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2010 Preseason NFL All-Pro Team: Defense

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Jonathan Bales

Yesterday, I published by 2010 All-Pro Offense.  Two Cowboys made the cut: Jason Witten and Miles Austin.  Today comes the defense, and again, two Cowboys are listed.

Note: This All-Pro team is not a comprehensive list of the league’s top players from last year, but rather a prediction of who will finish the 2010 season as the NFL’s top performers at each position.

S

Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers

Polamalu was No. 3 on my list of the NFL’s top 15 players, and the top defender.  Look at the success of the Pittsburgh defense with Polamalu healthy versus when he’s not on the field.

Louis Delmas, Detroit Lions

This may be a shocker to a lot of people, but I am high enough on Delmas to put him in elite company.  Ed Reed would take this spot if he was healthy.

CB

Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders

28 targets in all of 2009 and that was the highest total in years.  There’s a reason he doesn’t get interceptions.

Darrelle Revis, New York Jets

Everybody and their brother thinks Revis is the top cornerback in the NFL.  Within the next few days, he may get paid like it.

Jonathan Joseph, Cincinnati Bengals

Joseph has been underrated for years and is just now receiving the credit he deserves.  With Leon Hall on the opposite side of the field, teams can’t simply ignore Joseph like they do Asomugha.

OLB

DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys

Ware received a 94.0 overall grade from us–tied for highest on the team.  He led all 3-4 linebackers in pressures with 56.  In comparison, the No. 2 guy tallied just 36.

Lamarr Woodley, Pittsburgh Steelers

James Harrison used to be Pittsburgh’s top rusher, but now that distinction belongs to Woodley.  He’s also incredible against the run.

Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins

I created an extra spot at OLB just to fit Orakpo on this list.  In his rookie season, he racked up 12 sacks at a position he had never played.

ILB

Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers

Willis is the league’s premiere inside linebacker whether you’re looking at 3-4 or 4-3 guys.  His run support/pass coverage/blitz combination is second to none.

Jon Beason, Carolina Panthers

Mark it down: Beason will lead the NFL in tackles this season.

DT

Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens

Ray Lewis is able to run free because Ngata eats up blocks in the middle.

Jay Ratliff, Dallas Cowboys

Ratliff has a completely different style from Ngata (and most defensive tackles).  He is an aggressive, penetrating nose tackle who uses his athleticism and quickness to beat defenders. . .and this year he’s healthy.

DE

Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are able to sit back in their cover two and not blitz much because Freeney is able to generate so much pressure on his own.

Mario Williams, Houston Texans

Williams was originally considered a “bust” due to his high (and surprising) draft spot, but he’s the real deal.  He will break out big-time in 2010.

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2 Responses to 2010 Preseason NFL All-Pro Team: Defense

  1. john coleman says:

    Some interesting picks! I wonder if Polamalu was forced to play 1 on 1 more how he would stand up. He seems to maximize free range. No doubt he is the key to the Pittsburgh D. I also wonder if Freeney had have been healthy are the Saints World Champs. He probably wasn’t 75%. Beason will have to.

  2. Yeah. . .Polamalu is insane. The “strange” picks that I would imagine most would not agree with would be Delmas, Joseph, and Orakpo.

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