The Associated Press released their annual All-Pro list today. It is widely revered for it's more accurate display of the best players in the league since it doesn't incorporate NFL fans into the voting. After a 5-11 season, the Baltimore Ravens saw only one of their players on the first-team and only one on the second-team sadly.
Now of course, just because it is widely accepted as the better option when viewed against the Pro Bowl voting does not mean that there isn't still some room for argument with it's results. With right guard Marshal Yanda being the only Ravens player selected, there could easily be some fans complaining about fellow Ravens not added to the list.
Punter Sam Koch is the easiest one to make a case for as the 10-year veteran was finally named to his first Pro Bowl this season for masterful work. Generally accepted that he was snubbed on numerous other occasions during his career, the AP selecting St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker seems laughable at best. He did make it in as the second-team punter, but his highlight reel this season alone is worthy of study if you are a punter in this league.
Even though it was a down year for kicker Justin Tucker comparatively, an argument could be made that he too deserved the spot on the AP's list this season. However, New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is a fine selection all on his own. Tucker had won it previously back in 2013, also his only Pro Bowl season to in his rather short career after going undrafted in 2012 out of Texas. A career field goal rate of 87.8% still has him as the second best kicker right behind Dan Bailey from the Dallas Cowboys, and right in front of Gostkowski.
Brandon Williams got snubbed yet again despite one of the most dominant performances from a defensive lineman we've ever seen. While he doesn't get the sack numbers, there are few in the league that can compare with just how well Williams played throughout the season in his role. Constantly shedding blocks and getting penetration in the backfield as well as being the team's best run-stuffer, Williams looks to be yet another Ravens defender that won't get his accolades until he's earned them for multiple years in a row.
Even fullback Kyle Jusczcyk got snubbed at a position that is the least valued in the league. With so few teams even carrying or playing fullbacks, "Juice" as he's better known in Baltimore didn't get any love with just a single vote to his name. Meanwhile Mike Tolbert of the Carolina Panthers got the first-team selection with the Atlanta Falcons' Pat DiMarco seeing the second-team. Even John Kuhn of the Packers and Zach Line of the Vikings got more votes for some reason. Being a threat as a blocker and as a receiver out of the backfield, you'd have figured that he would have gotten more attention by the AP writers than what he did here.
It might have been a down season for the Baltimore Ravens and while I'm sure those that got even a single vote are thankful for any recognition, there were a few that deserved more. Maybe with hopefully more wins in 2016, the AP's eyes will be focused back on the Baltimore Ravens players and just how good they truly are.