My 2022 NFL All-Pro First and Second Teams

The NFL has changed the process for All-Pro voting this year, giving players a say in who earns the honors for the first time ever. I, on the other hand, do not have a vote, but that isn’t going to stop me from putting out into the universe who I believe should be the members of the All-Pro teams this year. I even included the special teamers because that’s how dedicated I am to this. It’s fun to go through and try to determine who was the best at each position. There are plenty of big names, of course, but also some surprising inclusions from some players who had great seasons. I’ll explain each selection, both first and second team, briefly but won’t bore you with tons of stats and numbers. Hopefully, you agree with my assessments but, if not, feel free to politely tell me that you disagree with me and what you believe instead.


First Team: Patrick Mahomes

Second Team: Josh Allen

Mahomes is a clear choice for the first team. He’s most likely going to win the MVP and rightfully so considering he led the league in both passing yards and touchdowns. He also did that with the worst wide receiver group of any of the top quarterbacks (not including a particular target that will be mentioned later), which makes what he’s done even more impressive. Allen was the MVP frontrunner for a large portion of the season and while he won’t win the award, he still had an incredible season. There were some strong contenders for this spot, most notably Joe Burrow, but Allen’s combination of passing and rushing (42 total touchdowns) gives him the edge. Plus he pulls off several plays a week that makes your jaw drop to the floor, which also helps his case.

Running Backs

First Team: Josh Jacobs, Austin Ekeler

Second Team: Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb

Jacobs ran with a lot of spite after getting his fifth-year option declined by the Raiders. He had by far the best season of his career and led the league in rushing yards while doing so. He was also toward the top of the leaderboard in rushing touchdowns so his inclusion here was a no-brainer. Ekeler may seem like an odd choice considering that he didn’t reach 1,000 rushing yards but he still managed to rush for 13 touchdowns while also finishing tied for fifth in receptions. He is a bonafide elite offensive weapon and deserves to be recognized as such. Henry was great once again coming off a major injury, finishing second to Jacobs in rushing yards. Chubb finished third in yards but was one of the most efficient runners in the league, averaging five yards per carry.

Wide Receiver

First Team: Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, A.J. Brown

Second Team: Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, CeeDee Lamb

Jefferson had a dominant season and broke several records while he was at it. Leading the league in receptions and receiving yards is an easy way to earn one of these spots. Not to mention he did it with Kirk Cousins throwing him the ball. Hill was one of the major reasons the Dolphins’ offense transformed into what it was this year. He also finished second in yards despite catching passes from three different quarterbacks this year, one of which was Skylar Thompson. Brown finally got the chance to prove he can be an elite ball-winner and deep threat, scoring 11 touchdowns and finishing thirds in yards per reception as he helped turned the Eagles into the most dominant team in the NFC. The second team is full of three players who are worthy of being on the first team; the wide receiver position is so deep. Diggs has been one of the best receivers since joining Buffalo, Adams led the league in touchdowns with 14 in his first season in Las Vegas, and CeeDee Lamb excelled in his first opportunity as the number-one receiver in Dallas.

Tight End

First Team: Travis Kelce

Second Team: George Kittle

Kelce is the best tight end in the league, and has been for a while, and shows no signs of relinquishing that title. He had more responsibility this year without Hill to take the top of the defense and Kelce welcomed the challenge. Not only did he lead all tight ends in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, but he finished third, eighth, and second, respectively, in those categories overall. This was one of the most remarkable tight ends seasons of all time and there is a case that Kelce is deserving of Offensive Player of the Year as well. There is definitely a drop-off after Kelce but Kittle is no slouch. He still recorded 11 touchdowns, which is tied for fifth in the league overall, and was especially productive toward the end of the season. Kittle is also an integral part of the 49ers’ running game and takes pride in his status as one of the best blocking tight ends in the game.


