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NFL All-Decade Team: Which Stars Have Defined the 2020s?

Pro Football Network is getting a head start on the NFL's 2020s All-Decade Team. Which stars made the 50-man squad?

While the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection committee is typically tasked with creating the NFL’s All-Decade Teams, we’ve decided to lend them a helping hand.

This is Pro Football Network’s NFL All-Decade Team for the 2020s. We’re not quite halfway through the decade, but we already have a sense of which players will come to define this period of the NFL.

PFN’s All-Decade Team isn’t a projection; it’s a retrospective of the last four seasons. So, while C.J. Stroud, Puka Nacua, or other exciting players with limited track records could eventually end up on the 2020s All-Decade Team, they won’t be highlighted here.

But that doesn’t mean we’ve limited our All-Star roster to players who participated in each of the last four years. Some players’ performances have been so outstanding that they worked their way onto the All-Decade squad despite their relative inexperience.

Let’s dive in, beginning with arguably the easiest choice on the list.

NFL 2020s All-Decade Team | Offense

Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen

Already the best player of his generation, Patrick Mahomes is working his way onto the NFL’s Mount Rushmore despite having played just seven seasons. Since 2020, he’s grabbed two Super Bowls and a league MVP while ranking first by a wide margin in EPA per dropback (0.242). Given that he could conceivably suit up for another decade-plus, Mahomes could retire as the league’s greatest player.

Sixteen NFL QBs have posted at least 2,000 dropbacks over the past four years. While there’s a significant gap between Mahomes and Josh Allen (0.215) in EPA per dropback during that span, there’s another enormous chasm between Allen at No. 2 and the rest of the league. Allen doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring or much personal hardware to speak of, but he’s been the league’s second-best signal-caller of the decade.

Running Back: Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry

Injuries limited Christian McCaffrey to just 10 games with the Carolina Panthers from 2020 to 2021, but he’s been dominant enough since to be included on PFN’s All-Decade Team. In 2023, McCaffrey won Offensive Player of the Year for the San Francisco 49ers and became the first running back to be legitimately involved in the MVP discussion in some time.

CMC posted 2,023 yards from scrimmage despite sitting out Week 18; no other RB put up more than 1,600. His 21 total touchdowns tied for the NFL lead while he generated more first downs — both in the passing game (31) and the running game (83) — than any other running back.

Meanwhile, Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing attempts for the fourth time in five seasons in 2023. Since 2020, he ranks first in rushing yards (5,669) and rushing touchdowns (52). Although Henry could eventually be usurped on this list, he’ll have the chance to add to his statistical totals after signing with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason.

Wide Receiver: Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs

Tyreek Hill split the past four years between the Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, somehow becoming more productive after leaving Mahomes. A first-team All-Pro in three of the last four seasons, Hill is the only player with more than 6,000 receiving yards since 2020.

Injuries limited Justin Jefferson to just 10 games in 2020. Despite that missed time, he’s still second to Hill in receiving yards since 2020 and leads the NFL in yards per game (98.4) during that span. Jefferson is off to one of the hottest starts of any pass catcher in league history.

Like Hill, Davante Adams played for two teams — the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders — over the last two seasons. He earned three consecutive first-team All-Pro nods to begin the decade, but his production took a hit in 2023 (mainly due to the Raiders’ QB play). Adams and Henry are the only NFL players with 60+ touchdowns since 2020.

Stefon Diggs’ tenure with the Buffalo Bills ended unceremoniously, but that doesn’t change what he accomplished with Allen over the last four years. Diggs ranks first in receptions (445), third in receiving first downs (271), and fourth in receiving yards (5,372) and receiving TDs (37) since 2020.

Tight End: Travis Kelce and George Kittle

Travis Kelce will eventually retire among the NFL’s all-time tight ends, and the last four seasons have been much of the same. He easily outpaced the rest of his position in targets, catches, yards, and touchdowns since 2020, earning two first-team All-Pro berths and one second-team nod during that time.

While Ravens TE Mark Andrews has a case as the second TE on PFN’s All-Decade Team, his receiving totals are pretty similar to George Kittle’s. Andrews has scored two more touchdowns this decade, but Kittle has averaged roughly an extra yard per game. Kittle’s superiority as a blocker puts him over the top.

Offensive Tackle: Trent Wiliams, Lane Johnson, Tristan Wirfs, Penei Sewell

Our All-Decade offensive tackle depth chart represents two generations of NFL players. Trent Williams and Lane Johnson are each at least 34 years old and have shown no signs of slowing down. With six combined All-Pro appearances over the last four seasons, Williams and Johnson still offer high-end play as their careers wind down.

Meanwhile, Tristan Wirfs is only 25 while Penei Sewell won’t turn 24 until October. The latter is already the league’s highest-paid OT, and the former should soon reach the same pay scale. Wirfs was a dominant right tackle for three seasons before thriving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ left tackle in 2024.

