Dynamic defensive star Aaron Donald and unstoppable tight end Travis Kelce are unanimous choices Friday for The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team.
Donald and Kelce swept the votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. It is the sixth All-Pro selection for Donald, who has helped the Los Angeles Rams to the top-ranked defense in the NFL, and the third for Kansas City’s record-setting Kelce.
“I think the best display of greatness is making people around you better,” Rams coach Sean McVay says of Donald. “And that’s exactly what he does, by the way he influences them every single week.”
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes lauded Kelce for the way he approaches his job.
“He works his tail off every single day and he’s practicing every single day and he’s making sure he’s prepared for these moments,” Mahomes says. “For a guy to have that much talent, work that hard and be able to learn really every single day like that, that’s what makes him so special on the field.”
Joining Donald and Kelce are 15 players returning to the squad, and 14 newcomers. Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner also makes his sixth squad.
“The marvelous durability that he’s demonstrated for middle linebacker after all these years is just off the charts,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says.
Aaron Rodgers, who guided Green Bay (13-3) to the top seed in the NFC, makes his third team, as does Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Selected for the first time in the offensive skill positions are 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry of Tennessee, Buffalo wideout Stefon Diggs, who led the NFL in catches and yards receiving, and Rodgers’ favorite target, Davante Adams.
“For me, honestly, I think it’s just been finding different small things that I can get better at, obviously,” Adams says. “I feel like I’m a pretty complete receiver. ... It’s just fine-tuning the things I do well and just figuring out a way to do them even better.”
Diggs was traded by Minnesota to Buffalo in the offseason and then made a huge impact as the Bills won their first AFC East in 25 years.
“For me, it was just in whatever situation I was going to be put in or chosen in,” says Diggs, “I was just going to embrace. The first thing i always try to do is get the respect of my teammates and my coaches. and that’s by working your (butt) off, keep grinding and putting that work in and letting the chips fall where they lay.”
The Packers and Colts both have four All-Pros. Green Bay left tackle David Bakhtiari makes his second appearance, and center Corey Linsley his first. Indianapolis has interior lineman DeForest Buckner and linebacker Darius Leonard on the defense, left guard Quenton Nelson on offense, and George Odum as the special teamer. Nelson is a three-time All-Pro, Leonard a double selection, while Buckner and Odum make it for the first time.
Rounding out the offense are Cleveland right tackle Jack Conklin (second selection), and Washington right guard Brandon Scherff (first).
Also on defense are edge rushers T.J. Watt, the NFL’s sacks leader for Pittsburgh who is on his second All-Pro Team, and newcomer Myles Garrett of Cleveland; San Francisco linebacker Fred Warner (first selection); cornerbacks Xavien Howard (first) of Miami, the league’s interception leader, and Jalen Ramsey (second) of the Rams; and safeties Tyrann Mathieu (third) of Kansas City, Minkah Fitzpatrick of Pittsburgh and Budda Baker of Arizona, both for the second time. There was a tie between Fitzpatrick and Baker for the second safety spot.
The long snapper position is new to the All-Pro Team in 2020, and Baltimore’s Morgan Cox is the choice. Chicago kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson makes it for the fourth time. The rest of the special teams positions are newcomers: Miami kicker Jason Sanders, New England punter Jake Bailey and punt returner Gunner Olszewski.
Repeaters from 2019 are Donald, Wagner, Nelson, Watt, Fitzpatrick, Mathieu and Patterson.
In all, 18 players represent the AFC, which is considered the stronger conference this season, and 11 for the NFC. Exactly half of the 32 clubs have a 2020 All-Pro.
AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow and Simmi Buttar, and Sports Writers Dave Skretta, John Wawrow, Steve Megargee and Tim Booth contributed.
The Associated Press 2020 NFL All-Pro team selected by a national panel of 50 media members:
Quarterback — Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
Running Back — Derrick Henry, Tennessee
Tight End — Travis Kelce, Kansas City
Wide Receivers — Davante Adams, Green Bay; Stefon Diggs, Buffalo; Tyreek Hill, Kansas City
Left Tackle — David Bakhtiari, Green Bay
Right Tackle — Jack Conklin, Cleveland
Left Guard — Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis
Right Guard — Brandon Scherff, Washington
Center — Corey Linsley, Green Bay
Edge Rushers — T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh; Myles Garrett, Cleveland
Interior Linemen — Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams; DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis
Linebackers — Fred Warner, San Francisco; Bobby Wagner, Seattle; Darius Leonard, Indianapolis
Cornerbacks — Xavien Howard, Miami; Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams
Safeties — Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh and Budda Baker, Arizona (tie)
Placekicker — Jason Sanders, Miami
Punter — Jake Bailey, New England
Kick Returner — Cordarrelle Patterson, Chicago
Punt Returner — Gunner Olszewski, New England
Special Teamer — George Odum, Indianapolis
Long Snapper — Morgan Cox, Baltimore
Quarterback — Josh Allen, Buffalo, and Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (tie)
Running Back —Alvin Kamara, New Orleans
Tight End — Vacant
Wide Receivers — DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona; Justin Jefferson, Minnesota; Calvin Ridley, Atlanta, DK Metcalf, Seattle, and Cole Beasley, Buffalo (tie)
Left Tackle — Garett Bolles, Denver
Right Tackle — Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans
Left Guard — Joel Bitonio, Cleveland
Right Guard — Wyatt Teller, Cleveland
Center — Ryan Kelly, Indianapolis, and Frank Ragnow, Detroit
Edge Rushers — Khalil Mack, Chicago; Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay
Interior Linemen — Chris Jones, Kansas City; Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh
Linebackers — Devin White, Tampa Bay; Demario Davis, New Orleans; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay, and Roquan Smith, Chicago (tie)
Cornerbacks — Jaire Alexander, Green Bay; Tre’Davious White, Buffalo
Safeties — Jamal Adams, Seattle; Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati
Placekicker — Justin Tucker, Baltimore
Punter — Jack Fox, Detroit
Kick Returner — Andre Roberts, Buffalo
Punt Returner — Jakeem Grant, Miami
Special Teamer —- Matthew Slater, New England
Long Snapper — Luke Rhodes, Indianapolis