2013 PFF All-Pro Team

The PFF team got together to select their All-Pro team. Some picks were relatively easy, while some split the group, but who made it?

| 3 years ago

2013 PFF All-Pro Team


Defensive Interior: J.J. Watt (HOU) and Gerald McCoy (TB)
So the Texans lost a lot more games this year. You can’t blame that on Watt who surpassed his 2012 grade with an even better year that had less sacks, but more hits and hurries with more impact plays against the run. It was special, and so was the year of McCoy to top our defensive tackle rankings. His work against the run is a bit more style than substance at times, but he’s just too good for most guards rushing the passer. These two were consensus picks along with Suh on the second team, with Calais Campbell missing out by the odd vote in five due to the play of Casey.
Second Team: Jurrell Casey (TEN) and Ndamukong Suh (DET)

Nose Tackle: Marcell Dareus (BUF)
The spot which featured the most discussion. Semantics played a part with two-down players Brandon Mebane and Damon Harrison having fine years. But ultimately we wanted guys who played on every down and in every package and that meant Dareus got the nod and Poe was put on the second team.
Second Team: Dontari Poe (KC)

Edge Rusher: Robert Quinn (SL) and Robert Mathis (IND)
Quinn set a record with his +77.2 grade that was truly breathtaking. Many a tackle wasn’t just made to look bad, but made to look like they didn’t belong in the league with the speed and regularity of how often he beat them on his way to 91 quarterback disruptions. Mathis couldn’t match that kind of production but his habit of making big plays with less help on his defense was extremely impressive. On the second team, Houston, who led our 3-4 outside linebacker rankings despite missing time, was always in with Hardy just earning the nod over Cameron Wake.
Second Team: Justin Houston (KC) and Greg Hardy (CAR)

Linebackers: Lavonte David (TB) and Patrick Willis (SF)
A tricky spot to decide. David was always in with his feverish playmaking really a joy to behold. His numbers really don’t do him justice with him earning positive grades in coverage, against the run and rushing the passer. That was the easy one but deciding the rest saw Willis, Bowman and Davis joined in the discussion with Vontaze Burfict, Luke Kuechly, Karlos Dansby, Derrick Johnson and Stephen Tulloch. Ultimately, Willis’ work in every phase of the game got him the start, while the playmaking of Bowman got him on the second team. Of the rest, the consistently excellent work of Davis in coverage was what just got him onto the team.
Second Team: NaVorro Bowman (SF) and Thomas Davis (CAR)

Cornerbacks: Brent Grimes (MIA) and Darrelle Revis (TB)
We had some discussions here, though not when it came to Grimes. The man who would give up no touchdowns and pick up 18 combined pass break-ups and interception was the value free agent signing this year. Finding the other starter was much harder with it being left to the deciding vote of an unnamed analyst that saw Revis get the nod over Sherman. The Seahawk is joined on the second team by Patrick Peterson who edged Keenan Lewis.
Second Team: Richard Sherman (SEA) and Patrick Peterson (ARZ)

Free Safety: Devin McCourty (NE)
McCourty wound up with our highest grade of the year, with his work in coverage the real standout element of his game. He was a unanimous selection over Thomas who we love when things go well, but can’t ignore when he misses a tackle or takes a bad angle with his all active style. Others getting serious consideration included Eric Weddle and Will Hill.
Second Team: Earl Thomas (SEA)

Strong Safety: Eric Berry (KC)
A new type of safety, Berry would often spend his time in the box to make him a fourth linebacker for the Chiefs in their dime package, while just as able to cover a tight end or back in man coverage or play the deep safety role. A truly complete player. On the second team the work of Whitner in coverage (a weakness heading into the year) got him the nod over T.J. Ward.
Second Team: Donte Whitner (SF)

*Slot Cornerback: Tyrann Mathieu (ARZ)
If we’re going to have a slot receiver then we need a slot corner. In a heated discussion, the complete play of Mathieu — who played base downs as a safety and moved to the slot in the Cardinals’ nickel and dime packages — won out despite him missing time toward the end of the season. Harris makes the second team in large part due to his overall game, an area where Brandon Boykin missed out. Being so close to the action, we liked our slot cornerback to have a bigger impact on more areas than just coverage.
Second Team: Chris Harris (DEN)



Kicker: Nick Folk (NYJ)
Folk won the Jets more games than many expected them to win all year with his last minute heroics, going a healthy 33-of-36 on the year.
Second Team: Justin Tucker (BAL)

Punter: Johnny Hekker (SL)
That his opponents had 79 return yards all year owed an awful lot to the excellent hangtime of Hekker. Edges out Morstead and Shane Lechler in a competitive field.
Second Team: Thomas Morstead (NO)

Kick Returner: Cordarelle Patterson (MIN)
Was there ever any doubt here? Patterson was the biggest special teams weapon all year and the only way he wouldn’t make our All Pro team is if we opted for an all round returner (like Brandon Tate) who fields punts and kickoffs.
Second Team: Quintin Demps (KC)

Punt Returner: Golden Tate (SEA)
Tate didn’t have a touchdown but he did demonstrate an ability to make players miss and create yards that didn’t seem possible.
Second Team: Dexter McCluster (KC)

Special Teamer: Justin Bethel (ARZ)
Bethel was superb and played in a way that made this the easiest of selections. They don’t make special teamers like him.
Second Team: Jeremy Lane (SEA)


  • eaglesk8r

    How is Boykin not even second team slot corner?

