Vikings 2,000-yard man Adrian Peterson and Texans pass-swatting end J.J. Watt were unanimous choices for The Associated Press All-Pro team announced Saturday.
Peterson, who came within 9 yards of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, and Watt, who led the NFL with 20 1/2 sacks, were selected by all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who cover the league.
Peterson is a three-time All-Pro, while Watt represents lots of new blood. He’s among 17 players making their All-Pro debuts.
“Obviously it’s a huge honor, especially for being such a young guy,” said Watt, a second-year pro. “It’s crazy to even think about. It’s very humbling and very motivating. It makes me want to do it again and again.”
Peyton Manning made his sixth team, the previous five while quarterbacking Indianapolis. He led Denver to the AFC’s best record, 13-3.
Also chosen for the sixth time was Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, who this season moved into second place on the career receptions list. San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis made it for the fifth time in his six pro seasons.
The 49ers had the most All-Pros, six: Willis, fellow LBs NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, guard Mike Iupati, safety Dashon Goldson and punter Andy Lee.
“As an organization, we take great pride in the success and recognition of our players,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “This type of acknowledgement only comes from hard work and a team-first mentality, which all six of these men exhibit on a daily basis. They play the game the way it was meant to be played, and are very deserving of this honor.”
Seattle was next with RB Marshawn Lynch, center Max Unger, cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas. All were selected for the first time.
Sherman was incensed when he didn’t make the Pro Bowl. He was thrilled with the news he made the All-Pro team “because that’s comparing the whole league.”
” That is taking individuals and saying they are the best in the NFL at that position and that’s what I wanted to be,” Sherman said. ” The Pro Bowl is taking three from each side, it’s more of a popularity contest. The All-Pro, you’re the best at your position. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fifth-rounder or fourth-rounder or undrafted. If you play the best, you’re All-Pro.”
Denver had three All-Pros: LB Von Miller, tackle Ryan Clady and Manning. No other team had more than two.
The NFC had 17 players and only 10 made it from the AFC.
One rookie, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, was chosen.
Also on offense were Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach, making it for the third straight year; Detroit WR Calvin Johnson and Chicago WR Brandon Marshall; Houston tackle Duane Brown; New Orleans guard Jahri Evans, making his fourth consecutive appearance; Baltimore kick returner Jacoby Jones; Miami DE Cameron Wake; Cincinnati DT Geno Atkins and New England DT Vince Wilfork; and Chicago CB Charles Tillman.