Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was one of three players to be unanimous selections to The Associated Press’s 2019 NFL All-Pro Team.
Gilmore was the star of the Patriots’ top-ranked defense, and his six interceptions tied for the league lead. Gilmore, who started in all 16 of New England’s regular-season games, had 53 tackles and was credited with 20 pass defenses.
Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Saints receiver Michael Thomas were the other unanimous selections by a 50-member panel of media members.
Special teams specialist Matthew Slater was the Patriots’ only other All-Pro first team choice. Guard Joe Thuney was named to the second team.
McCaffrey’s versatility and statistics helped him to a rare double: the Panthers running back made the All-Pro team at two positions – running back and flex player, which was added in 2016. A 50-person panel of media members who regularly cover the NFL voted on the team.
McCaffrey rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns while catching a phenomenal 116 passes for 1,005 yards and four TDs. He became the third player in NFL history to finish with 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season, joining Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig, who is on the senior ballot for the hall this year.
“It means a lot,’’ said McCaffrey, a third-year pro. ’’It is a big honor and that is something that you don’t work hard for it, but when it comes you are really grateful and appreciative.’’
Ravens sensation Lamar Jackson, who in his second season led Baltimore to a league-best 14-2 mark, was chosen as quarterback. Jackson and McCaffrey were among 14 first-time All-Pros.
Rams safety Eric Weddle witnessed the jukes and jaunts of Jackson firsthand in a 45-6 Ravens romp.
“When you get on the field and you get to the speed of what they run, it’s tough,’’ said Weddle, a former All-Pro. ’’I mean, some of the plays I didn’t know who had the ball because they run it so efficiently. (Jackson) is one of a kind; he’s pretty special.’’
All-Pro first team
Quarterback — Lamar Jackson, Baltimore
Running Back — Christian McCaffrey, Carolina
Flex — Christian McCaffrey, Carolina
Tight End — George Kittle, San Francisco
Wide Receivers — Michael Thomas, New Orleans; DeAndre Hopkins, Houston
Left Tackle — Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore
Right Tackle — Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans
Left Guard — Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis
Right Guard — Zack Martin, Dallas
Center — Jason Kelce, Philadelphia
Edge Rushers — Chandler Jones, Arizona; T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh
Interior Linemen — Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams; Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh
Linebackers — Bobby Wagner, Seattle; Demario Davis, New Orleans; Eric Kendricks, Minnesota.
Cornerbacks — Stephon Gilmore, New England; Tre’Davious White, Buffalo
A true pro on and off the field.
Congrats to @BumpNrunGilm0re on being selected by #Patriots media members as the 2019 Ron Hobson Good Guy Award winner for being the most helpful & accommodating with the media. pic.twitter.com/SfhArJSCg5
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 3, 2020
Safeties — Jamal Adams, New York Jets; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh
Defensive Back — Marcus Peters, Baltimore; Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City; and Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore
Placekicker — Justin Tucker, Baltimore
Punter — Brett Kern, Tennessee
Kick Returner — Cordarrelle Patterson, Chicago
Punt Returner — Deonte Harris, New Orleans
Special Teamer — Matthew Slater, New England
Quarterback — Russell Wilson, Seattle
Running Back — Derrick Henry, Tennessee
Flex — Derrick Henry, Tennessee
Tight End — Travis Kelce, Kansas City
Wide Receivers — Julio Jones, Atlanta; Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay
Left Tackle — David Bakhtiari, Green Bay
Right Tackle — Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City
Left Guard — Joel Bitonio, Cleveland; Joe Thuney, New England
Right Guard — Marshal Yanda, Baltimore
Center — Rodney Hudson, Oakland
Edge Rushers — Shaq Barrett, Tampa Bay; Cameron Jordan, New Orleans
Interior Linemen — Grady Jarrett, Atlanta; DeForest Buckner, San Francisco
Linebackers — Luke Kuechly, Carolina; Darius Leonard, Indianapolis; T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh
Cornerbacks — Richard Sherman, San Francisco; Marcus Peters, Baltimore
Safeties — Justin Simmons, Denver; Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City
Placekicker — Josh Lambo, Jacksonville
Punter — Tress Way, Washington
Kick Returner — Mecole Hardman, Kansas City
Punt Returner — Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh
Special Teamer — Cordarrelle Patterson, Chicago, and J.T. Gray, New Orleans