After every season concludes, the Associated Press selects their All-Pro teams. While the NFL Pro-Bowl is a unique honor in itself, it’s widely known that the AP All-Pro selection is one of the highest honors a player can receive. With an impressive 2016 season, it should come as no surprise that the Atlanta Falcons had 3 players selected.
After a career year in which he set several NFL records and lead one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, Matt Ryan was an easy selection for First Team All-Pro. His 117.1 passer rating was the best in the league and the fifth highest in NFL history. Throwing for over 4900 yards, 38 TDs against 7 INTs only bolstered his case. It’s Ryan’s first All-Pro selection and is a huge accomplishment in his already impressive career.
Julio Jones has been a great receiver since he entered the league in 2011. However, the past few years have been absolutely dominant, with Jones being considered one of the absolute best in the league. Even though he missed two games this year, Julio was able to grab 83 catches for 1,409 yards (17.0 Y/C) and 6 TDs. This is Jones second All-Pro selection, after being selected first-team All-Pro in 2015.
What more can be said about Vic Beasley that hasn’t already been said. After a rookie season that left many fans wondering if he was the right choice, Beasley had a tremendous sophomore campaign, racking up 15.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles - both of which lead the entire NFL. He’s the first Atlanta Falcon to ever lead the league in sacks. This is Beasley’s first All-Pro selection.
Edit: We’ve also confirmed that Alex Mack was selected to the AP All-Pro second team. This is his second time being selected All-Pro.
Note: Since 1987, the first-team All-Pro nomination has been an accurate predictor for who the NFL MVP would be that year. This is something to keep in mind when considering Matt Ryan’s MVP candidacy.
No matter what the result of this 2016 season, it’s clear that it was one of the best in Falcons franchise history. Without the contributions of these players, there’s little doubt that this team wouldn’t have finished 11-5 with the NFC South crown. Congratulations go out to all of them.