On Friday afternoon, the Associated Press announced their first and second All-Pro teams for the NFL’s 2022 season. The Detroit Lions were nearly shut out of both lists, but punt returner Kalif Raymond was named second-team All-Pro.
It’s a huge accomplishment for Raymond, who was handed a modest two-year, $5 million deal this offseason by the Lions. Prior to his 2022 season, Raymond had just 77 punt returns for 699 yards for an unremarkable 9.1 yards per return. In fact, Raymond had struggled with ball security as a punt returner and was cut from the Jets in 2017 after muffing a couple of attempts.
But Raymond was spectacular for the Lions as a returner this past season. in 20 attempts, he averaged 13.2 yards per return, second only to the Falcons’ Avery Williams, who oddly did not make the All-Pro team. Raymond also notched his first-ever punt return touchdown this year, coincidentally against the Jets.
Raymond off to the races!#DETvsNYJ | CBS pic.twitter.com/8HbJYptojg— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 18, 2022
The Lions did not have any other players make the two All-Pro teams, but they had three who narrowly missed. Right tackle Penei Sewell finished third in voting, just seven points behind the Buccaneers’ Tristan Wirfs. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown finished seventh at his position (the top six are recognized), missing out on the final spot by just 17 points. Finally, center Frank Ragnow—who was named to the Pro Bowl last month—finished third in voting behind Jason Kelce and Creed Humphrey.
The only other Lions player to receive an All-Pro vote was special teamer Josh Woods. Last year, there wasn’t a Lions single player who received an All-Pro vote. So this is progress, I suppose.