Wednesday, November 16, 2011
November 9th, 2011
By Khaled Elsayed
You’ve seen the rest, now it’s time to see the best. Yes if there’s one thing we back ourselves on it’s our player performance evaluation – if we didn’t then why would any one of us be bothering to show up for work?
So we’ve given others a day or two to get out their mid season All Pro teams, and now they’ve whet your appetite it’s time for the main course. The Official Pro Football Focus Mid Season All Pro Team.
While others have their favorites, and some just follow conventional wisdom, we’re not following our gut, but rather working on what we’ve analyzed by watching every play of the 2011 season in excruciatingly joyful detail.
We endorse these guys, and you should to.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers (GB)
A controversial selection? Not so far this year. Rodgers has been head and shoulders above the competition with as close to flawless a display you’re likely to see from a quarterback. Put it this way, if you exclude spikes, throwaways and dropped passes Rodgers is completing 81.3% of his passes. Surreal.
Second Team: Tom Brady (NE)
Running Backs: Fred Jackson (Buf)
Jackson was a unanimous choice which is hardly surprising since he’s the most elusive back in the league. The second team choice was rather harder, with Adrian Peterson narrowly beating out both Matt Forte and Lesean McCoy. They can both feel hard done by given the levels of their performance.
Second Team: Adrian Peterson (Min)
Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson (Det), Steve Smith (Car), and Wes Welker (NE)
How could you not pick Calvin Johnson? He’s so good nobody seems to have noticed how ‘meh’ Matthew Stafford has been. He truly is a quarterbacks best friend, although Wes Welker runs him close. Nobody knows how to get open like that man, and while he would narrowly beat out the resurgent Steve Smith in a two receiver set, we’ve gone all new age and decided to run a three receiver base look.
Second Team: Mike Wallace (Pit), Greg Jennings (GB) and Dwayne Bowe (KC)
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski (NE)
Gronkowski garnered three first team votes, with my arguments being that Jimmy Graham is so dominant as a receiver he has to be first team ignored. I can understand why given Gronkowski is a big time red zone threat and one heck of a blocker.
Second Team: Jimmy Graham (NO)
Offensive Tackles: Michael Roos (Ten) and Eric Winston (Hou)
Are the days of dominant tackle play behind us? Far too early to tell I’m told but with eight games gone it is consistency that is key with both Roos and Winston extremely reliable players. Winston however, better watch out for Bryan Bulaga. His sophomore year is balancing out his horrid rookie year with some superb run blocking.
Second Team: Joe Thomas (Cle) and Bryan Bulaga (GB)
Offensive Guards: Andy Levitre (Buf) and Marshal Yanda (Bal)
The biggest threat to Levitre’s status as 2011’s top guard may be Buffalo being forced to use him at left tackle. The less time he spends there, the more time the competition have to catch up on him. Yanda and Sitton are just that bit better than a strong group of right guards, led by Brian Waters and Jahri Evans.
Second Team: Evan Mathis (Phi) and Josh Sitton (GB)
Center: Chris Myers (Hou)
If you take one thing from this All Pro team it should be that Chris Myers is currently the best center in all of football. Maybe a healthy Mangold can catch him, but Myers has been so dominant this one may already be in the bag.
Second Team: Scott Wells (GB)