Aussie Michael Dickson named in NFL All-Pro first team
AUSTRALIAN rookie punter Michael Dickson has been named in the NFL's prestigious All-Pro team following his outstanding season with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Sydneysider was named in the team alongside three other rookies - Indianapolis pair Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard and San Diego safety Derwin James.
Dickson finished the regular season averaging 48.2 yards per punt, and 42.5 yards net, both of which were franchise records.
The 23-year-old's selection comes just a couple weeks his selection to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes and three other Kansas City Chiefs player made the team with LA Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald the only unanimous choice in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league.
"That's surreal," Donald said.
"It's a blessing. Wow! You see the hard work pay off.
"A lot of credit to my teammates and my coaches for pushing me and helping me."
Mahomes, Kansas City's second-year sensation, drew 45 votes at quarterback and was joined by teammates Travis Kelce at tight end, Tyreek Hill as the flex player and Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle.
Chicago also had four All-Pros: edge rusher Khalil Mack, cornerback Kyle Fuller, safety Eddie Jackson and punt returner Tarik Cohen.
Two players made All-Pro for the fifth time: Houston edge rusher JJ Watt and Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly.
"It means a lot to get back to the top level of the game," said Watt, who missed most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons with major injuries.
"Obviously, it's an extreme honour to be a first-team All-Pro, especially after what I've been through the last two years and hearing the things that people were saying and questioning myself at times.
"To be able to get back to the top level of the game and know that I still have things to improve on and things that I want to get even better at, it's exciting."
Brothers also were voted to the squad: Travis Kelce of the Chiefs and Eagles centre Jason Kelce.
"For me and my brother to both get it, it's that much more special because I still remember us in the backyard fighting with each other, playing football growing up and we envisioned each other competing at the highest level, competing against the best players," Jason said.
"And for both of us to be recognised as one of those guys is pretty special." The All-Pro team had a split of 14 AFC and 14 NFC members.
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Running Back: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Flex: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Wide Receivers: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints; DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers
Right Tackle: Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs
Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
Right Guard: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
Center: Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles
Edge Rushers: J.J. Watt, Houston Texans; Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears
Interior Linemen: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams; Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles
Linebackers: Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers; Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks; Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
Cornerbacks: Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears; Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots
Safeties: Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears; Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
Defensive Back: Desmond King, Los Angeles Chargers
Placekicker: Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
Punter: Michael Dickson, Seattle Seahawks
Kick Returner: Andre Roberts, New York Jets
Punt Returner: Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
Special Teamer: Adrian Phillips, Los Angeles Chargers
Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Running Back: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Flex: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Tight End: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Wide Receivers: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons; Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Left Tackle: Duane Brown, Seattle Seahawks; Terron Armstead, New Orleans Saints
Right Tackle: Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints
Left Guard: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns
Right Guard: Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens
Center: Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh Steelers
Edge Rushers: Von Miller, Denver Broncos; Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints; Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings
Interior Linemen: Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs; J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
Linebackers: Von Miller, Denver Broncos; C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens; Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
Cornerbacks: Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys; Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins
Safeties: Jamal Adams, New York Jets; Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings
Defensive Back: Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
Placekicker: Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants
Punter: Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles Rams
Kick Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson, New England Patriots
Punt Returner: Desmond King, Los Angeles Chargers
Special Teamer: Cory Littleton, Los Angeles Rams