With the 2022 NFL regular season over, we can get to the season accolades before going full steam ahead to the playoffs. We did a midseason All-Pro team and we’re going to keep the layout mostly the same.
Each position will have a first-team and second-team player. The AP All-Pro team has a Flex position on each side of the ball but we’re just going to stick with 11 personnel and nickel to defend it, so three wide receivers will be named on offense and three cornerbacks on defense.
The players selected were from a combination of stats and film throughout the season.
*All data provided by TruMedia, unless noted otherwise.
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Second-team: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Mahomes was the pick for MVP, so it’s no surprise he’s the first-team All-Pro quarterback. As noted in the awards write-up, he finished the season leading just about every meaningful passing category. He’s first by a wide margin in EPA per play, first in QBR, and leads in passing yards and touchdowns. This came with a shift in offensive personnel and a constantly changing approach from defenses. None of that mattered as Mahomes remained the best quarterback in the league.
Allen grabs the second-team spot after finishing behind Mahomes in EPA per play. Arguments could have been made for a number of other quarterbacks but he gets the nod over the others who have missed time (Jalen Hurts), had longer stretches of below-average play (early-season Joe Burrow), or both (Tua Tagovailoa).
Running Back: Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers
Second-team: Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
McCaffrey didn’t make the Pro Bowl roster despite both teams he’s played for being in the NFC but he’ll get rewarded here for being the most valuable running back in the league. Running backs often get praised for their versatility and receiving ability but no back actually follows through more than McCaffrey — especially since his trade to the 49ers.
As a pure runner, McCaffrey is fine enough — he’s eighth in rushing yards this season — but he stands out as a receiver and how he impacts the passing game. No running back has more yards when lined up in the slot or out wide (263) and it’s not particularly close. He has 741 receiving yards, which is first among running backs and 45th among all players. That also leads to the gravity McCaffrey has as a real threat in those areas that has also helped open up huge plays for others in the San Francisco offense.
Jacobs led the league with over 2,000 yards from scrimmage in a year he looked like he wasn’t in the Raiders’ short-term plans, let alone long-term. He had the highest rushing success rate among high-volume backs and over 1,200 of his rushing yards came after contact.
Wide Receiver: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings | Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins | A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles
Second-team: Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills | Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders | Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Jefferson remains the league’s best receiver and our winner for Offensive Player of the Year. No offense relied more on a non-quarterback to carry it through high-leverage situations than the Vikings relied on Jefferson.
Offensive Player of the Year looked like Hill’s to lose over the first half of the season and even though the second half didn’t live up to the record-breaking pace, Hill still had one heck of a season and finished first by a significant margin in yards per route run.
Any one of Brown, Diggs, or Adams could slide into the third spot on the first team. Brown gets the edge in yards per route run and a slight degree of difficulty bump from working more often against man coverage (31.9% of routes), against which he averaged 3.59 yards per route run.
Waddle shouldn’t get lost in this conversation and for as much attention as Hill received, the Miami passing offense wouldn’t have worked the same without Waddle. He still finished second in yards per route run, picked up a first down on 50.9% of his targets, and a league-high 42% of his targets came on intermediate passes between 11-19 air yards.
Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Second-team: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Kelce was in his own world among tight ends this season. He averaged 2.23 yards per route run while the next highest player was at 1.96. He had over 1,300 receiving yards while no other tight end was able to hit 1,000. His 12 receiving touchdowns also led the position and ranked second in the league behind Davante Adams.
With such a gap between Kelce and the others at the position, there’s a smaller gap among the rest of that group. Kittle still wasn’t the force he was in the earlier years of his career, but he remained a yards after the catch monster when the ball did come his way. With two touchdowns in the season finale, Kittle’s 11 touchdowns were second to Kelce, as were his 12 catches of 20+ yards, and he remained a top-tier blocker on top of his receiving output. Kittle’s seven touchdowns since Brock Purdy took over at quarterback would have been tied for second among tight ends for the full season.
Left Tackle: Andrew Thomas, New York Giants
Second-team: Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers
As a rookie, Thomas was one of the league’s best run blockers at tackle but there were some struggles pass blocking. In his second year, he’s already developed into a top pass blocker by ranking eighth in ESPN’s pass block win rate among tackles and first among left tackles in adjusted blown block rate according to Sports Info Solutions, which accounts for opponent adjustments and the defenses’ blown blocks forced against other opponents.
