For years, being a Pro Bowler has often been overrated. That’s because a voting process that involves fans can easily turn the NFL’s all-star game into a popularity contest. Too many rubber stamps exist, which is why All-Pro honors have always been given more weight.
The All-Pro teams are selected by 50 members of the media in a balloting process conducted by the Associated Press, which has usually given the process more legitimacy.
But when you look at the All-Pro lineups released by the AP Friday, you begin to wonder…
* Maurkice Pouncey had a solid year, but was he the best center in the game? Probably not. He took five penalties and five players at that position received higher grades from Pro Football Focus. Travis Frederick of the Cowboys gave up way less pressure and was a far better run-blocker, yet Pouncey received 21 votes while Frederick got only 14.
* The only reason Von Miller isn’t on the team is because he’s an outside linebacker in a 4-3, not a 3-4. Nobody in their right mind could look at Miller and Elvis Dumervil this season and deem Dumervil to be the better player, but Dumervil had 13 votes as a situational pass-rusher, while Miller had just 11. The difference might have been that Dumervil had three more sacks, which is stupid.
* Vontae Davis received just two votes at cornerback despite being completely dominant against No. 1 receivers all season long. He crushed Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman in all of the key advanced categories, but those two strolled with a combined 83 votes. Bigger names in bigger markets and on better teams.
* In addition to that, Evan Mathis received a pair of first-team votes at guard despite missing nearly half the season, and Kam Chancellor was named an All-Pro safety despite struggling much of the year.
It just seems as though a lot of these voters were lazy, which is a shame when you consider how much stock we put into All-Pro nominations.
We should either rethink the All-Pro voting process or reconsider giving All-Pros as much credit as we currently do.