Former Vandal Iupati among All-Pro picks
NEW YORK – It’s unanimous, on both sides of the ball.
Vikings 2,000-yard man Adrian Peterson and Texans pass-swatting end J.J. Watt were unanimous choices for The Associated Press All-Pro first team announced Saturday.
Former Idaho Vandal Mike Iupati, a guard for the San Francisco 49ers, was named to the team for the first time.
Peterson, who came within 9 yards of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, and Watt, who led the NFL with 20 1/2 sacks, were selected by all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who cover the league.
Peterson is a three-time All-Pro, while Watt represents lots of new blood. He’s among 17 players making their All-Pro debuts.
“Obviously it’s a huge honor, especially for being such a young guy,” said Watt, a second-year pro. “It’s crazy to even think about. It’s very humbling and very motivating. It makes me want to do it again and again.”
Peyton Manning made his sixth team, the previous five while quarterbacking Indianapolis. He led Denver to the AFC’s best record, 13-3.
Also chosen for the sixth time was Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, who this season moved into second place on the career receptions list.
San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis made it for the fifth time in his six pro seasons.
The 49ers had the most All-Pros, six: Iupati, Willis, fellow LBs NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, safety Dashon Goldson and punter Andy Lee.
“As an organization, we take great pride in the success and recognition of our players,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “This type of acknowledgement only comes from hard work and a team-first mentality, which all six of these men exhibit on a daily basis. They play the game the way it was meant to be played, and are very deserving of this honor.”
Denver had three All-Pros: LB Von Miller, tackle Ryan Clady and Manning. No other team had more than two.
The NFC had 17 players and only 10 made it from the AFC.
One rookie, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, was chosen.
Also on offense were Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach, making it for the third straight year; Detroit WR Calvin Johnson and Chicago WR Brandon Marshall; Houston tackle Duane Brown; New Orleans guard Jahri Evans, making his fourth consecutive appearance; Baltimore kick returner Jacoby Jones; Miami DE Cameron Wake; Cincinnati DT Geno Atkins and New England DT Vince Wilfork; and Chicago CB Charles Tillman.
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