Nice Johnson, Texans!

AJ got some love from NFL voters...

Aw, look, Houston pro football fans! The voters have chosen your

Houston Texans


Andre Johnson

to represent in the upcoming

Pro Bowl


That's what's commonly known as a "freaking no-brainer."

Johnson is the most coveted player on the roster, a beast of a dude with 4.3 speed, meat hooks for hands and the kind of frame you usually find on an outside linebacker, or maybe Venus Williams, but not a wide receiver. It also doesn't hurt that AJ leads the NFL in catches (97 receptions for 1,087 yards going into this week), despite being double-teamed and dogged by opposing defenses. (Incidentally, it'll be a Johnson & Johnson lineup for the AFC's staring offense in the Pro Bowl: Our Andre will start alongside Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson.)

The Johnson selection was about as tough as naming Scarlett Johansson the hottest actress alive. But where the Pro Bowl voters could've really flexed their knowledge was with the choice of starting middle linebacker. Texans rookie linebacker DeMeco Ryans got a mere third string taste for the Pro Bowl, behind starter Al Wilson of Denver and Zach Thomas in Miami. While Wilson's arguably the best in the biz, Ryans has been nothing short of sensational this season, and years from now, we may remember this draft as "the one where we got Ryans," and not a certain Mario Williams fellow.

...DeMeco, not as much.

Ryans was projected to be a top-15 candidate early on in the NFL draft, and tumbled to the second round (where the Texans smartly nabbed him) for no good reason. He's surpassed Dunta Robinson as the best player on a reshaped defense. He stuffs runners behind the line of scrimmage, straight up dogs quarterbacks (he essentially handed Mario Williams his first-ever sack) and deflects passes that look to be a sure thing. He's playing out of his natural position (he was originally an outside 'backer), manning the middle of the Texans' D with all the savvy of a seasoned pro — and dude's a freaking rookie.

We'll keep the faith if Ryans is named Defensive Rookie of the Year. If he's not, we can count it as just another instance of the Texans getting bitch slapped. — Steven Devadanam

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