In a surprising break from the norm, a defensive player was the headliner when the Associated Press revealed its All-Pro Team for the 2015 NFL season.
Rather than the competition for first-team quarterback between Cam Newton and Tom Brady (Cam won), or Adrian Peterson regaining his spot as the game’s top running back after missing almost an entire season, the top story when the rosters were released Friday was Khalil Mack, the Oakland Raiders star who made history by being the first player in NFL history to make first-team All-Pro at two positions in the same year.
Mack, a second-year pro who had 15 sacks and 77 tackles, was named to the first team at defensive end and linebacker.
The headline story among the All-Pro defensive backs was that of Chiefs safety Eric Berry. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2014, Berry battled back to not only play this season, to not only make his fourth Pro Bowl, but also to be named one of the two best safeties in the league. Berry finished the regular season with 61 tackles and two interceptions, and he had an interception in Kansas City’s 30-0 victory over Houston in Saturday’s wild-card playoff game.
The other first-team All-Pro safety is Tyrann Mathieu of the Cardinals, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 14. He had 89 tackles, five interceptions and 17 pass breakups while spending time everywhere from cornerback to linebacker along with his responsibilities at safety.
The first-team All-Pro cornerbacks are Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals (35 tackles, 2 interceptions) and Josh Norman of the Panthers (56 tackles, 4 interceptions, 18 pass breakups).
The second-team All-Pro secondary consists of Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, Broncos CB Chris Harris Jr., Chiefs rookie CB Marcus Peters, Bengals safety Reggie Nelson and Raiders safety Charles Woodson.