    • joof

      I love Boykin. The guy said “Being so close to the action, we liked our slot cornerback to have a bigger impact on more areas than just coverage.”

      I guess harris can tackle and blitz better.

    • Tyler Lesley

      Is this not covered in the explanation? Sounds like they went with the better overall corner, not just who had the best coverage.

  • Chris

    As much as I wish it was true, Ndamukong Suh is still on the Lions not the Vikings

  • Pedro

    This list lost all credibility when you picked [excellent player A] over [excellent player B from the team I root for].

    • Guest

      If you actually think PFF does that you’re delusional.

      • cameronmm


      • Pedro

        Of course I don’t think that – give me a little credit. They put each player’s name on paper, and see which papers produce white smoke when burned at an altar of Rick Reilly.

    • Pedro

      Don’t worry peoples, this doesn’t apply to you and your team. Especially if you root for Seattle, apparently.

      Bonus points for cherry-picking stats that favor your guy and ignoring the strengths of whatever other outstanding player did get the nod.

  • joof

    So this list is basically the Pro Bowl choices shrunk into 1 team? I always liked the All Pro team nods over pro Bowl

  • Daniel Dannen

    Wow. When the best team in football (Seattle) has a grand total of two defensive second stringers and a special teams player on this list, you know idiocy played a big role in its creation.
    Back to Football Outsiders for me.

    • Pedro

      It’s almost like a team can have the best defense without having all 11 starters be the best at their positions. By your logic, JJ Watt must be lousy since his team sucks. A hypothetical team that had the 3rd best player at each position would be unstoppable in real games without having any all-pros.

      Leave it to a Seahawks fan to be a sore winner.

    • Bellini

      Of course! Why bother to watch the games when you can simply download the basic info off NFLGISIS, stick it in a database, and come up with a silly formula (WTF is DVOA anyway) to tell you the answer like FO?

      No need to do any real work – genius!

      I’m sure their view on say offensive linemen or linebackers is as valid as their methods.

      BTW. Where is their All-Pro team?

      • Bill G

        Probably from all the years of losing he has given up trying 100% in both types of blocking.

      • Daniel Dannen

        Yea, Pro Football Focus is the literal Word of God, lol. Half the time PFF’s ratings are pure crap, as anyone who actually WATCHES the games and players can verify. I’ve seen linemen, linebackers, etc., blow assignments down after down throughout a game, and PFF will give these guys passing marks. PFF is reliable when it comes to grading QB’s, RB’s, etc., only because these grades are reiterations of well-known statistics, and don’t depend on anyone at PFF actually watching the game.

        • Dustin

          PFF has a lot more credibility than you do, sorry. Go start your own site if you’re such an expert.

    • Dustin

      Oh no, someone that thinks highlight reels matter more than actual numbers and analysis is leaving this site?? I’m going to lose so much sleep over this :(

      • silentassassin

        Wait, did you actually watch a Bucs game this year? Revis is still not 100%. Frequently, he was limping toward the sideline and most of the first half of the year he was lost in Shiano’s zone schemes. He had a solid year, but he’s not yet back to being the best corner in the league.

  • LightsOut85

    Any theory why Joe Thomas “suddenly” stopped being the dominant run-blocker he was the first few years of PFF? Even if you’re not totally sure, I’d love to see an article collecting examples like this (guys who were consistently good at something then just stopped being so. Maybe the reverse too, but that can be explained by learning & practicing to become a better player).

    • Mike H

      Probably from all the years of losing he has given up blocking 100% in the run game. Why risk injury.

  • Joe Manzanares

    Kicker was far an away Matt Prater (just because Payton scores TD’s) as he only set NFL records three times this year. (most PAT attempts and consecutive makes, and a 64 yard FG) He only had one missed FG (a plus 50 attempt) He earned his spot but was overshadowed by Manning’s play! Mr. Automatic!!!

    • Jeff

      Also helps kicking in Denver

    • Andreas

      Ok, I’ll give you the 64 yard FG, but what in the world has the number of PAT attempts to do with the quality of kicking? And I’d argue that missing a PAT is rarely the kickers fault but usaly a problem with protection or long snapping/ holding.

  • James Barr

    Lol, the #1 defense in the league by points allowed and yards allowed has zero players on this list. Seattle also has the #1 and #2 corners by opponent passer rating targeting them, but miss the list.

