2 Pats on Clayton All-Pro team

January, 4, 2012
1/04/12
4:05
PM ET
ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton picks his 2011 All-Pro team (link here) and two Patriots make the cut -- receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski.

In explaining the Gronkowski pick, Clayton writes, "Jimmy Graham was my first-half All-Pro, but in the greatest tight end battle I've ever seen, The Gronk set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns, beating Graham by 17 yards and six touchdowns."

Clayton also explains how he picked Welker over Carolina's Steve Smith, while detailing how left guard Logan Mankins just missed the cut in place of the Saints' Carl Nicks.

Meanwhile, Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com shares his All-Pro team (link here), and only Gronkowski makes the cut. Prisco also has his postseason awards ballot (link here), with Gronkowski recognized as the league's most improved player. Clark Judge of CBSSports.com also hands out his postseason awards, and delivers the same honor to Gronkowski (link here).

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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