Cal Football: Three Golden Bears Named to All-Pro Teams

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 31: Jameis Winston
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 31: Jameis Winston /

Three former Cal football stars are featured in the AP’s 2017 All-Pro teams, with one first-teamer and a pair of second-teamers.

For his stellar 2017 season, New Orleans Saints’ edge rusher, and former Cal football star, Cameron Jordan has earned a place on the All-Pro First Team. This is the first time that Jordan has gained recognition as an All-Pro.

Jordan was a big part of the Saints’ team that won the NFC South for the first time since 2011, and firmly established himself as one of the most disruptive players in football. He completed a self-proclaimed “triple double” during 2017, finishing the year with at least 10 sacks, 10 pass defenses, and 10 tackles for loss.

The 2011 first-round pick set career-highs in all three categories. He finished the season with three sacks in the last two games, pushing his total to 13 to surpass the 12.5 he recorded in 2013. He finished tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks. His 12 passes deflected at the line of scrimmage led all defensive linemen, with Carolina’s Kony Ealy ranking second with 10. Jordan’s 17 tackles for loss tied him for third-most in the league.

In addition, Jordan recorded his second career interception, knocking a Matthew Stafford pass straight into the air before catching it in the endzone for his first NFL touchdown. He forced two fumbles as well.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Kansas City Chiefs’ right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and Atlanta Falcons’ center Alex Mack, both also former Golden Bears, join Jordan as All-Pros, earning spots on the Second-Team.

Schwartz was a four-year starter at Cal before being taken in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He joined Kansas City before the 2016 season, and has been second-team All-Pro both seasons with the Chiefs.

The right tackle is the NFL’s new ironman, having played 6,351 straight snaps since being drafted. His streak became the longest active in the league after left tackle Joe Thomas, Schwartz’s former teammate in Cleveland, suffered a torn tricep that forced him on injured reserve. Thomas still holds the longest recorded streak with 10,363 consecutive snaps.

Schwartz was penalized only four times throughout the 2017 season, and allowed just four sacks while playing against some elite pass rushers in the AFC West, like Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa, and Von Miller. He earned “high quality” grades from Pro Football Focus in both rush blocking and pass blocking.

Mack was the 21st overall pick in the 2009 draft, also by Cleveland, after three consecutive seasons as a First-Team All-Pac-10 center at Cal. In 2017, he started all 16 games for the eighth time in his nine NFL seasons, and for the third straight season with the Falcons.

Pro Football Focus rated Mack as the third-best center in the NFL, also giving him “high quality” grades in both the run and pass. He was penalized only once, and allowed just one sack through the season. This is his third All-Pro Second-Team selection, including his second straight season on the team, and he earned his fifth career Pro Bowl nod.

Next: Cal NFL Player of the Week

Former Bear Keenan Allen, currently in his fifth season with the Los Angeles Chargers, also garnered a single vote, but not enough to make the First- or Second-Team. Allen set career-highs with 102 receptions and 1,393 receiving yards, finishing top-five in the NFL in both categories. His reception total tied Tony Gonzalez’s mark set in 2004 for the most in a season by a former Golden Bear, while his yardage stands along at the top of the list.