The NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison released the All-25 team, which is an All-Pro team only filled with players aged 25 and under. There were some quizzical inclusions (Dez Bryant), but this was a great list of players overall and seemed well-researched. Heck, they even used the Pro Football Focus to justify the selection of Jon Asamoah, which is always a plus in my book.
Harrison and the NFL Network had one player on the New England Patriots on their All-Pro team under 25, and that man is none other than Rob Gronkowski. As Harrison noted, this was an obvious pick. Gronk is the best tight end in the NFL today, and it goes beyond the fact that he is a ridiculously good pass-catcher (can stretch the field, get YAC, move the chains, huge red/end zone target). Gronkowski is also the best blocking tight end in the NFL, and he is like another offensive lineman out there. Whenever I read comments on Patriots sites stating that the Patriots should trade him (over what, something not even Logan Mankins deemed significant?), I just shake my head. Most Patriots fans appreciate Gronk, and that’s the way it should be.
Anyway, the only other team in the AFC East that placed a player on the All-25 team was the Miami Dolphins, and they were able to put two guys on the list. The Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks (three) were the other five teams to place multiple players on the team.
The Dolphins sent in center Mike Pouncey, who is better than his brother Maurkice of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and rising young safety Reshad Jones. I love watching Jones, and he had a tremendous 2012 season that was as good of a breakout campaign as you’ll see from a safety. He’s quickly emerging as one of the elite safeties in this game, and Jones’s selection by Harrison is one that underscores that this team he constructed is legitimate. Not many people know about Jones’s star talent in the Dolphins secondary, but here’s to hoping that the NFL Network helped raise awareness of yet another high level AFC East safety (to go with Devin McCourty, Jairus Byrd, George Wilson before he was released, and maybe even LaRon Landry if you think he’s worthy of it).
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