Antonio Brown among four players to repeat on AP NFL All-Pro Team

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Antonio Brown was one of four repeaters from last season on the Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' star receiver drew all 50 ballots Friday from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Brown missed the past two-plus games with a calf injury.

He was among four players to make a fourth All-Pro squad, joining New England tight end Rob Gronkowski(five), Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly and Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker.

The repeaters from 2016 were Brown, Hekker, Rams interior defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who got 49 votes, and Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who earned his third selection.

"When you get voted for these types of awards," Wagner said, "it shows you all the work you do in the offseason, the grinding, all the things you push through. ... When you get this, when people say this is not AFC, NFC, this is the league, this is who we deem the best at their position in the league, that says a lot.

In their turnaround season, the Rams led the way, with six All-Pros, including two more specialists: kicker Greg Zuerlein and kick returner Pharoh Cooper. Running backTodd Gurleyand left tackle Andrew Whitworth were also honored.

"Dang, that's crazy. It means a lot, honestly," said Gurley, who likely would have led the league in rushing had he played in L.A.'s finale. "It's a blessing. I've got so much respect for everybody in this league, and to be in this position just means so much to me.

"I've been following people around the NFL my whole life, and to be considered as an All-Pro, man, God is good, honestly. Honestly."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his third All-Pro team.

Three Steelers joined Brown on the roster: Le'Veon Bell as the flex, interior defensive linemanCam Heywardand right guard David DeCastro. No other team had more than two All-Pros, with the NFC getting 18 players and the AFC 10.

The stunning turnaround by the Jaguars also was recognized, as rarely does Jacksonville have members of the elite All-Pro squad. For 2017, they have two: edge rusher Calais Campbell and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

"It's huge," Campbell said. "That's a big testament to the work we put in. We don't just show up and perform. We grind day in and day out to be the best. This defense is very special, so I'm glad to see us get some accolades for our hard work."

Campbell and Ramsey helped the Jaguars rank first in pass defense and second overall, earning their first playoff berth since the 2007 season.

Two rookies made it: punt returner Jamal Agnew of Detroit and special-teamer Budda Baker of Arizona.

Also making it: Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson and center Jason Kelce; Panthers left guard Andrew Norwell; Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins; Saints edge rusher Cameron Jordan; Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones; Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith; Detroit defensive back Darius Slay; and Titans safety Kevin Byard.

First-timers made an impression on both sides of the ball, with 15 on the team: Byard, Slay, Rhodes, Jones, Jordan, Ramsey, Campbell, Hopkins, Norwell, Kelce, Johnson, Agnew, Baker, Gurley and Cooper.