The Associated Press announced its NFL All-Pro teams Friday, and two members of the St. Louis Rams made it to the first team All-Pro. They are punter Johnny Hekker and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. These two players are also going to the Pro Bowl.
As for rookie running back Todd Gurley, he made second-team All-Pro.
Hekker had one of the greatest seasons of any punter in NFL history during 2015. While leading the NFL in punts with 96, he had also led the NFL in gross punting average (47.9), net punting average (43.7) and punts downed inside the opponents’ 20 yard-line (41). That gave him the distinction of being the first player in NFL history to lead in all of those categories within the same season.
This is the second All-Pro selection for Hekker in his young career.
For Donald, this is just another accolade on what’s already been a outstanding season for the young interior lineman. During the 2015 season, he totaled 11 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, 49 quarterback pressures and 29 quarterback hits. The statistics he garnered, along with the role he played within the Rams defense, has thrust him into the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year.
At the very least, he is a top three candidate for the award.
With all the issues the Rams have had over the course of the year, these two players (three including Gurley) have truly been some of the brightest spots.
(Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)