There are still three years left, the majority of the decade is over and, at this point, we have a good idea who will make the 2010s All Decade Team. Here’s a look at who could get the nod for the first team.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)
In this decade, Rodgers has won a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP, two regular season MVP awards, has made two first-team All-Pros and a second team along with six Pro Bowl nods. He has also set the career and singe season passer rating records. Tom Brady is a close second, but Rodgers gets the nod by doing more with less.
Running Back: Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
Peterson owns a league MVP, an offensive player of the year award, two first-team All-Pros and a pair of second teams as well as four Pro Bowl selections, a 2,000 yard rushing season and has led the league in rushing twice this decade. While he may be slowing down today, he is easily the best running back of this era and would have many more rushing yards is he did not get injured or miss most of the 2014 season.
Running Back: Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)
This was easily the toughest decision to make as Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy were both qualified, but Lynch retired midway through the decade and to this point Charles has been the better overall player. This could change, however, as Charles begins to slow down while McCoy was still stellar in 2016.
Charles is a two-time first-team All-Pro and has made a second team along with four Pro Bowls. He had led the league in touchdowns one year and is the NFL record holder for yards per carry.
Fullback: Mike Tolbert (Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Buffalo)
A dying position, Tolbert was a key to the Panthers success when rushing the ball throughout the decade. He has made a pair of first-team All-Pros and a trio of Pro Bowls. Despite retiring in 2013, Vonta Leach could be in the conversation.
Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson (Detroit)
This generation’s Barry Sanders, Johnson was the shining star on a Detroit Lions team that could never put it all together on the field and saw him leave the game way too soon. Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yards record, made three straight first-team All-Pros and a second team, six straight Pro Bowls and led the league in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons.
Wide Receiver: Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh)
Brown was a sixth round draft pick in 2010. He was the 22nd receiver taken that year and has been better than all of them. He has made three first-team All-Pro squads along with a second team, five Pro Bowls and led the league in receiving yards in 2014. Julio Jones is in the mix and Odell Beckham Jr. likely will be as well once the decade ends.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski (New England)
The only thing that can stop Gronkowski is injuries. Despite consistently playing in two tight end sets, Gronkowski constantly produces. He broke the NFL record for touchdowns and receiving yards by a tight end in 2011. His 18 touchdowns that season matched the amount the Rams had as a team that year. Along with two Super Bowls, Gronkowski is a four-time first-team All-Pro and has made four Pro Bowls.
Tackle: Joe Thomas (Cleveland)
A future Hall of Famer who has spent his entire professional career in NFL purgatory with a smile, Joe Thomas has never missed a snap in his career, let alone a game. Since entering the league in 2007, He has made the Pro Bowl every year, seven first-team All-Pros and a pair of second-team nods. He is the only offensive lineman in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first 10 seasons.
Tackle: Jason Peters (Philadelphia)
Tyron Smith could ultimately supplant Peters, but as of today, the Eagle will get the nod. Peters has made three first-team All-Pros and one second-team.
Guard: Jahri Evans (New Orleans)
Entering the league out of small-school Bloomsburg, Evans has been one of the most dominant guards at the beginning of the decade, earning four straight first-team All-Pro squads starting in 2009 and a second team in 2013 along with six straight Pro Bowls.
Guard: Marshal Yanda (Baltimore)
A Super Bowl champion in 2012, Yanda has made a pair of first-team All-Pros, three second-team selections and six consecutive Pro Bowls.
Center: Maurkice Pouncey (Pittsburgh)
I was tempted to put Travis Frederick, but for now Pouncey edges him. Pouncey is a five-time Pro Bowler and has made two first-team All-Pro squads along with a pair of second teams.
Defensive End: J.J. Watt (Houston)
Since Day One, Watt has been the most dominant defensive end in football, making four straight first-team All-Pros, four straight Pro Bowls and winning three Defensive Player of the Year awards. Starting quarterbacks aren’t the only people Watt terrorized, backups aren’t safe either.
