Friday, January 3, 2014
Graham named first-team All-Pro
By Mike Triplett
New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press on Friday in a nearly-unanimous vote. He received 49 of 50 votes. Guard Jahri Evans was named to the second team.
There was no second-team quarterback since first-teamer Peyton Manning received all 50 votes. Otherwise, Saints quarterback Drew Brees would have had a great shot at that honor.
I don’t have any real quibbles with the Saints’ representation on the team. Defensive end Cameron Jordan would have been a worthy top-four choice, but there is a ton of talent at his position (J.J. Watt, Robert Quinn, Mario Williams and Greg Hardy).
Graham was an obvious selection, leading all NFL players with 16 touchdown receptions this year and leading all tight ends with 86 receptions and 1,215 receiving yards.
Evans’ name recognition probably helped him secure a spot on the second team, after he was a first-teamer in each of the past four years. But he also earned his spot with a strong second half of the season after battling injuries early in the year. Although the Saints’ line had some overall pass protection issues, Evans continued to be solid in that area, as well as versatile in his run blocking and getting out in front of screen passes.