Trent Williams is in the “should always be considered for this honor” tier. Williams missed three games but he’s the best left tackle in the league when he’s on the field — even at age 34. He still moves so well for how often he’s asked to get to the second level in the San Francisco offense. Williams was 10th in pass block win rate and second among left tackles in adjusted blown block rate.
Left Guard: Joe Thuney, Kansas City Chiefs
Second-team: Landon Dickerson, Philadelphia Eagles
Three guards were in the top 10 of both pass block win rate and run block win rate this season, Two of them were Thuney and Dickerson. The third was Baltimore’s Ben Powers, who should get an honorable mention here since all three play left guard.
Thuney remains an incredibly reliable all-around guard even with some missed time this season. He was the best guard by pass block win rate and had the fifth-lowest pressure rate allowed among all offensive linemen this season.
Dickerson has been an important piece on the league’s best offensive line. He was first among guards in run block win rate and finished third at the position in adjusted blown block rate.
Center: Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles
Second-team: Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs
No center has the movement skills of Kelce, who has been the key to the Eagles’ run game. Kelce finds ways to get to the second level that no other offensive lineman in the league could imagine. He was second among centers in run block win rate and third among all linemen in pressure rate allowed.
Humphrey is earning the reputation of being considered an All-Pro as long as he’s on the field. The second-year Kansas City center showed his stellar rookie season was no fluke. Humphrey led all centers in pass block win rate and was third in run block win rate.
Right Guard: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
Second-team: Kevin Zeitler, Baltimore Ravens
Martin missed time in 2020 and it was the only season in his career he was not named to the All-Pro team. 2022, a year he played all 17 games, will not change that. Martin remains the top right guard in the league and was first at the position in adjusted blown block rate.
Zeitler snuck on the first team in the midseason version and he sticks as the second-team guard for many of the same reasons. He’s been a top run-blocking guard in one of the league’s run-heaviest offenses and he has claim to be considered one of the league’s best pulling guards. No offense pulled their guards in 2022 and Zeitler finished the season with just one blown block on 288 snaps as a puller.
Right Tackle: Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles
Second-team: Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There isn’t a right tackle that means more to his team than Johnson. Even with two games missed at the end of the regular season, Johnson was the best at his position throughout the year. He led all tackles in pass block win rate, was third among right tackles in adjusted blown block rate, and was huge on the edge for the Eagles’ run game.
Wirfs missed three games but his time on the field was so impactful, he still gets the edge over other emerging contenders at the position. He had the lowest pressure rate allowed among all linemen, was first among right tackles in adjusted blown block rate, and was third in pass block win rate at tackle.
2022 NFL Offensive All-Pro Team
|QB||Patrick Mahomes||Josh Allen|
|RB||Chirstian McCaffrey||Josh Jacobs|
|WR||Justin Jefferson||Davante Adams|
|WR||Tyreek Hill||Stefon Diggs|
|WR||A.J. Brown||Jaylen Waddle|
|TE||Travis Kelce||George Kittle|
|LT||Andrew Thomas||Trent Williams|
|LG||Joe Thuney||Landon Dickerson|
|C||Jason Kelce||Creed Humphrey|
|RG||Zack Martin||Kevin Zeitler|
|RT||Lane Johnson||Tristan Wirfs|
EDGE: Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers | Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
Second-team: Haason Reddick, Philadelphia Eagles | Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders
Bosa missed some time this season but no defensive player made a bigger impact, even considering the missed time. Bosa led the league in sacks, but also had 13 more quarterback hits than the next closest defender as a ridiculous 7.2% of Bosa’s pass rush snaps ended in a quarterback hit.
Parsons became a full-time pass rusher this season (89% of his pass snaps rushed the passer) and that didn’t take away his per-snap efficiency at all. Parsons led edge rushers in pressure rate and pass rush win rate. No pass rusher created quick pressure more often than Parsons’s 13.4% pressure rate within 2.5 seconds of the snap.
Few players made more of an overall impact off the edge than Reddick, who signed for just a three-year/$45 million contract this past offseason. Reddick rushed the passer on 88% of his pass snaps and put up 16 sacks, which tied for the second-most in the league, along with five forced fumbles.
Crosby gets the nod over Myles Garrett with a little more overall impact. Crosby led the league with 22 tackles for loss while he was second in quarterback hits. His 5.5% hit rate was second, only to Bosa.