Guard: Zack Martin, Quenton Nelson, Joel Bitonio, Joe Thuney

Zack Martin has been a first-team All-Pro for three straight seasons and probably would’ve earned the honors in 2020 had he not missed six games. Martin, the defining guard of his era, will be a shoo-in for Canton after he retires.

Martin has been the decade’s clear-cut top guard, but Quenton Nelson, Joel Bitonio, and Joe Thuney have been solid in their own right.

While Nelson struggled with injuries in 2022, he rebounded to land his sixth Pro Bowl nod last year. Bitonio is the only non-Martin guard to secure two first-team All-Pro nods over the past four years, and Thuney is as steady as they come — especially in pass protection — for the Chiefs.

Center: Jason Kelce and Frank Ragnow

The second Kelce to land on PFN’s All-Decade Team, Jason boasted first-team All-Pro honors in six of his final seven seasons before retiring earlier this year. The NFL’s best center on the league’s top offensive line, Kelce is among the most straightforward choices on the list.

Corey Linsley and Creed Humphrey have a case as the other center. However, Linsley struggled in 2022, played just three games in 2023, and has since retired. Humphrey wasn’t drafted until 2021.

Frank Ragnow has a lost campaign on his ledger (2021), but his other three seasons in our four-year window were outstanding. His power on the interior of the Detroit Lions’ offensive line has been transformative; Ragnow has been rewarded with three Pro Bowls and two second-team All-Pro nods since 2020.

NFL 2020s All-Decade Team | Defense

Edge Rusher: T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Nick Bosa, Micah Parsons

Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt were no-brainers to begin the defensive side of PFN’s All-Decade Team.

The AFC North rivals rank first and second in sacks over the last four years. Watt led the league in sacks in 2020, 2021, and 2023, only failing in 2022 while missing seven games due to injury. He won Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, while Garrett went home with the award last season.

Nick Bosa missed almost all of the 2020 campaign, so his sack totals don’t quite match Watt and Garrett’s. However, he’s been a world-beater when healthy, grabbing DPOY in 2022 after leading the league with 18.5 sacks.

Maxx Crosby, Trey Hendrickson, and Haason Reddick could each make a case as the fourth edge rusher on our list. However, Micah Parsons can’t be denied; he’s eighth in sacks since 2020, even though he’s played only three pro seasons.

Defensive Tackle: Aaron Donald, Chris Jones, DeForest Buckner, Cameron Heyward

Aaron Donald retired this offseason, hanging up his cleats after posting the greatest defensive tackle career the NFL has ever seen. The last four years were no different, as Donald boasted three first-team All-Pro nods while wrecking pockets for the Los Angeles Rams. He won his third and final DPOY in 2020.

Aside from Mahomes and Kelce, Chris Jones has been the Chiefs’ most important player during their recent dynastic run. His 42 sacks and 103 QB hits over the last four years rank first among defensive tackles. Jones might have a better shot at his own Defensive Player of the Year Award now that Donald is out of the league.

While other DTs like Dexter Lawrence and Quinnen Williams were in consideration here, DeForest Buckner and Cameron Heyward got the call. Buckner’s 32.5 sacks since 2020 trail only Jones and Donald. Heyward dealt with injuries in 2023 but earned multiple All-Pros and Pro Bowls over the last four years.

Linebacker: Fred Warner, Roquan Smith, Demario Davis, Bobby Wagner

A three-time All-Pro and the leader of one of the league’s best defenses, Fred Warner is the perfect modern linebacker thanks to his ability to cover any type of receiver, take on blockers against the run, and blitz from the second level. In addition, Warner is always available. He’s taken nearly every snap for San Francisco during the past six years, missing just one game.

Roquan Smith was always an elite linebacker with the Chicago Bears, but he took his game to another level after being traded to the Ravens in 2022. Smith became a first-team All-Pro upon his arrival in Baltimore, while the Ravens’ defense vaulted into the conversation for the best unit in the league.

A late bloomer in the NFL, Demario Davis has become a genuine force since signing with the Saints in 2019. He’s received a first- or second-team All-Pro nod in five consecutive seasons and has been named a Pro Bowler the last two. His 6.5 sacks in 2023 ranked second among off-ball linebackers.

Once he retires, Bobby Wagner will be a no-doubt Hall of Famer. He’s no longer the coverage defender he once was but is still a playmaker thanks to his run defense and football intelligence. Like Kelce, Martin, and Donald, Wagner was on the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team.

Cornerback: Sauce Gardner, Jalen Ramsey, Patrick Surtain II, Darius Slay

Although he’s only been in the NFL for two seasons, Sauce Gardner has already made his presence felt.

Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, only three defenders have earned first-team All-Pro nods in each of their first two seasons: Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, Parsons, and Gardner, who’s on an early Hall of Fame track with the New York Jets. NFL quarterbacks were terrified to throw at Gardner last year. In 2023, he was the only cornerback to start at least 14 games and receive fewer than 60 targets.

