But because there are only so many spots on each All-Pro team (11 offensive players, 11 defenders, and six special teams players), some deserving players were inevitably left off the lists. Here are a few that stand out.
QB Josh Allen, Bills
Only First Team All-Pro Patrick Mahomes averaged more expected points added (EPA) per dropback this season than did Allen, according to Tru Media. Much like Second Team All-Pro Jalen Hurts, Allen adds tremendous value with his legs all over the field, and especially in the red zone. With 113 more dropbacks than Hurts and a weaker supporting cast, you could make a pretty decent argument for Allen to have gotten the Second Team spot. (Hurts was incredibly deserving as well, obviously, but you have to split these types of hairs when it comes to arguing snubs.)
McCaffrey had 1,880 yards and 13 total touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry on his 244 totes and catching 85 passes for 741 yards and five scores. To put things in perspective, consider that the same NFL player had the league's eighth-most rushing yards and 17th-most receptions. That old claim about Le'Veon Bell being a No. 1 running back and a No. 2 receiver in the same player? CMC actually is that. He also had a dramatic effect on San Francisco's offense upon arrival, and helped elevate Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, to relevance over the second half of the year.
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Laremy Tunsil, Texans and Penei Sewell, Lions
If there were an All-Pro Third Team, these would absolutely have to be the two tackles. Tunsil finished the season ranked first in Pro Football Focus' pass-blocking grades (among all offensive linemen, not just tackles), while Sewell checked in fifth among tackles (and 12th among all linemen) in run-blocking and provided enormous value to the Lions offense with his ability to get out and block defenders in space.
Crosby is a fantastic two-way player, elite against both the run and the pass. Only Micah Parsons and Nick Bosa (90 each) racked up more pressures than Crosby's 81, according to Pro Football Focus, and he led the position with 41 run stops. Crosby also played an outrageous 1,085 snaps, over 100 more than any other defensive lineman in the NFL. Staying on the field for basically every snap is a valuable skill in and of itself.
Dre Greenlaw, 49ers and/or Lavonte David, Buccaneers
Despite both All-Pro teams featuring three off-ball linebackers when most defenses actually play two or fewer on any given snap most of the time these days, two of the NFL's best still missed the cut. Unfortunately for Greenlaw, he happens to play on the same team as Fred Warner, who is widely considered one of, if not the best linebacker in the NFL. Like his teammate, Greenlaw is excellent both in coverage and against the run, and is one of the most important players on what is likely the NFL's best defense. David, just as he does year after year, played terrific football for the Bucs, helping hold opposing offenses in check week after week. He is one of the small handful of best coverage linebackers in the NFL, every single season.
Slay had just as good a case as his teammate, James Bradberry. If the All-Pro teams were formatted in the same way as most defenses (in nickel package rather than base), then he likely would have made the team.