NFL News & Analysis

NFL First-Time All-Pro Candidates: Tua Tagovailoa, Nick Chubb, Nick Bosa and more

Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) throws the football during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

• QBs Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts: Both Tagovailoa and Hurts are among the NFL's most efficient quarterbacks this season and have legitimate All-Pro resumes.

• WRs A.J. Brown, Jaylen Waddle: Explosive plays are the name of the game at wide receiver, and Brown and Waddle are among the NFL's best in that regard.

• EDGEs Nick Bosa, Matthew Judon: Surprisingly, neither edge rusher has earned an All-Pro nod despite being dominant forces at the position in their careers.

Estimated Reading Time: 6 mins

As we’ve reached the back half of the 2022 NFL season, many of us turn our thoughts to some end-of-year awards and honors. One of the most anticipated lists is the All-Pro team.

Here are some players who could earn the All-Pro label for the first time in their careers due to impactful play this season.

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Tagovailoa has been one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league this year. His 80.1% adjusted completion percentage ranks second-best, and his 9.5-yard average depth of target comes in at sixth-highest. And then there's his 92.6 passing grade, which is the best among all starting quarterbacks.

QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Hurts is the most consistent passer this season in terms of accuracy. His 80.3% adjusted completion percentage is the best in the NFL. He also has 23 total touchdowns this season — 15 passing and eight rushing — with 16 explosive runs of 10 yards or more. He’s become a true dual-threat quarterback, effective and lethal in both areas.

RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

It's surprising that Chubb does not have a first- or second-team All-Pro honor to his name yet, but this could certainly be the year. Chubb ranks second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (11), missed tackles forced (56), third in yards after contact (652) and first in explosive runs of 10 yards or more (29).

RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

While most of the talk about the Raiders is negative due to their disappointing win-loss record, Jacobs has been having an incredible season. He’s third in the NFL in rushing yards (930), second in yards after contact (665) and first in missed tackles forced (58) and first-down rushes (59).

WR A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

Brown has been well worth what the Eagles paid (figuratively and literally) to get him. This season, he’s top 10 in receiving yards (785), yards after contact (147), explosive plays (21), yards per route run (2.53) and passer rating when targeted (121.3) among all receivers.

WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

Tyreek Hill is at the top of the list for All-Pro candidates, but he has obviously already earned such honors in his career. His teammate Jaylen Waddle has not, though, and is in the conversation for a first- or second-team spot. He ranks fifth in receiving yards (878), sixth in receiving touchdowns (6), fourth in explosive plays (25) and sixth in yards per reception (17.2).

T Andrew Thomas, New York Giants

Thomas has been one of the top offensive linemen in football this season. Prior to the Thanksgiving Day slate, he is the third-highest-graded offensive tackle in the league (90.2 grade) and has not allowed a single sack across 649 snaps.

T Christian Darrisaw, Minnesota Vikings

Like Thomas, Darrisaw is a young offensive tackle who is playing at an extremely high level this season. His 90.6 overall grade (through Week 11) is second behind only Trent Williams. His movement skills have been amazing to watch this season, and the Vikings trust him to win one-on-one no matter the matchup. He’s allowed only two sacks and 12 pressures across 568 snaps.

T Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans

Tunsil is the fourth-highest-graded offensive tackle this season, sporting an 89.5 mark through 11 weeks. He’s played 580 snaps this season and has earned a 92.6 pass-blocking grade with only one sack and seven pressures allowed.

G Chris Lindstrom, Atlanta Falcons

Lindstrom has allowed the Falcons to lean heavily on their run game this season. His 90.0 overall grade is the highest for an interior offensive lineman, and he is earning a positive grade on 22.7% of his run-blocking reps — fourth-highest in the league.

C Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

In just his second NFL season, Humphrey is one of the NFL's top centers. While he made PFF's 2021 All-Pro team, he missed out on the official honor. His 83.6 overall grade this season ranks second-highest among centers, and he hasn’t allowed a sack on 653 snaps.

DI Quinnen Williams, New York Jets

The dominance we saw from Wiliams at Alabama is starting to consistently show up in the NFL. Among defensive tackles, Williams ranks second with eight sacks and third with 37 pressures. He also boasts the highest run-defense grade of any interior defensive lineman (86.5).

DI Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants

Where not always flashy, Lawrence has been nothing short of dominant this season. He has five sacks, 37 pressures and a 91.6 pass-rush grade. That’s on top of his 78.3 run-defense grade and 11 solo stops in the run game.

Edge Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

Surprisingly enough, Bosa has not been named to an All-Pro list yet in his career. This is the year he gets it. He has an 87.0 pass-rush grade through Week 11 and is second in the NFL in sacks (10.5), total pressures (50) and pass-rush win rate (25%).

Edge Matthew Judon, New England Patriots

After being selected to the Pro Bowl for three straight seasons, this could be the year Judon gets his first All-Pro nod. He leads the NFL in sacks (13) and has 46 total pressures on the season (prior to Week 12).

LB Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills

Milano has been one of the best defensive players in the NFL this season as the centerpiece of the Bills' defense. Among run-defense, pass-rush, coverage and overall grades, Milano’s lowest in any category is just 63.5 (run defense). He’s consistent in his ability and all-around execution.

LB David Long Jr., Tennessee Titans 

Long is another player who is making a clear impact at the linebacker position but isn’t getting enough love. He sports 80.0-plus grades in both run defense (83.7) and the pass rush (80.6) across 613 snaps. That's a lot of reps, but also a lot of good play for Long, who is likely a long shot for an All-Pro bid — albeit one who deserves a shoutout.

CB Sauce Gardner, New York Jets

Gardner has been sensational this year, and with this being his rookie season, it is obviously the first time he can earn an All-Pro honor. He boasts the highest coverage grade of any defender, at 90.4, and that’s across 380 coverage snaps. He’s allowed only 22 catches for 208 yards the entire season.

CB Patrick Surtain II, Denver Broncos

Surtain has turned himself into a shutdown cornerback week in and week out. He carries an 82.8 coverage grade through Week 11 with only 28 catches and 262 yards allowed. He also has five forced incompletions.

CB James Bradberry, Philadelphia Eagles

The first cornerback people would offer up for All-Pro honors from the Eagles will likely be Darius Slay. But since he’s been an All-Pro before, he can’t make this list. Bradberry is right up there, too. He leads the NFL with 13 forced incompletions and is yielding just a 43.9 passer rating when targeted.

S Talanoa Hufanga, San Francisco 49ers

Hufanga started the year off hot with a ton of impact plays at the third level of the Niners' defense. He’s been impactful across the board, recording a 75.5 overall grade, a 65.4 run-defense grade, a 71.6 pass-rush grade and a 75.3 coverage grade, thanks to his four interceptions and four forced incompletions.

S Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winfield has been incredibly impressive since coming into the league three seasons ago, and this is another season that could get him some All-Pro recognition. He’s the third-highest-graded safety in the NFL (82.8) but has elite grades in both run defense (90.2) and the pass rush (93.2). That's all while playing snaps at slot cornerback (259), box safety (25) and free safety (143).

S Malik Hooker, Dallas Cowboys

Hooker will be a long shot for an All-Pro spot, but he deserves some recognition for how well he’s playing. He has a 76.0 overall grade (prior to Week 12) thanks to a 75.7 coverage grade. He's allowed only four receptions for 23 yards on the season.

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