Bucs fans will have to wait awhile until the NFL’s official All-Pro team is announced, but until then Pro Football Focus is creating its’ own. The analytics and player grading site recently dropped their 2021 Third Quarter All-Pro team. Two Bucs made the first team, and another was a second team inclusion. Quarterback Tom Brady and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. topped their position groups, while cornerback Jamel Dean earned second team recognition.
Brady is currently PFF’s highest-graded quarterback, throwing for 34 touchdowns and 3,771 yards. The future Hall of Famer leads the NFL in both categories, despite playing in his age 44 season. Brady’s numbers would be even better if not for some incredibly bad interception luck this season. The Bucs signal caller has tossed 10 interceptions this season, but over half were not his fault. Still, Brady remains the frontrunner for league MVP.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins received second team honors from PFF.
As for Winfield, his breakout season has gone exactly as hoped for Tampa Bay. The Bucs desperately needed a playmaker at safety, and Winfield has provided that spark. The second-year safety has 63 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, two interceptions and six pass breakups in 10 games. Winfield has also forced two fumbles and recovered a pair as well. A questionable penalty on Will Gholston negated another Winfield interception.
Winfield was joined on the PFF All-Pro First Team by Titans’ safety Kevin Byard. Rounding out the second team was the Patriots’ Adrian Phillips and the Bills’ Micah Hyde.
Bucs CB Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Dean’s breakout has been the most surprising. There were flashes with Dean during his first two seasons, but consistency has been elusive. That hasn’t been the case in 2021, where Dean has critically elevated his play when the team needed it most. The Auburn product has eight pass breakups and two interceptions this season. Dean has carried a top-tier grade from PFF all season long.
First team cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Terrell topped the list. Browns’ cornerback Denzel Ward joined Dean on the second team.
How can one make an All-Pro team without a single member of the Bucs offensive line? That part is tough to explain. I can understand the absence of Bucs players at almost every other position group, but the lack of love for the Tampa OL is startling.
An announcement on the Associated Press All-Pro team will likely occur at the end of the regular season. The Bucs hope to have more inclusions than last year, when not a single player made the lineup.