Cordarrelle Patterson dominated the votes among NFL kick returners when it came to the Associated Press’ All-Pro team that was announced Friday.
The Minnesota Vikings return man got 41 of the 50 votes cast for the All-Pro team, with the next-highest vote getters (Seattle’s Tyler Lockett and Tyreek Hill) getting five votes among kickoff returners.
Patterson, who also made the Pro Bowl as a kick returner, was also up for the “special teamer” category for the Pro Bowl reserved mostly for gunners and special teams coverage aces, but he said in December he didn’t care what position was chosen for him.
“It’s an honor to be voted to something like that,” he said when asked about the gunner votes he received in the fan portion of voting in the Pro Bowl. “It doesn’t matter if I’m not a return specialist or they go with me there. I’m just going out there, busting my (butt) and showing what I can do.”
The Pro Bowl is voted on by fans, coaches and players. The Associated Press All-Pro team is a smaller portion of the NFL’s stars, and Patterson was the only Viking named first-team All-Pro.
In addition to leading the NFL with a 31.7-yard average on kickoff returns, Patterson is the first player in NFL history to lead the league in kickoff-return average in three seasons. Patterson is also the Minnesota franchise leader for most kickoff return yards with 4,075 in a career.
He has also developed his receiving and special-teams coverage skills.
“Growing up my whole life I’ve played every position. Wherever they needed me, with my ability I just made plays,” he said.
Patterson, who made first-team All-Pro for the second time in his career (2013), was the only Vikings player to make an All-Pro team this year, but they had a few other players receive votes.
Xavier Rhodes got five votes for the cornerback spot, with Denver’s Aqib Talib (27) and Kansas City’s Marcus Peters (23) winning the first-team spots. Rhodes finished seventh in the voting among cornerbacks. He also got two votes as a “defensive back.”
Harrison Smith garnered three votes at safety. The New York Giants’ Landon Collins (47) and Kansas City’s Eric Berry (31) took the top two spot to make the first team at the position.
Defensive end Danielle Hunter received two votes as an edge rusher, a position where Khalil Mack got 46 votes and Vic Beasley Jr. got 30 and nobody else received more than three votes.