In the spring, we shared a report that the Associated Press was considering changes to the way the All-Pro team is composed to better reflect the current NFL.
On Friday, the AP announced changes to that effect. There are shifts on both sides of the ball and on special teams.
Voters will select one running back, two wide receivers, a tight end and a “flex” player who can play wideout, running back, fullback or tight end. They will also select a left tackle, left guard, right guard and right tackle rather than just selecting two players at each position to go with their preferred center.
On defense, there will now be two edge rushers (4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers) and two interior defensive linemen (3-4 defensive ends, nose tackles and 4-3 defensive tackles). That should eliminate situations like we had last year when Khalil Mack of the Raiders made the team as both a defensive end and a linebacker.
They are also adding another defensive back spot and explain that “the idea is to reward defensive backs who cover slot receivers.”
There will also now be spots for both kickoff and punt returners rather than one return specialist as well as a special teams/non-returner spot for players who excel at covering kicks.