Travis Kelce and Justin Jefferson unanimous among AP All-Pro selections

Travis Kelce and Justin Jefferson are unanimous picks 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 on Friday from 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers 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 in the first team.

Gardner, the New York Jets’ fourth overall pick, 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.

“It’s a big deal for 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 real blessing, that’s for sure.”

Kelce’s older brother Jason also won first-team honors for the fifth time in his career to stay ahead of his pass-catching sibling. Joining him on the team is Jason Kelce’s Philadelphia Eagles linemate, right tackle Lane Johnson.

“Great honour, particularly happy for [Johnson]who is arguably the best tackle in the NFL, especially on the right side,” Jason Kelce told the AP.

Johnson, a second-time All-Pro, has missed the last two games with an adductor injury but hopes to return when the No. 1-seeded Eagles host a playoff round of division next week.

“We put a lot of time and effort into 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 All-Pros for the first time. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing with 1,653 yards, scored 12 rushing touchdowns and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. The Raiders had three first-team picks despite going 6-11.

“The year has definitely not gone 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-high 128 catches and 1,809 receiving yards, is the other newcomer on offense. Miami’s Tyreek Hill did it for the fourth time and third as a receiver. Hill caught 119 passes for 1,710 yards and seven touchdowns in his first season with the Dolphins. Raiders wide Davante Adams was given the nod for the third time. Adams had 100 receptions for 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first season in Las Vegas.

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

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

Cowboys rusher Micah Parsons, 49ers linebacker Fred Warner and Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick are the only All-Pros returning on defense. It’s a third time for Fitzpatrick. Parsons, who had 13.5 sacks, made it his rookie season as a linebacker 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 draft picks. All-Pro.

Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks. Williams was 11.

“I tell my wife my goals every day so she can hold me accountable and make sure I’m doing the right thing and it’s become a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro,” Williams told the PA. “To get this news, all the work I’ve done has paid off and I have to keep doing the same.”

All six special teams players are also rookies: Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson, Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend, Packers returner Keisean Nixon, Patriots returner Marcus Jones, Commanders special team Jeremy Reaves and snapper of the Vikings Andrew DePaola.

It was the first year of the new PA voting system. Voters chose a first team and a second team. First team votes are worth three points, while second team votes are worth one.

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