Last year during the dreaded football and basketball off-season, we put together an All-NFL team of Pac-12 players. With the dregs of the sports season now back upon us, we thought it would be a good time to update the team factoring in the 2012 NFL season.
QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, Cal
Rodgers didn't have the MVP-level year that he did in 2011, but he is still one of the absolute elite quarterbacks in the NFL and far and away the best Pac-12 alum playing the position in the league.
RB Marshawn Lynch, Seattle, Cal
Lynch had the best season of his career in 2012 as he rushed for nearly 1,600 yards and 11 touchdowns while being the workhorse for the Seahawks' offense. Lynch's career seemed to be floundering towards the end of his time in Buffalo, but he has completely rejuvenated it as a Seahawk and is now one of the best running backs in the NFL.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville, UCLA
Jones-Drew had his season ended very early by injury in 2012, but he still deserves a spot on the first team, simply because he is still one of the top five backs or so in the league and he should bounce back next year.
WR Steve Smith, Carolina, Utah
Receiver is the weakest of the Pac-12 skill positions as other than Smith there aren't really any elite players, but Smith is still one of the best players at the position in the league as he had a second-straight season with more than 70 catches and 1,000 yards.
WR DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia, Cal
It was a third-straight season of diminishing production by Jackson, but due to a lack of other good players at the position, Jackson is still probably the second-best Pac-12 alum at the position.
TE Rob Gronkowski, New England, Arizona
Gronk didn't quite have the historic year he had in 2011 and battled a lot of injuries, but he is still one of, if not the, best tight end in the league.
T Matt Kalil, Minnesota, USC
The Pac-12 isn't doing a great job of producing top NFL offensive linemen (Particularly tackles and guards) much lately, but Kalil helped the cause by making the Pro Bowl in his rookie season.
T Jordan Gross, Carolina, Utah
Gross isn't quite the player he was at the beginning of his career anymore, but he is still a good starting tackle.
G Zane Beadles, Denver, Utah
Far and away the best Pac-12 alum guard in the league, Beadles made his first Pro Bowl in 2012.
G Andy Levitre, Tennessee, Oregon State
Levitre isn't a Pro Bowl-level player but his worth is evident by the fact that the Titans just lured Levitre away from Buffalo with a $46 million contract in hopes of bolstering their offensive line.
C Max Unger, Seattle, Oregon
There are actually a few really good centers from the Pac-12 and Unger can take claim to the first team by being named first team All-Pro in 2012 as he paved the way for Marshawn Lynch.
DE Cameron Jordan, New Orleans, Cal
Okay, maybe defensive end is a weaker position for the Pac-12 than receiver as Jordan is probably the best healthy defensive end in the NFL from the Pac-12 right now.
DE Andre Carter, New England, Cal
Like Jones-Drew, Carter was injured in 2012, but the fact that he is still one of the best players at his position in the NFL, keeps his spot on the first team.
DT Haloti Ngata, Baltimore, Oregon
The massive nose tackle made his fifth-straight All-Pro team and won his first Super Bowl in 2012.
DT Brandon Mebane, Seattle, Cal
Mebane has been one of the most underrated defensive tackles in the league for a while now and had his best season as a pro in 2012 as he anchored the Seahawks' excellent defense.
LB Clay Matthews, Green Bay, USC
Matthews bounced back from a slightly disappointing 2011 with a huge 2012 season where he earned All-Pro honors and had 13 sacks.
LB Lance Briggs, Chicago, Arizona
Briggs made his eighth-straight Pro Bowl in 2012 and continues to be one of the best linebackers in the league.
LB Terrell Suggs, Baltimore, Arizona State
Suggs was injured for the first half of 2012 recovering from an Achilles injury, but he returned strong and immediately went right back to being one of the best defensive players in the league on the NFL's best defense while also winning a Super Bowl.
CB Richard Sherman, Seattle, Stanford
Sherman might be the best cornerback in the NFL right now and if he isn't, he is at least the most outspoken. He made the All-Pro team and had eight interceptions in 2012.
CB Brandon Browner, Seattle, Oregon State
Browner teams with Sherman to form the league's best cornerback duo and made his second-straight Pro Bowl in 2012.
S Dashon Goldson, Tampa Bay, Washington
Goldson made his second-straight Pro Bowl and his first All-Pro selection in 2012 and was one of the leaders of the 49ers' stellar defense. His value was confirmed by getting a $41 million contract with the Buccaneers.
