Alabama in the Pros

Five ex-Alabama standouts land on 2016 All-Pro Team; two were first team selections

Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (No. 57) returns an interception off Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger in December of 2016: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The postseason is here. Before wildcard weekend starts on Saturday, the National Football League released its 2016 All-Pro Team. Five former standouts from the University of Alabama were recognized, including two listed as first-team selections. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones nabbed a spot on first team offense, while New York Giants safety Landon Collins landed on first team defense.

Jones posted his fourth 1,000-yard season since being taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s second in the league in receiving with 1,409 yards and six touchdowns on 83 catches. Atlanta enters the playoffs with the NFL’s top-ranked scoring offense (33.8 ppg) and second-best total offense (415.8 ypg).

Collins held New York’s secondary together down the stretch. He recorded at least 100 tackles (125) for a second straight year, and was credited with five tackles for loss, four sacks and five interceptions.

The Giants open up wildcard week against Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

C.J. Mosley, Dont’a Hightower and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix all were listed on second team All-Pro for defense. Despite the Ravens missing the playoffs, Mosley amassed four interceptions and 92 tackles.

Clinton-Dix bought into Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers and helped the team run the table, after a 4-6 start. He recorded 80 total tackles and five interceptions, en route to aiding Green Bay to a 10-6 season.

Hightower ended 2016 with 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks, helping the New England Patriots clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs at 14-2.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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