I’m trying to calm myself down by saying that the All-Pro and Pro Bowl votes don’t matter, but the sad fact is that they do. When people look to make a case for or against a player for the Hall of Fame or want to look a player in retrospect, then they take a look at the accolades that player won. Specifically, they look at Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections. The problem is that we can’t really take those measures seriously anymore, because even the All-Pro vote is as ridiculous as the Pro Bowl vote. It’s still based on reputation.
I remember Carl Nicks had his breakout season a couple of years ago, but he was snubbed in favor of teammate Jahri Evans. Now, the New Orleans Saints left guard (Nicks) was one of the highest graded players per PFF, while Evans was overrated on the right side. He was voted in due to the reputation he earned after an amazing season during the Saints Super Bowl winning year, but he was actually mediocre the year after. Nicks would finally get his due by the general public in his final year with New Orleans.
One thing that bugs me about the All-Pro vote is that there is no discrepancy between left and right tackles or left and right guards, because there is a significant difference between playing on the opposite side of the line. An offensive lineman actually said this year that it is easier to switch from tackle to guard on the same side of the line than it is to switch sides of the line (guard to guard, tackle to tackle).
The reason why I am bringing up this as a point to complain about is because it specifically relates to Sebastian Vollmer being snubbed from the All-Pro team. Despite being the best right tackle in the NFL this year (per PFF and analyst and former OL Ross Tucker) with dominant pass and run blocking, Vollmer was not named to either the first or second All-Pro team. Why? Because four left tackles made the list.
Hey, funny thing. Jahri Evans made the All-Pro team this year as a first team selection, and I am once again confounded as to why. At least Logan Mankins secured a spot on the second team. I can’t say the same for Devin McCourty, though, because he just missed the cut. Earl Thomas was voted a starter over Jairus Byrd and Eric Weddle, and the most stupefying selection in the secondary is the fact that Dashon Goldson was named a starter. Is there a more overrated safety in the game? Goldson is good, but he has too many lapses in coverage. D-Mac had a 10.2 QB Rating against this season, what more do you want?
Vince Wilfork was the only Patriots player named to the first team, and it’s ridiculous how a 12-4, elite team can only have one first team selection.
Tom Brady didn’t make it? Oh well, I hope Brady shoves it in their faces by winning another ring. I’m being too homer-ish here. Rodgers did finish with the highest QB Rating, and he also has a terrible offensive line blocking for him.
You know what? I’m dirting on the wrong guy. I should be focusing on my attention on Peyton Manning, especially since I hold less of an allegiance to him than Rodgers and Brady. Manning had it the easiest of three quarterbacks with the best line of them and the least amount of injuries around them. Rodgers should be on the first team since he had it the hardest with a poor line and injured receivers, while Brady is on the second team for almost never throwing a pick and for dealing with plenty of injuries and inconsistency from his receivers and O-line. You can’t blame the line because they did great this year, but there were a few games (San Francisco, first Miami game, Arizona, and Jacksonville) in which they were banged up and disappointed.
Rob Gronkowski may have been injured, but that’s a terrible reason for selecting Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten over him. I guess the voters don’t realize that blocking is half of the tight end’s job, and nobody blocks or catches as well as Gronk. I trust PFF much more than these voters, and they had him as a first-team choice. I can see how Welker would be left off especially since slot receivers carry less weight for these awards, but Gronk’s absence from the second team being confounding. Gonzo and Witten had great pure receiving numbers, but you can’t ignore Gronk’s blocking and his far superior yards per target average.
Stevan Ridley did not receive a single vote.
I always hate it when people call London Fletcher underrated, because he’s actually become a little bit overrated. It’s like the opposite of Jerod Mayo, whom Fletcher beat out for a spot on the second All-Pro team. I can live with it, but I would still (like PFF) select Mayo. He definitely deserved it with the best year of his career due to an all-around improvement in his game.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.