Interior Defensive Line: Quinnen Williams, New York Jets | Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs
Second-team: Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants | Christian Wilkins, Miami Dolphins
There is no spot deeper for this particular exercise than interior defensive line. In any other year, Aaron Donald missing a few games would have no impact on him still making an All-Pro team but this year there are too many deserving candidates.
Chris Jones won’t be Defensive Player of the Year because of Bosa, but with votes extending to three players per award, he should get some recognition on ballots. Jones finished the season third in quarterback hits and put up 15.5 sacks.
Quinnen Williams had a flashy breakout season with the Jets and showcased why he was the third overall pick in the 2019 draft. Williams had 12 sacks and was a force in the run game with an average tackle of 1.8 yards past the line of scrimmage.
Dexter Lawrence might have had the highest degree of difficulty in a productive all-around season. Lawrence was one of the league’s best pass-rushing interior linemen all while having more snaps than any player as a straight-up nose tackle. Lawrence sat out the season finale and still finished tied for fourth among all defenders in quarterback hits.
Christian Wilkins was so dominant defending the run, his relative lack of pass rushing production can be overlooked and even a closer examination is not all that bad. Wilkins was a constant disrupter. He made a tackle on an insane 22.1% of his run defense snaps (for comparison other top DTs were in the 15% range) and 77 tackles against the run alone. 16 tackles were for a loss. He also had seven batted passes at the line of scrimmage.
Off-ball Linebacker: Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers | Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills
Second-team: Bobby Wagner, Los Angeles Rams | Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens
It would be difficult to overstate Warner’s impact on the 49ers’ defense. Opposing offenses constantly avoid throwing over the middle of the field with Warner, and when they do, there is not much success. Warner has sixth among linebackers in yards allowed per coverage snap and third in targets per coverage snap, per Sports Info Solutions charting. 48% of targets at Warner were completed, the lowest rate for a linebacker in the league.
Milano is another one of the league’s best all-around linebackers. He had 12 tackles for loss and 11 passes defensed on the season. No other linebacker went double-digits in both categories.
Bobby Wagner had a massive turnaround after he looked like he lost a step in coverage during his last season with the Seahawks. Wagner was first among linebackers in yards allowed per coverage snap and became a threat as a pass rusher. Wagner blitzed on 17.8% of his pass rush snaps and totaled a career-high six sacks.
Between stints in Chicago and Baltimore, Roquan Smith was everywhere. Smith had the third-most total tackles in the league and the second-most that had positive EPA for the defense and most tackles short of a first down. He did this while being one of the surest tacklers in the league with just three broken tackles on the season.
Cornerback: James Bradberry, Philadelphia Eagles | Sauce Gardner, New York Jets | Tyson Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
Second-team: Patrick Surtain, Denver Broncos | Tariq Woolen, Seattle Seahawks | Patrick Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Bradberry is another Pro Bowl snub who should be an easy All-Pro selection. Darius Slay got the Pro Bowl nod as the Eagles representative but Bradberry has been the better player of the Philadelphia cornerback duo this season. Bradberry is second in adjusted yards allowed per coverage snap and a league-low 36% of targets against were completed when lined up on the outside, per SIS charting.
Sauce Gardner is already one of the league’s best cornerbacks. His partner, D.J. Reed, should also get an honorable mention here but Gardner has exceeded every expectation, even as the fourth overall pick. Garder led the league in passes defensed with 20 and was ninth among outside corners in adjusted yards allowed per coverage snap.
Arguably no cornerback developed more than Tyson Campbell. In his rookie season, Campbell was an athletic but overmatched prospect as a rookie, who finished the season 80th among 94 qualified cornerbacks in adjusted yards allowed per coverage snap. This season, Campbell was one of the league’s best on the outside, 15th in the same metric. He closed the season allowing just seven yards on two targets against the Titans, per Next Gen Stats.
Surtain had some rough patches as the Denver defense had a few struggles in the second half of the season but he remained one of the league’s best coverage players at 14th in adjusted yards allowed per coverage snap.
Woolen has the flashy interception numbers, tied for the league lead with six, but he was good all over and ranked first in adjusted yards allowed per coverage snap. He also had games getting the Richard Sherman treatment with opponents avoiding his side of the field.
No cornerback played more coverage snaps than Patrick Peterson, who had a career resurgence in his second season with the Vikings at 32 years old. Peterson finished one pass defensed short of his career high (16 in 2012) and he was fourth among outside corners in adjusted yards allowed per coverage snap.