First Team: Trent Williams, Lane Johnson

Second Team: Andrew Thomas, Penei Sewell

Williams, despite his 34 years of age, is still undoubtedly the best tackle in the game. He provided a crucial bit of stability for a 49ers’ offensive line without any other stars and an offense that had three starting quarterbacks. It also helped that he allowed just one sack, having one of the best seasons of his stellar career. Johnson has held the title of best right tackle in the league for a while and will likely hold that title for longer. He didn’t give up a single sack in nearly 1,000 snaps and was a huge part of the Eagles having arguably the best offensive line in the league. Thomas broke out last year as a legitimate left tackle and has evolved into one of the best tackles in the game, period. He gave up three sacks and was called for just two penalties and was a huge reason why the Giants were able to shock everyone this year. Sewell had a Thomas-like breakout in his second season, finally showing the skills that made him such a highly-touted prospect. The Lions’ line was one of the best in the league and Sewell was the best player on that line, allowing just two sacks.


First Team: Joel Bitonio, Chris Lindstrom

Second Team: Zack Martin, Joe Thuney

Bitonio has been a stalwart of the Browns’ offensive line and the league in general. The Browns once again were dominant on the ground, thanks in large part to Bitonio being one of the best interior linemen in the sport. Lindstrom has skyrocketed up the rankings of best guards in the league and has rightfully earned an All-Pro nod. He was the best player on the Falcons (although that isn’t necessarily the highest bar), who were incredibly effective at running the ball. Martin is deserving of a spot on one of these teams every year. He didn’t allow a single sack and was very important on a Cowboys’ offensive line that experienced a lot of injuries and turmoil this year. Thuney also deservedly earns a spot for protecting the most valuable player in the league. He gave up just one sack and was a big contributor to the best offense in the league.


First Team: Jason Kelce

Second Team: Creed Humphrey

Kelce’s athleticism and leadership are extremely unique for the position. And even though he is 35 years old, there is still no one better at manning the middle of the line. He was the leader of the best offensive line in the league and deserves this honor for the work he put in all year. Humphrey is similar to Thuney in that he did his job well enough to allow the Chiefs to succeed. He’s been a superstar in the middle for Kansas City since day one and will probably be on plenty of these lists over the course of his career if he keeps playing at this level.


First Team: Nick Bosa, Micah Parsons

Second Team: Matthew Judon, Maxx Crosby

Boas’s inclusion as a first-teamer is obvious. He led the league in sacks and pressures and was the best player on the best defense in the league. He is likely going to be named Defensive Player of the Year, and no one should have a problem with that. Parsons is an interesting case because he plays pretty much all over the field. He’ll probably make the actual All-Pro team as a linebacker, which is what happened last year, but I put him at edge because his main job seems to be getting to the quarterback. Parsons is one of the most disruptive defensive players we’ve seen in a while and is clearly deserving of being a first-team All-Pro. Judon was the catalyst for a fantastic Patriots defense. He finished fourth in pressures while also tying for fourth in sacks. His good play was even more important for his team considering the fact that the offense struggled for much of the year. Crosby has broken out in recent years, going from a fourth-round pick to a superstar defensive end. His sacks numbers might not be as high as some others, although he still finished tied for eighth, but he recorded the second-most pressures and led the league in tackles for loss, demonstrating that he makes a massive impact on the game.

Defensive Tackle

First Team: Chris Jones, Quinnen Williams

Second Team: Dexter Lawrence, Jeffery Simmons

Jones doesn’t get nearly enough credit because he was one of the best defensive players in the entire league this year. He finished tied for fourth in the league in sacks, racking up three-and-a-half more than any other defensive tackle. He also held together a Chiefs’ defense that performed pretty well despite lacking fellow superstars. Williams has emerged as one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league after a slow start to his career. His play was probably the number one reason that the Jets’ defense was one of the best in the league. He finished second among defensive tackles in sacks and did so without another star pass-rusher to draw attention. Lawrence was downright dominant for the resurgent Giants this year. Previously thought to be more of a run-stuffer, which he was still great at this year, Lawrence expanded his game into getting after the quarterback, ranking in the top 10 in pressures. Simmons doesn’t necessarily have the counting stats that some of his other defensive tackles do but he is definitely an elite player. He held down the middle of the line on a stout Titans defense while making enough plays to earn this honor.


