inside linebacker—however, we aren't necessarily fielding a 3-4 or 4-3 team. 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:

    Matt Bowen—National Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Mike Freeman—National Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Ty Schalter—National Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Michael Schottey—National Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Matt Miller—National Lead NFL Draft Writer (Twitter)

    Erik Frenz—AFC East Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Andrea Hangst—AFC North Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Chris Hansen—AFC West Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Brad Gagnon—NFC East Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Zach Kruse—NFC North Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Knox Bardeen—NFC South Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

    Tyson Langland—NFC West Lead NFL Writer (Twitter)

Quarterback

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selection: Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)—11 votes

    Let's see, Peyton Manning set the regular-season touchdown and passing-yard record in the same year, and the Denver Broncos went 13-3 and captured the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. 

    Yeah, seems like the sheriff deserved this All-Pro distinction. 

    Tom Brady wasn't the Tom Brady we've grown accustomed to, but he did have an above-average season with a relatively uninspiring pass-catching contingent.

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Tom Brady (New England Patriots)—one vote

Running Back

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selections: LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles)—12 votes, Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs—11 votes

    LeSean McCoy let everyone know he won the rushing title by donning a WWE-style heavyweight championship belt during his postgame interview after the NFC East-clinching win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17. 

    He not only led the league with 1,607 yards on the ground, but he also finished with the most yards from scrimmage with 2,146

    Not far behind McCoy was Jamaal Charles, who totaled 1,980 yards from scrimmage, which equated to 36.6 percent of the Kansas City Chiefs' entire offensive production. 

    Matt Forte also had a fine year, finishing third with 1,933 yards from scrimmage. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he led all running backs with 940 offensive snaps played in 2013. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Matt Forte (Chicago Bears)—one vote

Fullback/H-Back

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    Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

    The Voters' Selection: Mike Tolbert (Carolina Panthers)—11 votes

    Mike Tolbert's the shiftiest "hefty" runner in the NFL today. He racked up 361 yards and five rushing touchdowns on 101 carries in 2013, and caught 27 passes for 184 yards with two more scores. 

    While he's much more of an H-back than a traditional fullback—he rarely lead-blocks—Tolbert is an integral role player for the Carolina Panthers. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Anthony Sherman (Kansas City Chiefs)—one vote

Tight End

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selection: Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)—12 votes

    The no-brainer of no-brainers here; Jimmy Graham was easily the best tight end in the NFL this season.

    He led the league with 16 touchdown catches, and his 1,215 yards were the most of all tight ends by a wide margin. 

    In fact, Graham was one of only 13 pass-catchers to haul in more than 85 passes in 2013. 

    Consensus City. 

     

Wide Receiver

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selections: Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)—12 votes, Brandon Marshall (Chicago Bears)—six votes 

    Calvin Johnson's team severely disappointed in 2013, but the monstrous wideout didn't. He finished with 1,492 yards, and only three receivers finished with a higher yards-per-catch average than Megatron's 17.8, the highest figure of his NFL career. 

    Although breakout high-pointer Alshon Jeffery stole some of the limelight from Brandon Marshall in Chicago this season, the established veteran caught 100 passes for 1,295 and snagged 12 touchdowns. 

    Josh Gordon became the first Cleveland Browns player to lead the league in receiving yards (1,646), and he missed two games. 

    And we can't forget A.J. Green, one of the most complete wideouts in football, who finished the year with over 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns)—three votes

    A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals)—three votes

Offensive Tackle

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selections: Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns)—12 votes, Joe Staley (San Francisco 49ers)—nine votes

    Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded Joe Thomas as the No. 2 offensive tackle in 2013, and Joe Staley as the No. 6 offensive tackle. 

    The two combined to allow only six sacks on 1,222 plays, per PFF

    Trent Williams and Jordan Gross were the No. 1- and No. 3-rated tackles, respectively. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Jordan Gross (Carolina Panthers)—two votes

    Trent Williams (Washington Redskins)—one vote

Interior Offensive Line

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selections: Evan Mathis (Philadelphia Eagles)—12 votes, Larry Warford (Detroit Lions)—five votes, Alex Mack (Cleveland Browns)—10 votes, Manny Ramirez (Denver Broncos)—four votes, Mike Pouncey (Miami Dolphins)—four votes

    Evan Mathis paved plenty of massive holes for LeSean McCoy in 2013—he received Pro Football Focus' (subscription required) highest grade (+40.7) among all offensive guards.

    Larry Warford was one of two rookies to make the All-Pro team, and after the dominant season he had in Detroit with the Lions, the distinction is warranted. 

    At center, Alex Mack was the runaway vote-getter, while Manny Ramirez and Mike Pouncey edged out Dominic Raiola, who had a career year at age 34. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Louis Vazquez (Denver Broncos)—three votes

    Dominic Raiola (Detroit Lions)—three votes

    David DeCastro (Pittsburgh Steelers)—two votes

    Chris Myers (Houston Texans)—two votes

    Andy Levitre (Tennessee Titans)—one vote

    Josh Sitton (Green Bay Packers)—one vote

Defensive Tackle

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selections: Ndamukong Suh (Detroit Lions)—nine votes, Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)—eight votes 

    The Detroit Lions' defensive front was ferocious from September through December, and Ndamukong Suh led the way alongside Nick Fairley. 

    According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the only defensive tackle who accumulated more quarterback pressures (sacks, hits or hurries) than Suh was the other All-Pro selection, Gerald McCoy. 

    Two other young, disruptive interior frontmen, Jurrell Casey and Marcell Dareus, had tremendous yet relatively underrated seasons.

