Three rookies among 17 first-time selections highlight The Associated Press 2016 NFL All-Pro Team, led by Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott and Kansas City's Tyreek Hill, a unanimous choice as punt returner.
For the first time, the nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the NFL voted for specific positions on the offensive line, a flex player on offense, a fifth defensive back, and a punt returner and special teamer.
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Tennessee right tackle Jack Conklin is the other rookie. Other newcomers include Arizona running back David Johnson (flex); Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (DB); and New England's Matthew Slater (special teamer).
One other unanimous pick is Baltimore placekicker Justin Tucker.
It's the first time since 1981 that so many first-year players made the team. Back then, it was future Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Ronnie Lott, and 1980 Heisman-winning running back George Rogers.
With only seven repeaters from last season's squad, the All-Pro Team has a decidedly new flavor not only in alignment, but makeup. Not surprisingly, the Cowboys have the most players selected with five: Elliott, the league's leading rusher; linebacker Sean Lee; and offensive linemen Tyron Smith (left tackle), Travis Frederick (center) and Zack Martin (right guard).
"It's special," Elliott said. "Just to be able to come into this league my first year and dominate and just play at the level I'm playing, and just kind of get these honors already as a rookie, it means a lot. I was never even All-American in college. I was never a first-team All-American. I'll never get a Buckeye tree at Ohio State. That's the one thing that I regret the most."
"Kind of seeing it come into the league and making All-Pro this rookie year, it definitely means a lot."
Ryan, the league's top passer (117.1 rating, 38 touchdowns, 7 interceptions), is one of three Falcons, joined by edge rusher Vic Beasley Jr., the NFL's sacks leader with 15 1/2, and wide receiver Julio Jones.
"There are so many things that don't show up on the stat sheet,'' Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of Ryan. "How many people he's affected on our team. He's a fantastic teammate. That's one of the highest praises you can give to a ballplayer."
Jones and Steelers wideout Antonio Brown are repeaters from 2015, along with Berry, edge rusher Khalil Mack of Oakland, interior lineman Aaron Donald of Los Angeles, linebacker Von Miller of Denver, and punter Johnny Hekker of the Rams. Also having previously made an All-Pro team: Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner (2014) and Minnesota kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson (2013).
First-timers along with the three rookies are Ryan, Johnson, Kelce, Beasley, Lee, Slater, Harris, Peters, Martin, Frederick, Oakland left guard Kelechi Osemele, Denver cornerback Aqib Talib, and Giants safety Landon Collins and interior lineman Damon Harrison.
Three players make the first team for the third time: Miller, Brown and Berry.
In all, 14 teams are represented.
Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Atlanta
Running Back: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas
Flex: David Johnson, Arizona
Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City
Left Tackle : Tyron Smith, Dallas
Right Tackle: Jack Conklin, Tennessee
Left Guard: Kelechi Osemele, Oakland
Right Guard: Zack Martin, Dallas
Center: Travis Frederick, Dallas
Defensive Back: Chris Harris Jr., Denver
Placekicker: Justin Tucker, Baltimore
Punter: Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles
Kick Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota
Punt Returner: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City
Special Teamer: Matthew Slater, New England
Quarterback: Tom Brady, New England
Running Back: David Johnson, Arizona
Flex: Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh
Tight End: Greg Olsen, Carolina
Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay
Left Guard: Marshal Yanda, Baltimore
Right Guard: David DeCastro, Pittsburgh
Center: Alex Mack, Atlanta
Linebackers: Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo; Luke Kuechly, Carolina; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay, C.J. Mosley, Baltimore, Zach Brown, Buffalo, Zachary Orr, Baltimore, Alec Ogletree, Los Angeles, Dont'a Hightower, New England, Whitney Mercilus, Houston, and Benardrick McKinney, Houston
Defensive Back: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants
Punter: Marquette King, Oakland
Kick Returner: Tyler Lockett, Seattle
Punt Returner: None.