First Team: Fred Warner, Roquan Smith

Second Team: Foyesade Oluokun, Nick Bolton

Warner and Smith are undoubtedly the best two off-ball linebackers in the league. Warner is arguably as important as Bosa to the 49ers’ defense. He plays coverage better than just about any backer in the sport, tying for second in passes defensed at the position. The San Francisco defense doesn’t excel without Warner in the middle, which is why he is worthy of being an All-Pro. Smith might have an easier case because his impact was much more obvious. The Ravens acquired Smith from the Bears at midseason and their defense was much better with him in it. The Ravens had one of the best defenses in the league over the second half of the year, largely due to the presence of Smith. He also finished third in tackles and added three interceptions and four-and-a-half sacks in case you want the stats to back it up. Oluokun led the league in total tackles for the second straight year but also racked up the most solo tackles this year, by 20. The Jaguars’ defense was much improved this year and he was arguably the biggest reason for that. Bolton had a breakout year in the middle of the Kansas City defense. He finished second in both combined and solo tackles while having the lowest missed tackle rate of anybody in the top seven.


First Team: Sauce Gardner, James Bradberry

Second Team: Tariq Woolen, Jaire Alexander

Despite being a rookie, Gardner still was one of the best corners in the league. He led the sport in passes defensed and still managed to grab two interceptions despite teams largely avoiding him in coverage. It’s unusual for a rookie to be this good in his first season but Gardner has made it clear that he is far from an average player. Bradberry doesn’t get a ton of love on a very good Eagles defense but he deserves it. He made life hard on opposing quarterbacks, ranking third in completion percentage allowed and second in quarterback rating when targeted. The Eagles don’t have as elite of a defense without Bradberry playing dominant coverage on the outside. In most years, Woolen would be the standout rookie at his position, but being second to Gardner isn’t too bad. Woolen tied for the league lead with six interceptions while also allowing the lowest quarterback rating when targeted. His elite length and speed make him one of the best in the league at making plays on the ball. Alexander played a huge role in the Packers’ defensive resurgence down the stretch that almost got them into the playoffs. He is an elite man-to-man cover corner that also excels at taking away the ball, with five interceptions.


First Team: Kevin Byard, Justin Simmons

Second Team: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James

Byard, like most of the Tennessee defenders, is underrated by most people. He plays over-the-top defense better than nearly anyone in the game and has elite ball skills, grabbing four interceptions. But he can also come down into the box and make plays, recording 108 tackles. It doesn’t get much better when it comes to an all-around safety than Byard. Simmons is another player that makes plays all over the field. He tied for the league lead in interceptions in only 12 games. Throwing toward him was not a great idea, as he gave up just 9.2 yards per completion. Fitzpatrick has been a stud ever since making his way to Pittsburgh. He also tied for the league lead in interceptions, even returning one back for a touchdown. It doesn’t get much better than Fitzpatrick when it comes to playing center field over the top. James is a different mold than these other safeties as he is more of a strong safety. He is one of the most versatile defensive players in the league and it shows with his impact all over the box score. He racked up 115 tackles despite missing three games and also added two interceptions and four sacks. The Chargers’ defense wasn’t necessarily elite but James’ play was.


First Team: Daniel Carlson

Second Team: Jason Myers

Carlson had the most makes over 50 yards in the league, by two, and if you take out his misses from that distance he also would have led the league in field goal percentage. Myers and Carlson both finished second in field goals made, with Myers also chipping in six makes from over 50 yards.


First Team: Ryan Stonehouse

Second Team: Johnny Hekker

Stonehouse came out of nowhere to lead the league in punting average while also downing 30 punts inside the 20. Hekker had the most punts downed inside the 20 with 39, doing so nearly half of the time, 48.1 percent.

Kick Returner

First Team: Keisean Nixon

Second Team: Kene Nwangwu

Nixon’s most notable play was his kick return touchdown against the Vikings in week 18. He also managed to lead the league in kick return yards while averaging 28.8 yards per return. Nwangwu also brought a kick back to the house and had the second-most return yards with a 26.3 average.

Punt Returner

First Team: Marcus Jones

Second Team: DeAndre Carter

Jones was a dynamic player for the Patriots this year, most notably as a punt returner where he was one of three players to score a touchdown, and it was a game-winner no less. He also led the league in punt return yards and yards per return. There was no obvious candidate for the second-team spot here but Carter finished second to Jones in yards per return so he seems deserving.