The Associated Press has released their selections for the 2021 NFL All-Pro Team. When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, outside linebacker T.J. Watt and defensive tackle Cameron Heyward were selected as first team All-Pro.
Both Watt and Heyward were selected for their third first-team All-Pro honors. T.J. Watt is now in his third consecutive season as a first-team All-Pro while Cameron Heyward has gone the ‘every other year’ route with honors in 2017, 2019 and again in 2021.
The Associated Press All-Pro Team is made up of the top offensive, defensive, and special trams’ players in the NFL at their given positions. On first team, only 11 players on offense are selected with 11 players on defense and six specialists unless a tie increases the numbers at a position.
Leading the league in sacks (22.5) and tackles for loss (21), T.J. Watt has put himself as the front runner for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2021. Having 39 quarterback hits, five forced fumbles, seven passes defense, and three fumble recoveries, Watt is one of the budding young defensive stars in the NFL and was one of five players who was a unanimous decision at his position with 50 votes. The other edge rusher chosen as a first team All-Pro selection was Cleveland’s Myles Garrett with 29 votes.
Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward was back as a first-team All-Pro after being on the second team All-Pro in 2020. Having the second interception of his career, Heyward finished the season with 10.0 sacks, 89 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, nine passes defensed, and 17 quarterback hits. Placing ahead of Heyward on the first team was the Rams’ Aaron Donald who, like T.J. Watt, was also a unanimous decision with 50 votes. Heyward finished with 19 votes ahead of Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs with 10 votes.
There were three other members of the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers who received votes but did not make first or second team All-Pro. Saftey Minkah Fitzpatrick received one vote while Miles Killbrew received three special teams votes with Derek Watt also receiving one vote.
Congratulations to the two Steelers defenders for the acknowledgement of their outstanding seasons!