Despite a hot finish, the Seahawks’ slow start helped keep their stars off the Associated Press All-Pro first team for the first time since 2011. But the voters couldn’t miss returner Tyler Lockett, who made the first unit. LB Bobby Wagner and CB Richard Sherman were named to the second team.
Lockett was the only rookie honored. QB Russell Wilson, DE Michael Bennett, LB K.J. Wright and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor received votes but didn’t make the first or second teams, announced Friday.
It’s the first time since 2011 that the Seahawks have not had multiple players named to the first team.
Lockett had touchdowns on a kickoff and a punt return, and averaged 9.5 yards per punt return (ranked 11th) and 25.8 on kickoffs (8th). His club-record 139 yards on four punt returns Sunday fueled a 36-6 rout of Arizona and made him NFL special teams player of the month.
Carolina’s Josh Norman and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson bumped Sherman off the first team, where he had been the past three seasons. Wagner was a first-teamer in 2014. The first two inside linebackers this season were Carolina’s Luke Kuechly and San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman.
Thomas was a first-team pick in 2014, and Chancellor and running back Marshawn Lynch were second-team selections in 2014.
“It means a lot,” Lockett, a third-round draft pick in May, told AP. “There are a lot of great players who come into the NFL and do an exceptional job and have a great career. But they’re never able to make it on the All-Pro team.
“It’s nothing that they did, just other players may have had a better season. To be a rookie to be able to come in, it’s a crazy experience and a crazy accolade to have.”
Said coach Pete Carroll: “He had a fantastic season. He’s a great kid. I say that in all ways. There’s no way that he isn’t on. He works so hard, he’s so diligent. He’s a terrific athlete, a great competitor. He’s just getting warmed up. He’s been a terrific receiver as well as a returner.”
Lockett received 23 of a possible 50 votes.