2010 Preseason NFL All-Pro Team: Defense
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.
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.
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.
DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys
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.
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.
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.
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.