Special Teamer: Nate Ebner, New England
Balloting among a national panel of 50 voters
David Johnson, Arizona, 24; Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh, 18; Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, 3; Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, 1; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, 1; LeSean McCoy, Buffalo, 1; Jarvis Landry, Miami, 1; Travis Kelce, Kansas City, 1.
Tyron Smith, Dallas, 27; David Bakhtiari, Green Bay, 8; Joe Thomas, Cleveland, 7; Trent Williams, Washington, 3; Jason Peters, Philadelphia, 2; Taylor Lewan, Tennessee, 1; Donald Penn, Oakland, 1; Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati, 1.
Jack Conklin, Tennessee, 27 1-2; Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City, 6; Marcus Cannon, New England, 6; Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay, 5 1-2; Zach Strief, New Orleans, 2; Ryan Schraeder, Atlanta, 2; Marcus Gilbert, Pittsburgh, 1; Left Guards Kelechi Osemele, Oakland, 47; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 2; James Carpenter, New York Jets, 1. Right Guard Zack Martin, Dallas, 40; David DeCastro, Pittsburgh, 5; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 4; Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati, 1.
Khalil Mack, Oakland, 46; Vic Beasley Jr., Atlanta, 30; Cameron Wake, Miami, 3; Olivier Vernon, Miami, 3; Jadeveon Clowney, Houston,m 3; Brandon Graham, Philadelphia, 3; Michael Bennett, Seattle, 2; Cameron Jordan, New Orleans, 2; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota, 2; Cliff Avril, Seattle, 2; Everon Griffen, Minnesota, 1; Joey Bosa, San Diego, 1.
Aaron Donald, St. Louis, 47; Damon Harrison, New York Giants 16; Ndamukong Suh, Miami, 12; Calais Campbell, Arizona, 7; Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay, 7; Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia, 6; Geno Atkins, Cincinnati, 5.
Bobby Wagner, Seattle, 48; Von Miller, Denver, 47; Sean Lee, Dallas, 41; Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo, 4; Luke Kuechly, Carolina, 2; C.J. Mosley, Baltimore, 1; Zach Brown, Buffalo, 1; Zachary Orr, Baltimore, 1; Alec Ogletree, Los Angeles, 1; Dont'a Hightower, New England, 1; Bernardick McKinney, Houston, 1; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay, 1; Whitney Mercilus, Houston, 1.
Aqib Talib, Denver, 27; Marcus Peters, Kansas City, 23; Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 17; Malcolm Butler, New England, 8; Casey Hayward, San Diego, 8; Richard Sherman, Seattle, 7; Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota, 5; Chris Harris Jr., Denver, 4; Dominique-Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants, 1.
Landon Collins, New York Giants, 47; Eric Berry, Kansas City, 31; Devin McCourty, New England, 4; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay, 4; Earl Thomas, Seattle, 3; Harrison Smith, Minnesota, 3; Reggie Nelson, Cincinnati, 2; Kam Chancellor, Seattle, 2; Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia, 1; Eric Weddle, Baltimore, 1; Quintin Demps, Houston, 1; Darian Stewart, Denver, 1.
Chris Harris Jr., Denver, 14; Dominique-Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants, 6; Malcolm Butler, New England, 5; Eric Berry, Kansas City, 3; Casey Hayward, San Diego, 3; Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia, 3; Patrick Peterson, Arizona, 2; Marcus Peters, Kansas City, 2; Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota, 2; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay, 2; Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 2; Aqib Talib, Denver, 1; Darius Slay, Detroit, 1; Devin McCourty, New England, 1; Brent Grimes, Tampa Bay, 1; Richard Sherman, Seattle, 1.
Justin Tucker, Baltimore, 50.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City, 50.
Matthew Slater, New England, 14; Nate Ebner, New England, 12; Dwayne Harris, New York Giants, 6; Justin Bethel, Arizona, 3; Matt Develin, New England, 3; Michael Thomas, Miami, 3; Chase Reynolds, Los Angeles, 3; Eric Murray, Kansas City, 2; Chris Maragos, Philadelphia, 1; Eric Weems, Atlanta, 1; Josh Bellamy, Chicago, 1.
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.