The 2021 Patriots improved by three wins and made it back to the playoffs. But despite their numerous roster improvements, they actually took a step back in terms of First Team All-Pro selections.
Granted, the Pats’ First Team All-Pros in 2020 were punter Jake Bailey and punt returner Gunner Olszewski. But after a down year overall for the Patriots’ punting units, neither of them garnered All-Pro votes in 2021. Two Patriots, however, earned enough votes to be named to the second team.
Cornerback J.C. Jackson received the third-most All-Pro votes (25) from the Associated Press at cornerback, based on the official results. Jackson is a second team selection at his position, along with the Falcons’ A.J. Terrell (8 votes). The first-teamers at corner are the Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs (33 votes) and the Rams’ Jalen Ramsey (32 votes).
For Jackson, it’s his first career AP All-Pro selection on either team. The 26-year-old followed up a nine-interception 2020 season with eight more picks, and also led the NFL with 23 total passes defended while starting in all 17 games.
Jackson is set to earn a lot of money in the 2022 offseason. He’s on track to become an unrestricted free agent, and would be one of the most expensive at any position. The Patriots could also decide to franchise tag him, likely for north of $15 million.