Safety: Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers | Talanoa Hufanga, San Francisco 49ers
Second-team: Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills | Kevin Byard, Denver Broncos
Derwin James has been everywhere for the Chargers. James lined up deep, in the box, and in the slot. He added more pass rushing to his repertoire and finished the season with four sacks. James is the ultimate weapon that can be put wherever needed. He’s manned up on top tight ends and wide receivers across the formation. Among 27 safeties with at least 20 coverages snaps across from a tight end, James had the lowest yards per coverage snap allowed (2.0).
There can be some lapses in the play of Talanoa Hufanga but the good more than makes up for it. Hufanga had the fifth-most tackles with positive defensive EPA among defensive backs to go along with nine passes defensed. When he was lined up in the box, Hufanga made a tackle on 22.5% of his run defense snaps while he also rushed the passer on 16.7% of his pass snaps.
Without Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer took on more importance in the back end of the Buffalo defense. Poyer missed four games himself but still remains one of the league’s best all-around safeties.
Byard can get overlooked because of the injuries and downswing from the rest of the Tennessee secondary but the 29-year-old veteran remained a constant. The level of play wasn’t quite the same as last season’s first-team All-Pro campaign but it wasn’t too far off. Byard still remained a plus in coverage and is one of the league’s best tacklers, just a 5.3% broken + missed tackle rate, the second-best among safeties this season.
2022 NFL Defensive All-Pro Team
|EDGE||Nick Bosa||Hasaan Reddick|
|EDGE||Micah Parsons||Maxx Crosby|
|iDL||Chris Jones||Dexter Lawrence|
|iDL||Quinnen Williams||Christian Wilkins|
|LB||Fred Warner||Bobby Wagner|
|LB||Matt Milano||Roquan Smith|
|CB||James Bradberry||Patrick Surtain|
|CB||Sauce Gardner||Tariq Woolen|
|CB||Tyson Campbell||Patrick Peterson|
|S||Derwin James||Jordan Poyer|
|S||Talanoa Hufanga||Kevin Byard|
Kicker: Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas Raiders
Second-team: Jason Myers, Seattle Seahawks
Carlson went 34-of-37 on field goal attempts, including 11-of-13 on attempts of 50 or more yards. He was third in EPA generated on field goals and fourth on field goal/extra point value from Football Outsiders.
Myers missed three field goals all season — the latest of which could have given the Seahawks a regulation win against the Rams in Week 18 but he was redeemed in overtime — and went 6-for-6 from 50 or more yards. He also missed one extra point while attempting the seventh-most extra points among kickers. Myers also led Seattle to have the most value on kickoffs, per Football Outsiders.
Punter: Tress Way, Washington Commanders
Second-team: A.J. Cole, Las Vegas Raiders
Way had both volume and efficiency on his punts this season. That’s not exactly a great reflection of the Washington offense, but Way made the most of it. He had the most total EPA on punts and averaged the most EPA per punt. He was also first in punt value from Football Outsiders.
Just 1.4% of Cole’s punts turned into touchbacks, the lowest rate in the league among punters. 20.3% of his punts ended inside the 10 and 8.5% ended inside the five, the second-highest rate in the league.
Kick Returner: Keisean Nixon, Green Bay Packers
Second-team: Kene Nwangwu, Minnesota Vikings
Nixon gets the flash with his returns over the second half of the season. He finished with 1,009 kick return yards, which led the league, and his 28.83-yard return average was second. Just 71% of Nixon’s returns reached the 20, which has some boom-or-bust, but the big returns were more than worth it.
Nwangwu was second to Nixon in return yards and was a bit more reliable on a return-to-return basis with 80% of his returns at least reaching the 20. He also brought the upside with one of six kick return touchdowns on the season.
Punt Returner: Marcus Jones, New England Patriots
Second-team: Avery Williams, Atlanta Falcons
Marcus Jones was electric whenever he touched the ball, be it offense, defense, or special teams. Jones led the league in total punt return yards and his 12.48-yard average was third among players with at least 10 punt returns. He had one of just two punt return touchdowns on the season, the 84-yarder to beat the Jets with under 30 seconds remaining in Week 11.
Williams only had 19 punt returns but he was still 10th in punt return yards and his 16.22-yard return average led the league. With Williams, the Falcons had the highest value on punt returns per Football Outsiders.
2022 NFL Special Teams All-Pro Team
|K||Daniel Carlson||Jason Myers|
|P||Tress Way||A.J. Cole|
|KR||Keisean Nixon||Kene Nwagwu|
|PR||Marcus Jones||Avery Williams|