NFL All-Pros: Kelce, Jefferson unanimous; 16 first-timers

Jan 12, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 10:39 am
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) is tackled by New York Giants safety Julian L...

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) is tackled by New York Giants safety Julian Love (20) after catching a pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 27-24. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

              San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) reacts after sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
            
              Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) reacts as he is introduced before the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
            
              New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (1) celebrates a defensive stop against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
            
              Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) is tackled by New York Giants safety Julian Love (20) after catching a pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 27-24. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
            
              Seattle Seahawks tight end Noah Fant can't make the catch as New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, right, defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
            
              Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrate during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Travis Kelce and Justin Jefferson are unanimous choices for The Associated Press 2022 NFL All-Pro Team, and Sauce Gardner is the first rookie cornerback selected in 41 years.

The Chiefs’ Kelce and the Vikings’ Jefferson received first-team votes Friday from all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa and Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones each got 49 of 50 first-team votes. The Chiefs and Niners led the way with four players each on the first team.

Gardner, the fourth overall pick by the New York Jets, was named on all 50 ballots, receiving 43 first-place votes. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott was the last rookie cornerback chosen for the first team in 1981.

“That’s a big deal to me,” Gardner told the AP. “It was one of my goals before training camp. It’s something I pray for. I worked so hard for it. It’s a true blessing for sure.”

Kelce’s older brother, Jason, also earned first-team honors for the fifth time in his career to stay one ahead of his pass-catching brother. Jason Kelce’s fellow Philadelphia Eagles linemate, right tackle Lane Johnson, joins him on the squad.

“Big honor, especially happy for (Johnson) who is the best tackle in the NFL without question, especially on the right side,” Jason Kelce told the AP.

Johnson, a second-time All-Pro, has missed the past two games with an adductor injury but hopes to return when the No. 1 seed Eagles host a divisional round playoff game next week.

“We put in a lot of time and effort in the game, especially as you get older, you start to cherish it,” Johnson told the AP.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is among the 16 first-time All-Pros. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing with 1,653 yards, scored 12 touchdowns rushing and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. The Raiders had three first-team picks despite finishing 6-11.

“The year definitely didn’t go the way we wanted it to but, individually, it’s definitely an honor to be selected,” Jacobs told the AP.

Jefferson, who had a league-best 128 catches and 1,809 yards receiving, is the other newcomer on offense. Miami’s Tyreek Hill made it for the fourth time, third as a receiver. Hill had 119 catches for 1,710 yards and seven TDs in his first season with the Dolphins. Raiders wideout Davante Adams got the nod for a third time. Adams had 100 receptions for 1,516 yards and 14 TDs in his first season in Las Vegas.

Cowboys right guard Zack Martin is a six-time All-Pro, 49ers left tackle Trent Williams and Browns left guard Joel Bitonio made it for the second straight season.

Mahomes also was an All-Pro in 2018 when he was the NFL MVP. He led the league with 5,250 yards passing and 41 TDs, helping the Chiefs go 14-3 to capture their seventh straight AFC West title. Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts got one first-team vote, preventing Mahomes from being a unanimous choice.

Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons, 49ers linebacker Fred Warner and Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick are the only returning All-Pros on defense. It’s a third time for Fitzpatrick. Parsons, who had 13 1/2 sacks, made it as a linebacker his rookie season last year.

Bosa, Jones, Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith, Bills linebacker Matt Milano, Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II and Niners safety Talanoa Hufanga all earned their first All-Pro selection.

Bosa led the NFL with 18 1/2 sacks. Williams had 11.

“I tell my wife my goals every day so she can keep me accountable and make sure I do the right thing and it was become a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro,” Williams told the AP. “To get this news, all the work I put in has paid off and I gotta continue to do the same thing.”

All six special-teams players are first-timers, too.

They are: Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson, Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend, Packers kick returner Keisean Nixon, Patriots punt returner Marcus Jones, Commanders special teamer Jeremy Reaves and Vikings long snapper Andrew DePaola.

This was the first year for the AP’s new voting system. Voters chose a first team and a second team. First-team votes are worth 3 points, second-team votes are worth 1.

___

AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow and Dennis Waszak contributed.

___

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

NBA 2K League to stage 2023 season in Washington

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA 2K League is taking its 2023 season to Washington. The league announced Thursday it will play this season at the District E, a live-event theater that will soon open adjacent to Capital One Arena. The NBA’s esports gaming league moved last season to Indianapolis after having to play the […]
1 day ago
FILE -Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, center, celebrates with teammates after Game 7 of b...
Associated Press

Memorable LeBron James moments as he closes in on NBA record

As LeBron James closes in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and is about to become the NBA’s career scoring leader the journey has included several memorable moments. And there have been many. Many. Through 20 seasons and four NBA championships, the list of James’ unforgettable nights is immeasurably long. But here are five that stand out. THE […]
1 day ago
Tottenham's Harry Kane greets supporters after the English Premier League soccer match between Fulh...
Associated Press

Harry Kane has records in sight, but trophies elude him

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Harry Kane will become Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer with a goal against Manchester City on Sunday. The striker’s wait for a major trophy, however, will go on. Kane is set to surpass the late Jimmy Greaves’ club record of 266 goals, which has stood for 53 years. He is also tied […]
1 day ago
FILE- Gene Sykes claps after City Council voted 12-0 to endorse documents at the heart of its plan ...
Associated Press

USOPC: Russian pathway possible, but sanctions must remain

The new leader of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee reiterated the federation’s support for exploring a way for Russian athletes to compete at the Paris Olympics as neutrals, while insisting the current sanctions against the country remain in place. Gene Sykes, who took over for Susanne Lyons as USOPC chair on Jan. 1, wrote […]
1 day ago
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL...
Associated Press

All-Star festivities showcase next generation of NHL stars

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New Jersey Devils players watch from the bench often and marvel at some of the things Jack Hughes can do on the ice. “Every game, at least a couple times, I’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, that guy’s amazing,'” forward Michael McLeod said. “He just gets it done every night.” […]
1 day ago
Youth team players warm-up ahead of the Black star water polo competition held at the University of...
Associated Press

Ghana water polo grows as sport looks for more diversity

Back at the very beginning, right when the idea of water polo in Ghana started swimming into reality, Asante Prince got out a couple of balls and caps in front of a handful of curious kids. He decided to try a scrimmage, but he had no nets. So they put a soccer bench on each […]
1 day ago
NFL All-Pros: Kelce, Jefferson unanimous; 16 first-timers