On Friday, the league announced the All-Pro teams for the 2016 season. Being named an All-Pro is widely thought to be more important to a player’s reputation, and a more accurate portrayal of showing who the best players were at their respective positions. With that said, the Texans had three defenders from their league-leading defense named to the second-team All-Pro Team.
The three players recognized for their performances during the regular season are linebackers Benardrick McKinney, Whitney Mercilus, and Jadeveon Clowney. McKinney led the team in tackles, racking up 129 total takedowns. McKinney also stepped into more of a leadership role with the team, surpassing Brian Cushing as the team’s top inside linebacker. Mercilus, who led the team in sacks with 7.5, proved that last season’s breakout performance was no fluke, and was the team’s most consistent pass rusher throughout the season.
Jadeveon Clowney, the former no. 1 overall pick by the franchise, had a breakout season, setting career highs in games played (14), tackles (52), and sacks (6.0), while providing the team with a dynamic pass rush that helped propel the team to the AFC South division title. Clowney also showed the talent and skill that had scouts and fans drooling when he entered the league, and the fact that he still has plenty of room to improve should be frightening for the rest of the AFC South in the years to come.
These three players are very worthy of these awards, as their stats back up. The team will certainly look forward to having each of these guys on the field Saturday afternoon, when the team looks to advance to the AFC Divisional round, as they host the Oakland Raiders in the Wild Card game. Be sure to stick with Pro Football Spot for all the latest news, and updates surrounding the Houston Texans, and the rest of the NFL.
Jared Wingate is a Dallas resident who is passionate about everything football! He is also a Broadcast Journalism major, and lead writer for the Houston Texans on Pro Football Spot. Subscribe and follow him on Twitter @wingate_jared.