S Jairus Byrd, Buffalo, Oregon
Byrd received All-Pro honors for the second straight year and with Troy Polamalu starting to age, he and Goldson are clearly becoming the premier Pac-12 alums at safety in the NFL right now.
K Jason Hanson, Detroit, Washington State
Okay, so he just retired, but since most of this is based off of 2012, this will be Hanson's last honor especially since he was the NFL's oldest player when he hung it up.
P Bryan Anger, Jacksonville, Cal
Made the All-Rookie team in his first season in the league.
QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis, Stanford
Stepped up with a huge rookie year and fills the void of the second-best Pac-12 quarterback in the league after Rodgers. He could challenge for Rodgers for that top spot too in the years to come.
RB Steven Jackson, Atlanta, Oregon State
Jackson remained one of the most consistent backs in the league in 2012 as he rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the eighth-straight season and finally got out of the black hole that is the St. Louis Rams after the season.
RB Reggie Bush, Detroit, USC
Bush had his second-straight great season in 2012 as he is starting to look more like a standout NFL back and will have a chance to keep improving with the Lions in 2013.
WR Brandon Gibson, St. Louis, Washington State
Gibson has been a solid receiver for the Rams for a few years now and had the best year of his career in 2012 as he had more than 600 yards receiving and caught five touchdowns.
WR Doug Baldwin, Seattle, Stanford
Baldwin didn't match the production of his rookie year but because there just aren't a ton of good Pac-12 alum receivers, he remains. Expect Keenan Allen, Robert Woods or Markus Wheaton to maybe move into here next season.
TE Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta, Cal
Gonzalez just keeps on going and going as he had another great season in 2012 and decided to not retire after the season like he had initially planned.
T Khalif Barnes, Oakland, Washington
Barnes is an on-again, off-again starter for the Raiders and his appearance here is kind of a testament to the weakness of Pac-12 tackles in the NFL.
T Nate Solder, New England, Colorado
Solder was solid in his first year as a starter at left tackle for the Patriots and has a bright future.
G Adam Snyder, Arizona, Oregon
Snyder is a solid player for the Cardinals but isn't competing for a Pro Bowl spot or anything.
G Shawn Lauvao, Cleveland, Arizona State
There simply aren't very many guards in the NFL from the Pac-12 and Lauvao is one of them.
C Alex Mack, Cleveland, Cal
Very tough call here between Mack and Ryan Kalil, but Mack seems to be getting a little bit better every year.
DE Everson Griffen, Minnesota, USC
Griffen had a breakout year in 2012 with eight sacks and 23 total tackles.
DE Frostee Rucker, Arizona, USC
Rucker had 29 total tackles and 4 sacks for the Bengals in 2012 and earned a new contract with the Cardinals who are hoping to improve their pass rushing.
DT Jurrell Casey, Tennessee, USC
Was very tempted to put Casey on the first team, but chose Mebane instead due to the fact that Casey plays for a weak team, but regardless he is becoming one of the better young defensive tackles in the league.
DT Tyson Alualu, Jacksonville, Cal
Like Casey, Alualu is developing into a really good, young defensive lineman and had 34 tackles and three-and-a-half sacks in 2012.
LB Nick Barnett, Buffalo, Oregon State
Barnett is currently looking for a new team, but had a solid season in 2012 and will be a valuable addition to some team's defense very soon.
LB Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati, Arizona State
Burfict proved a lot of doubters wrong in his rookie season after going undrafted as he had a great year with the Bengals in 2012 and has a very bright future.
LB Rey Maualuga, Cincinnati, USC
Maualuga had the best year of his career in 2012 as he continues to steadily improve each year.
CB Nnamdi Asomugha, San Francisco, Cal
The days of Asomugha being considered one of the best corners in the game are over, but he is still a very, very good player.
CB Keenan Lewis, New Orleans, Oregon State
Lewis has turned into one of the better cornerbacks in the league and was rewarded with a $26 million contract from the Saints during the off-season.
S Eric Weddle, San Diego, Utah
Weddle is a good hitter who can grab picks and made his third-straight Pro Bowl in 2012.
S Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh, USC
Polamalu battled injuries in 2012 and is starting to age, but when healthy is still one of the best defensive players in the NFL.
K Kai Forbath, Washington, UCLA
Forbath is one of the best young kickers in the NFL and set the record for most consecutive field goals made to start a career.
P Johnny Hekker, St. Louis, Oregon State
Hekker was signed by the Rams as a free agent and had a good season in 2012.