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Jurrell Casey (Tennessee Titans)—six votes

    Marcell Dareus (Buffalo Bills)—one vote

Defensive End

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    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    The Voters' Selections: J.J. Watt (Houston Texans)—12 votes, Robert Quinn (St. Louis Rams)—12 votes

    According to Pro Football Focus' numbers, J.J. Watt actually had a better year in 2013 than he did in 2012, based on his overall grade.

    Bad things, man. Bad things.

    Though he recorded only 11 sacks, he racked up a ridiculous 84 quarterback pressures, which was the second-most in the league behind only Robert Quinn.

    The St. Louis Rams edge-rusher was an absolute menace for Jeff Fisher's team this year, as he racked up 19 sacks with seven forced fumbles.

     

Outside Linebacker

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    Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

    The Voters' Selections: Robert Mathis (Indianapolis Colts)—10 votes, Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)—seven votes

    This year, the best 3-4 outside linebacker and the best 4-3 outside linebacker got the All-Pro nods. At 32, Robert Mathis led the NFL with 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles—the latter being his specialty. 

    At the weak-side linebacker position in Tampa Bay's 4-3 alignment, second-year pro Lavonte David was a downright stud in every facet of the game. 

    His plus-15.1 Pro Football Focus (subscription required) coverage grade was the best among 4-3 outside linebackers, and his plus-26.9 overall grade was second only to Von Miller, a defender who plays more of a pure pass-rushing position.

    Had Justin Houston not gotten hurt, he may have earned the All-Pro honor. Thomas Davis, who's dealt with multiple serious injuries in his career, was a fine complement to Luke Kuechly in the Carolina Panthers' linebacking corps.  

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Justin Houston (Kansas City Chiefs)—three votes

    Thomas Davis (Carolina Panthers)—three votes

    Elvis Dumervil (Baltimore Ravens)—one vote

Inside Linebacker

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    Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

    The Voters' Selections: NaVorro Bowman (San Francisco 49ers)—10 votes, Luke Kuechly (Carolina Panthers)—eight votes

    Has NaVorro Bowman surpassed Patrick Willis as the best linebacker on the 49ers? It would appear so. The former Penn State LB—who's certainly keeping the Linebacker U moniker alive and well—was Pro Football Focus' (subscription required) No. 1-rated inside linebacker this season, and rightfully so. 

    Along with his high tackle count, he tallied career highs with five sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions. 

    Kuechly was the do-it-all middle linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, a team that made a considerable stride on the defensive side of the ball in 2013. 

    He was actually credited with fewer tackles as a sophomore than he was as a rookie, but he hauled in four interceptions and had two sacks. 

    Veterans Derrick Johnson and Karlos Dansby had impactful seasons at 31 and 32, respectively. Both were ranked in the top five of PFF's inside linebacker rankings. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Derrick Johnson (Kansas City Chiefs)—three votes

    Karlos Dansby (Arizona Cardinals)—two votes

    Patrick Willis (San Francisco 49ers)—one vote

Cornerback

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    Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

    The Voters' Selections: Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks)—12 votes, Alterraun Verner (Tennessee Titans)—seven votes

    Another consensus pick, Richard Sherman cemented himself as the NFL's most dynamic playmaking cornerback in 2013. 

    Although Darrelle Revis was PFF's highest-rated cornerback—among CBs who played at least 500 snaps—no one allowed a lower passer rating than Sherman's 51.5.

    He also reeled in a league-high eight interceptions and scored two touchdowns. 

    Breakout star Alterraun Verner snagged five picks for the Tennessee Titans and allowed the seventh-lowest catch percentage of 49.4, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required)

    Brent Grimes, a guy playing on a one-year contract, was fantastic for the Miami Dolphins this year. He surrendered a QB rating of only 66.3 and had four interceptions. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Darrelle Revis (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)—three votes

    Brent Grimes (Miami Dolphins)—two votes

Safety

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selections: Eric Berry (Kansas City Chiefs)—nine votes, Earl Thomas (Seattle Seahawks)—eight votes

    Eric Berry and Earl Thomas, the first two safeties taken in the 2010 draft, had remarkably well-rounded seasons in 2013 for their respective teams. 

    Berry had 74 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Thomas was credited with 105 tackles, two forced fumbles and five picks. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Devin McCourty (New England Patriots)—seven votes

Specialists

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Voters' Selections: Pat McAfee (Indianapolis Colts P)—six votes, Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens K)—10 votes, Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota Vikings KR)—12 votes, Dexter McCluster (Kansas City Chiefs PR)—seven votes

    Pat McAfee finished the season 11th in average net yards and made a few linebacker-esque tackles on returns. 

    Justin Tucker was an impressive 6-of-7 on field goals from 50-plus yards and tied Stephen Gostkowski with 38 makes on 41 attempts. 

    Cordarrelle Patterson didn't make a huge impact in the receiving game until late in the season, but he ran back two kickoffs for scores and led the league with a 32.4 return average. 

    Dexter McCluster was the only other returner to score twice on special teams, and his 686 punt-return yards led the league. 

     

    Others Receiving Votes

    Brandon Fields (Miami Dolphins P)—three votes

    Johnny Hekker (St. Louis Rams P)—three votes

    Tavon Austin (St. Louis Rams PR)—three votes

    Stephen Hauschka (Seattle Seahawks K)—one vote

    Matt Prater (Denver Broncos K)—one vote 

    Dwayne Harris (Dallas Cowboys PR)—one vote

    Golden Tate (Seattle Seahawks PR)—one vote