Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, snubbed in the initial Pro Bowl balloting announced last week, did receive a prestigious nod toward his growing pro résumé this week when he was named to the second team when the 2013 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team was released today.
Wilkerson was listed as a defensive tackle by AP and was one of four players voted to the second team behind first-team DEs J.J. Watt of Houston and Robert Quinn of St. Louis and first-team DTs Gerald McCoy of Tampa Bay and Ndamukong Suh of Detroit.
Wilkerson was named first alternate at defensive end for this year's Pro Bowl. He could still play in his first Pro Bowl if any of the six DEs initially designated as Pro Bowl players goes on to play in the Super Bowl or bows out of the all-star game due to injury.
Both Wilkerson and head coach Rex Ryan stress Mo's hard-working nature for his rise to winning the Curtis Martin New York Jets MVP award this year and into the NFL players', coaches' and fans' consciousness.
"I just work my tail off every day, come into work and try to get better," Wilkerson said.
"Mo is pretty darn good. He just keeps working. That's why he's gotten to where he is," Ryan said. "He works every day on that practice field. You just see his play improving. I think his teammates around him have improved as well. Those guys push each other. The sky is the limit for him if he just keeps the same work ethic that he has shown."
Wilkerson racked up a team-leading 10.5 sacks this season, the first double-digit sacker for the Green & White since John Abraham in 2005. He was second on the Jets with 43 QB hits (behind Quinton Coples' 50) and second on the DL with 91 tackles (behind Sheldon Richardson's 101). He also had an interception, a rarity for a D-lineman, at Cincinnati.