There we go -- some recognition for Cleveland Browns defensive end Jabaal Sheard after all. Sheard was named to the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team. He was one of two defensive ends selected, with the other honor obviously going to the Houston Texans' J.J. Watt.
It was also kind of a surprise to see that Sheard wasn't the only Browns rookie on the list. The team's first-round selection, defensive tackle Phil Taylor, also made the list. The other defensive end selected was the Buffalo Bills' Marcell Dareus.
Based on playing time, the Browns had three other rookies who could have been considered for the All-Rookie Team: fullback Owen Marecic, offensive guard Jason Pinkston, and wide receiver Greg Little. PFF didn't pick a fullback, so that ruled out Marecic. Pinkston played the entire season, but never blew anyone out of the water and was only stable by the end of the season. Little had an up-and-down year, but no where near enough to match what A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and others accomplished.
As far as PFW/PFWA's All-Pro Team, it should be no surprise that Joe Thomas was selected as one of the offensive tackles:
Since entering the league in 2007, Thomas has never missed a snap, anchoring the Browns' line from Day One. He had another dominant season in '11 despite the rest of the Browns' offense struggling. Thomas is as solid as they come at one of the more important positions on the field in both the run game and pass protection.