Every season, the All-Pro teams are hotly contested. Unlike Pro Bowl nods which can be popularity contests to some degree, the NFL All-Pro is the best of the best. With the NFL season just around the corner, let’s predict the best player at each position beginning with the offense.
Quarterback: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
The second-team NFL All-Pro in 2020, Allen suffered some expected statistical regression in 2021. His passer rating took a 15-point hit, and he had fewer passing yards and touchdowns despite the 17-game schedule. However, Allen left no doubt of his abilities after an exceptional beginning to the playoffs. He fired nine touchdowns and had a 149.0 passer rating in two playoff games. Allen will extend this run into the 2022 NFL season and become an All-Pro.
Running Back: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
After a midseason injury to Derrick Henry, Taylor coasted to the NFL All-Pro nod. He led the NFL in attempts, yards, and touchdowns. He was second in Offensive Player of the Year, and he led all players in scrimmage yards and scrimmage touchdowns. The scariest part of Taylor’s game is the offensive line in front of him. He has averaged 5.3 yards per carry through his first 564 carries, and that will likely continue into 2022. Repeating an All-Pro season is difficult, but Taylor should be able to.
Wide Receiver: Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
After opting out of the 2020 season and dealing with drops in his first preseason games, the media was souring slightly on Chase. He then lit the NFL on fire and narrowly missed the first NFL All-Pro team as a rookie. Chase hauled in 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns en route to the Offensive Rookie of the Year. In the playoffs, he tacked on 368 more yards, and he would have won the Super Bowl if the Cincinnati Bengals could block Aaron Donald. He will be the best receiver in the NFL.
Wide Receiver: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Jefferson has 3,000 yards in his first two seasons, adding 17 touchdowns. After back-to-back second-team nods, Jefferson should break through this season. He is assuming the Cooper Kupp role in Kevin O’Connell‘s offense. While he might not win the receiving triple crown as Kupp did, he should be one of the most productive receivers in the NFL. The Vikings are angling towards throwing the football more, and Jefferson will be the largest beneficiary.
Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s an even year, so Kelce is a lock to be an All-Pro. He has rattled off seven consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, and he is a three-time NFL All-Pro (2016, 2018, 2020). Kelce is the most likely tight end to surpass 1,000 yards, a mark he has comfortably cleared in six seasons in a row. He has caught at least five touchdowns in five seasons in a row as well. There is stiff competition at tight end including the reigning All-Pro Mark Andrews, but Kelce should get the job done.
FLEX: Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders
Adams has been ridiculously productive over the last two seasons, recording 2,900 yards and 29 touchdowns. He has made each of the last two NFL All-Pro teams, and he is a five-time Pro Bowler. Adams will be adjusting to a new offense, but he has already-established chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr. Adams is flanked by competent weapons, so defenses will be unable to commit as much attention to Adams as he usually has to contend with. Adams could unveil his best-ever season in 2022.
Left Tackle: Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers
Williams finally climbed the NFL All-Pro mountain in his 11th season. He has added nine Pro Bowl selections as well. Williams’ stiffest competition – the last two NFL All-Pro left tackles – are dealing with severe injuries. Williams lapped the field in 2021, and he provides an incredibly high floor because of his elite run-blocking. Williams should once again compete for an NFL All-Pro spot, and his inevitable 10th Pro Bowl would put him with Anthony Munoz (11), Willie Roaf (11), Jonathan Ogden (11), and Joe Thomas (10) as double-digit Pro Bowl tackles.
Left Guard: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns
After three consecutive second-team nods, Bitonio finally broke through in 2021. He made his fourth Pro Bowl, but he had an elite guard season. He even succeeded in the game he was forced to move out to left tackle because the Cleveland Browns were overrun with COVID. Quenton Nelson is equally capable of pulling out an NFL All-Pro season, but Bitonio should get the nod here.
Center: Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles
Kelce has made four of the last five NFL All-Pro teams. He has not missed a game since 2014, and he continues to be a force even into his mid-30s. This could be Kelce’s final season, so expect him to play at an exceedingly high level. One more strong season could push Kelce into “Hall of Fame lock” territory as well.
Right Guard: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
Martin has played eight seasons. When he plays at least 14 games, he is seven-for-seven in making the Pro Bowl. In those seasons, He has earned five NFL All-Pro nods including each of the last three seasons he played 14 games. Martin does not have the same competition as Bitonio has at left guard, but Martin is remarkably consistent as both a run blocker and a pass blocker. He is one of the top 25 or so players in the NFL, and he is one of the safer All-Pro bets.
Right Tackle: Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles
While Johnson has not played a full season since 2015, he is routinely up for right tackle accolades. Johnson was an NFL All-Pro in 2017, and he is a three-time Pro Bowler. Last season, Johnson was a second-team NFL All-Pro. Entering 2022, the Eagles project to be one of the better teams in the NFL based on their offensive line. While Ryan Ramczyk and Tristan Wirfs are dealing with many new moving pieces along their offensive lines, the Eagles are retaining all five starters from the 2021 unit. This should help Johnson nail down his second All-Pro season.
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