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Rams Lead NFL With Six AP All-Pro Selections

Posted Jan 5, 2018

The Associated Press released its annual All-Pro list, and the Rams lead the NFL with six first-team players.

As the Rams prepare for their first playoff game in over a decade, six of the team’s players have been honored with an Associated Press All-Pro selection.

Running back Todd Gurley, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, left tackle Andrew Whitworth, punter Johnny Hekker, kicker Greg Zuerlein, and kick returner Pharoh Cooper have all been named as first-team All-Pros. Plus, Cooper as a punt returner and left guard Rodger Saffold have been named second-team All-Pros. Los Angeles has the most All-Pros in the league this season.

Gurley led the NFL with 2,093 yards from scrimmage, 19 total touchdowns, and 13 rushing touchdowns. He finished No. 2 in yards rushing, likely because he was resting in the Rams’ final regular-season game against the 49ers. It’s the first All-Pro selection of Gurley’s career.

"I've been following people around the NFL my whole life, and to be considered as an All-Pro, man, God is good, honestly. Honestly,” Gurley told the AP.

Donald is no stranger to the AP’s All-Pro list, having been selected in both 2015 and 2016. This year, he was on 49 of the AP’s 50 ballots for top interior lineman. Donald tied a career high with 11.0 sacks, and led the league in quarterback pressures in just 14 games.

Despite punting 33 fewer times in 2017, Hekker tied a career high with 47.9 yards per punt — improving on his mark from 2016. Hekker also finished No. 2 with a net average of 44.3 yards per punt, which is a credit to the coverage team. Hekker is now a four-time All-Pro.

This is left tackle Andrew Whitworth’s second selection as an All-Pro, as he was also on the team in 2015. Whitworth has been instrumental in the Rams improving from No. 32 to No. 1 in scoring in 2017, having signed with the club as a free agent in March.

Zuerlein and Cooper are both first-time All-Pro selections. Zuerlein receives the honor after leading the league in scoring with 158 points in only 14 games. The kicker suffered a back injury and was subsequently placed on injured reserve after the 42-7 victory over the Seahawks in Week 15.

Cooper led the league with a 27.4-yard return average, despite returning the third-most kickoffs in 2017. He scored his first career touchdown return in Jacksonville, taking the opening kick 103 yards to pay dirt. Cooper’s TD is tied for the longest kick return of 2017.