While Jalen Ramsey’s first season with the Miami Dolphins didn’t go as planned after the veteran corner suffered a torn meniscus during training camp, he played at a high level after returning. Ramsey began the decade with back-to-back All-Pro nods and has made the Pro Bowl in all four seasons of the decade.

Like Gardner, Patrick Surtain II hasn’t played in all four years of the 2020s, but he’s arguably the league’s most technically proficient cornerback. He should battle Gardner for the NFL’s CB1 title over the rest of their careers.

Cornerback is such a mercurial position that other defensive backs with first-team All-Pros on their ledger — like Trevon Diggs and Xavien Howard — could be in consideration for the No. 4 slot on our list. But Darius Slay, a three-time Pro Bowler since 2020, has been the most consistent option.

Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Justin Simmons, Budda Baker, Antoine Winfield Jr.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is coming off his least productive season as a pro, but injuries were largely to blame for his down year. Provided Fitzpatrick stays healthy next year, the 27-year-old should return to his elite level of play. He has a nose for the football, but his coverage consistency is that of a truly elite free safety.

Justin Simmons is the only unsigned player on our list, and his lingering on the free agent market doesn’t make much sense from an on-field perspective. He’s earned second-team All-Pro nods in four of the last five seasons. Simmons hits about as hard as a modern player can without being penalized for it, which makes him a prime box candidate — a role he’s played on over 2,000 career snaps.

Budda Baker plays on a relatively anonymous team, but he’s been a Pro Bowler in four straight seasons and was an All-Pro in 2020 and 2021. Like Fitzpatrick, Baker missed time with injuries last year. Once he returned, he thrived as a downhill run defender and used his veteran experience in coverage.

While Jessie Bates III, Jordan Poyer, and Tyrann Mathieu were on our All-Decade radar, Antoine Winfield Jr. is our selection after earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2023. Shifting back to a more traditional free safety role in 2023, Winfield led the NFL with six forced fumbles, picked off three passes, and posted six sacks.

NFL 2020s All-Decade Team | Special Teams

Kicker: Justin Tucker and Daniel Carlson

Morten Andreson and Jan Stenerud are the only full-time kickers in the Hall of Fame, but Justin Tucker could join them once he ends his NFL career. He’s been an All-Pro in three of the last four seasons. In 2022, Tucker led the league in field goal attempts and conversions. The year before, he paced the NFL in field goal rate.

Meanwhile, Daniel Carlson has been one of the Raiders’ most critical weapons over the last four years. Carlson, an All-Pro in 2021 and 2022, converted a league-high 40 field goals in 2021.

Punter: A.J. Cole and Bryan Anger

Carlson isn’t the only special teams star residing in Las Vegas. A.J. Cole boasts three straight Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro nods in 2021 and 2023. Last season, he led all punters in punting EPA.

Bryan Anger is the only other NFL punter to garner multiple All-Pro berths since 2020, securing second-team honors behind Cole in 2021 and 2023. The 12-year NFL veteran will return for his fourth season with the Dallas Cowboys in 2024.

Kick Returner: Keisean Nixon and Kene Nwangwu

While the NFL’s new kickoff rules should result in more electric returns beginning in 2024, only two players posted enough kick returns in 2023 to qualify for year-end rankings.

Keisean Nixon — who’s also the Green Bay Packers’ starting slot corner — was one of them. While he didn’t score a kick return TD this season, Nixon posted two returns of 40+ yards. He’s been a first-team All-Pro returner in back-to-back campaigns.

Kene Nwangwu, the Minnesota Vikings’ fourth-round pick in 2021, ranks second in yards per punt return over the last four seasons. Despite having just the pro campaigns under his belt, he’s the only NFL player with three kick-return touchdowns since 2020.

Punt Returner: Gunner Olszewski and Devin Duvernay

No player averaged more yards per punt return over the last four years than Devin Duvernay (12.8). He was a first-team All-Pro in 2021 and a Pro Bowler in 2022. After four years with the Ravens, Duvernay signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in March.

Gunner Olszewski was 0.1 yards behind Duvernay and earned a first-team All-Pro nod of his own in 2020. He joined the New York Giants last October before returning a punt for a 94-yard touchdown in Week 17.

NFL 2020s All-Decade Team | Coaches

Head Coaches: Andy Reid and Sean McVay

After winning his third Super Bowl trophy in four years, Andy Reid has cemented himself as the best head coach in the NFL.

His 258 regular-season wins are the fourth-most in league history, while his 26 playoff victories rank second. Few HCs have combined Reid’s offensive play-calling acumen and ability to handle a locker room often full of volatile personalities.

Sean McVay is the only active, non-Reid NFL head coach with a Super Bowl title in the past six years.

Los Angeles has 37 wins over the past four seasons, tied for just 11th in the NFL. But McVay’s ability to transform Los Angeles — navigating from Super Bowl winner to five-win disaster to rebound playoff team — while crafting one of the league’s best offenses earned him a spot on PFN’s All-Decade Team.