Defensive End: Khalil Mack (Oakland)
Much like Watt, Mack has been a force since Day One. He didn’t enter the league until 2014, but he is already a two-time All-Pro and made the 2015 first-team All-Pro roster as both a defensive end and linebacker. He was the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016.
Defensive Tackle: Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams)
The Rams have struggled this decade, but Donald has been an absolute monster along the defensive line. He has made the Pro Bowl in each year since entering the league and first-team All-Pro teams in 2015-16. In 2014, he was name Defensive Rookie of the Year. His 28 career sacks are just two less than Khalil Mack despite playing as an interior defender.
Defensive Tackle: Ndamukong Suh (Detroit, Miami)
Though he has a reputation as a dirty player, Suh has been one of the league’s most dominant interior defenders, as shown by the massive contract he received from the Dolphins when he entered free agency. Suh has made four first-team All-Pros and a pair of second teams along with five Pro Bowls. In 2010, he was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Linebacker: Von Miller (Denver)
Another player who has been a terror seemingly since the moment he was drafted, Miller has been the anchor of what has been a great defense in Denver. He has won a Super Bowl and a Super Bowl MVP along with three first-team All-Pro mentions and a pair of second team nods and five Pro Bowls. He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011.
Linebacker: Justin Houston (Kansas City)
Another tough selection, Houston gets the edge due much in part to his 22 sack season and the fact that he has a higher ceiling than other nominees due to the fact that he is younger. Houston made a first-team All-Pro in 2014.
Linebacker: Luke Kuechly (Carolina)
The most dominant interior linebacker in this era, Kuechly is the leader of Carolina’s defense. He won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, Defensive Player of the Year one season later, three straight first-team All-Pros, a second-team All-Pro and four Pro Bowls.
Cornerback: Richard Sherman (Seattle)
A fifth round pick in 2011, Sherman has proven everyone wrong, making three straight first-team All-Pro squads and a second team along with four straight Pro Bowl nods. He led the league in interceptions in 2013, the same year Seattle won the Super Bowl.
Cornerback: Patrick Peterson (Arizona)
Throughout the decade, Sherman and Peterson have often found themselves as 1 and 1A. Peterson has made the Pro Bowl every season in his career along with three first-team All-Pro squads. Peterson has also been a stellar punt returner.
Safety: Earl Thomas (Seattle)
When Thomas entered the league, he essentially took the torch from Ed Reed as the league’s best free safety. He has made four straight first-team All-Pro squads and one second team along with five Pro Bowls. He and Sherman were the integral unit of the “Legion of Boom,” which was essential to Seattle’s Super Bowl victory and follow-up appearance.
Safety: Eric Weddle (Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore)
Weddle was a decent player when his NFL career began, but he hit a second gear at the beginning of the decade, quietly becoming on of the best overall safeties in the NFL. He made first-team All-Pro in 2011 and 2014 and is a three-time second-team All-Pro. In 2011, he led the league in interceptions and has made four Pro Bowls.
Kicker: Justin Tucker (Baltimore)
Tucker narrowly edged out Dan Bailey due in part to his higher field goal percentage and the pair of first-team All-Pros he has been named to. Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history and won a Super Bowl with Baltimore as a rookie.
Punter: Johnny Hekker (Los Angeles Rams)
When your team struggles, it’s important to have a good punter. Hekker has been just that with the Rams, making three first-team All-Pros and one second team. He set the record for net punt yards in 2013 only to break it again last year along with setting the record for most punts downed inside the 20 in a single season.
Kickoff Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota)
Drafted as a wide receiver in this first round, Patterson hasn’t lived up to his draft status on offense, but he has been a dynamo on special teams, where he has earned two first-team All-Pro nods and one second team.
Punt Returner: Darren Sproles (Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Philadelphia)
Despite his small stature, Sproles has become a do-it-all player no matter which team he lands on. In 2011, he broke the NFL’s single-season all-purpose yardage record and is the only player in NFL history to have more than 2,200 all-purpose yards in four seasons.