DENVER — There is no such thing as genius in sports. Even Bill Belichick found that out after Tom Brady left him three years ago.
George Paton may have had a tough second year but give him credit for the first draft pick he ever made as the Broncos' general manager in 2021.
Pat Surtain II, the Broncos' No. 9 overall draft pick last year, was voted the Associated Press' first-team All-Pro cornerback. Surtain was the only All-Pro from the 5-12 Broncos this year. He was born to dominate the position. Surtain's father, Pat Surtain, was a first-team All-Pro in 2002 for Miami.
The AP is considered the most prestigious of individual All Star awards because it is voted on by a panel of 50 objective media members who closely cover the NFL. There figures to be a little more bias involved in voting for Pro Bowl (fans, coaches, players) and NFLPA All-Pro (players) awards.
Broncos safety Justin Simmons was named second-team All-Pro for the third time in four years.
Inside linebacker Alex Singleton received two, second-place votes.
The top voting results at cornerback and safety (3 points for 1st-place votes; 1 point for 2nd-place votes):
1. Sauce Gardner, NYJ, 136 points (43 first-place votes)
2. Pat Surtain II, Broncos, 79 (20)
3. Jaire Alexander, GB, 62 (16)
4. James Bradberry, PHI, 40 (8)
5. Darius Slay, DET, 20 (5)
1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, PIT, 139 (45)
2. Talanoa Hufanga, SF, 49 (12)
3. Derwin James Jr., LAC, 45 (13)
4. Justin Simmons, Broncos, 39 (8)
5. Jordan Poyer, BUF, 25 (5)
Also, the Raiders' Daniel Carlson of Colorado Springs Classical Academy High School beat out Baltimore's Justin Tucker for first-team All-Pro kicker. Tucker, a 5-time, first-team All-Pro, received his third, second-team All-Pro honor.
Colorado State product Ryan Stonehouse of the Tennessee Titans was the second-team All-Pro punter.
And former Bronco Kalif Raymond, now a Detroit Lion, was the second-team All-Pro punt returner.
The All-Pro teams proved once and for all there was no great AFC West quarterback arms race this year. The division was still dominated by the one-and-only Patrick Mahomes II of the Kansas City Chiefs who received 49 of a possible 50 first-place votes at quarterback. The Eagles' Jalen Hurts got the other vote.
Unanimous selections were Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce and Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson -- whom Paton also drafted as Minnesota's assistant GM in 2020. Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa each got 49 of a possible 50 first-place votes.
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