    Clearly accurate.

    • Guest

      Points and yards allowed are team achievements, opponent passer rating is one of several stats for corners, and they don’t base PFF analysis on simple stats. But did you see who they did choose for the secondary? Not too shabby either. Thomas and Sherman are on everyone’s short lists. Other than them, the strength of your defense is its lack of holes. The front 7 isn’t made of all-pros, it’s just that they’re basically all studs. That should make you happy enough.

    • Jeff

      Seattle’s defense is fantastic, and they have great players at every level. However, All-Pro is based on the best of the best in the league. I have no problem with the players that were picked. Seattle has a great 11 players on defense, which is why they are the best defense in the league.

      It’s like arguing JJ Watt’s selection based on the Texans defensive ranking, and points allowed. When clearly Watt was doing his job better than any other player in the league.

    • Anicra

      Actually there is some good statistical breakdown where Seattle’s pass D is one of the four best all time http://www.footballperspective.com/putting-the-2013-seahawks-pass-defense-in-perspective/

      There are times where I look at the scores PFF gives and they seem a bit off.
      I would love to see if there are some serious statistically difference by each scorer. As much as you want to believe it is objective, it still has a bit of subjective issues. If 20 different PFF scored a game, I would guess there will be a good deviation.

      • Pedro

        I think the point still stands that their secondary’s biggest edge is that the unit has no flaws. They have two guys that are arguably all-pros (almost making PFF’s choices as the very best at their positions) and everyone else is a star or at least really solid. That’s really unusual to be so stacked, especially in the salary cap era. But that is a team strength and doesn’t mean that a reasonable expert can’t give the slight edge to another elite player over Thomas or Sherman.

  • Brandon Purdy

    No Sherman. Wow. I know it’s hard to choose between some players but every analyst and ex DB has said that Sherman is the best DB in the league. He leads the league in Ints but yet he is targeted less than any starting CB in the league. PFF not weighing ints enough in their formula. Those are game changing plays. It’s a reason why QBs don’t target him. Is that weighted in the formula.

    • Daniel Dannen

      Not only that, QB’s throwing at Sherman have a below 50 quarterback rating.

    • Dustin

      Sherman is on there on the 2nd team.

      • Brandon Purdy

        That’s the problem. He should be on the first team.

    • Pedro

      Every analyst and ex DB? I’ve heard plenty say Peterson or Revis is the best, and Grimes is having a huge year. And INTs are a little random so having one more than another player doesn’t necessarily make you a better player. Just like sacks for a pass rusher. Not that Sherman isn’t the best or a top-2 corner, just that there are cases to be made for a handful of guys. If you like PFF then give them and their process a little benefit of the doubt even if they didn’t pick your guy.

  • polarbear14325

    I dont understand why Marcell Dareus could be voted first team nose tackle over his more impressive teammate, Kyle Williams. I also find it hard, to believe Kuechely was not even in the top 5 for mlb’s.

  • polarbear14325

    Ya don’t love the tyrann mathiu pick as slot corner because for a lot of the other positions an every down player mattered. Mathilu not only left the season early, but he also played a majority of his snaps at safety. Off the top of my head I would think Nickell Robey, or Boykin would have made more sense.

    • Phil Dunphy

      No he played the majority of his snaps in the slot that’s why he is ranked as a CB and not a safety. He played 13 games that plenty.

  • Niddler

    How the hell do you leave Josh Gordon off your list?

    He had 3 different QBs throwing him the ball, no running game, was suspended for the first 2 games of the season and yet he still was in beast mode leading the NFL!

  • KellyL

    Best pure slot CB – Brandin Boykin!

  • This is US

    McCluster has fewer fair catches, more return yards, a higher return average, and two TD’s vs 0 for Tate and Tate wins because he created yards that, “didn’t seem possible?” What does that mean? Did PFF analyze the return averages of these teams without McCluster and Tate and Seattle’s average was lower?

    Or, did PFF make stuff up?

    PFF is sinking. It’s sad.

    PFF: You’re great at gathering facts. You don’t need to wander off to credit players for “making things happen.” They do, or they don’t. McCluster made more things happen. Hence, the higher average and TD’s.

  • Philly Fan

    As an Eagle fan, I’d say that all the Eagles players who deserved a spot are there; DeSean Jackson had a great bounce back year but he wasn’t better than any of the receivers mentioned in the article. The only thing that I don’t get is, how did Luke Kuechly of the Panthers not make First (let alone Second) Team All-Pro? I’d say he looks like the most complete LB in the league. (Not sure how well he played in the Panthers’ playoff loss to the Niners, didn’t watch due to work)

  • Ryan

    They need to have a separate position for 3-4 players.

  • Big Chief

    Why no long snapper? Every team has one and it seems like it would be a natural for grading.