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Packers’ Keisean Nixon named NFLPA All-Pro following Pro Bowl snub

The players voted Nixon as the best kick returner of the 2023 season, even if the fans and coaches didn’t.

Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the NFL Players Association released their second annual “Players’ All-Pro Team,” as voted on by the league’s players. One notable inclusion on the team was the Green Bay Packers’ Keisean Nixon, who was named a First-Team kick returner for the 2023 edition of the squad.

This comes off of the heels of Nixon being snubbed by the Pro Bowl for the second season in a row. In 2022, Nixon was named a First-Team All-Pro returner by the Associated Press and Pro Football Writers of America, even though he didn’t get the Pro Bowl nod. Last week, the Pro Bowl named Nixon as a second alternate for the week of events.

Meanwhile, Nixon’s analytics all point to him being the most impactful kick returner of the 2023 season. For example, Shaun Newkirk’s work shows that Nixon added 64 yards above expectation on kick returns in 2023, north of 50 percent better than any other returner this regular season. On a per-return average, the only qualifier who can match Nixon’s yards per-attempt rate is Rasheem Blackshear, who returned about half as many kicks as Nixon did during the 2023 season.

Hopefully, this All-Pro list is a sign of things to come for Nixon. If the fans and coaches don’t want to put him into the Pro Bowl, at least the players-only vote earned him some national respect. If the media All-Pro lists follow suit with how they voted last season, Nixon should make up a second Pro Bowl snub.

For reference, Nixon recorded 30 kick returns for 782 yards (26.1 yards per return) during his 2023 campaign. Rashid Shaheed, who was named the NFC’s returner for the Pro Bowl, only returned 18 kicks for 384 yards (21.3 yards per return.) That 782-yard mark led the NFL by 271 yards, 53 more than Xavier Gipson’s 511 return yards — the second-highest total in the league this season.