Arena Football League Arizona Rattlers Cleveland Gladiators Jacksonville Sharks Orlando Predators Philadelphia Soul

Breaking Down the All-Arena First Team

Offense

image

Nick Davila (QB, Arizona Rattlers)

The favorite to win the AFL MVP this year, Davila has had a season to remember. The “Latin Laser” has thrown for a league leading 110 touchdowns this year, while throwing for 4,198 yards. Davila is one of three quarterbacks to throw for 4,000 yards this year, (the other two are Tommy Grady and Dan Raudabaugh). Perhaps the stat that tells you most about the kind of season Davila is having is touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Compared to the 110 touchdowns he’s thrown for this year, Davila has only been picked off 11 times, which is a testament to the special season that Davila is having. With the season he’s having, he has assured everyone that he is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. Davila will be leading the Rattlers to their fifth Arena Bowl in six seasons, and he’ll look to add to his trophy case by winning another Arena Bowl.

 

image

Mykel Benson (FB, Arizona Rattlers)

While Derrick Ross or Jeramie Richardson would seem like the better choice to be selected here, Benson has a case to be considered the best fullback in the league. While fullbacks aren’t primarily used in the AFL, the Rattlers are typically a team that usually run the ball sparingly. Benson scored 20 touchdowns this year, which is tied with Ross and Richardson for the most touchdowns scored by a running back.

Ross and Richardson had nearly 30 more carries than Benson, which might be why Benson got selected to be the fullback that earned First Team All-Arena honors. Benson was only able to rush for 199 yards, but he only got 75 carries this season. Look for Benson to be a key component of the Rattlers offense in the Arena Bowl on August 26.

 

image

Joe Hills (WR, Jacksonville Sharks)

Hills has caught a touchdown in 69 straight regular season games, which should be enough to tell you why Hills is an All-Arena receiver. However, that streak is just one of many things that Hills can boast about. “Superman” ranked first in both receiving yards and touchdowns, and the next best receiver on the list isn’t even close statistically to Hills.

Hills has caught 161 passes for 2,020 yards and 58 touchdowns, and he’s the only receiver to reach 2,000 receiving yards. Hills averages 12.5 yards per play, and he caught eight touchdowns in one game this year. He’s having a career year with the Sharks, and he’s the main reason why they could be heading back to the Arena Bowl for the second straight year.

image

Rod Windsor (WR, Arizona Rattlers)

Windsor is the third player for the Rattlers on offense to earn All-Arena honors, and that’s the reason why the Rattlers arguably have the best offense in the league. Other than Hills, Windsor has the most receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns of any receiver in the entire AFL. Windsor has hauled in 145 passes for 1,667 yards and 48 touchdowns.

Windsor was one of three receivers to reach 1,600 yards, and he’s the only receiver other than Hills to have at least 40 touchdowns. He has formed a dynamic duo with Davila, which is why the Rattlers are in position to add another Foster Trophy to their large case.

image

Brandon Thompkins (WR, Orlando Predators)

Thompkins was the top receiver for quarterbacks Randy Hippeard and Bernard Morris in Orlando, and that doesn’t surprise many since he’s the third best receiver in the league based on statistics. Thompkins had 38 touchdowns, and he caught 135 passes for 1,631 yards, which is why he earned First Team All-Arena honors.

If it weren’t for Joe Hills, Thompkins would by far be the best receiver in the American Conference. He is a threat to do anything deemed possible on the offensive side of the ball, as his speed allows him to do a lot of things on offense. Thompkins and fellow wide receiver Greg Carr are one of the best 1-2 punches in all of Arena Football.

image

Adam Smith (OL, Philadelphia Soul)

Smith is not your typically offensive lineman, as he caught eight passes and scored three touchdowns for the Soul this year. Over his three-year career, which has been spent with the Soul, Smith has caught 15 touchdowns.

Smith is the centerpiece of a Soul offensive line that did a fine job of protecting Dan Raudabaugh this year. The Soul offensive line only allowed five sacks during the regular season. Philadelphia has usually always had a very quality offensive line, but now that Smith is anchoring the offensive line, the Soul have been able to protect the reigning AFL MVP better than ever before.

image

Cornelius Lewis (OL, Jacksonville Sharks)

Lewis is one of the most consistent offensive lineman in all of the AFL, as he started all 16 games for the Sharks this year. Lewis has spent four of his six seasons with the Sharks, and he’s one of the main reasons why Derrick Ross was able to lead the league in rushing this year.

The Sharks only allowed 10 sacks this year, which is very similar to last year, when the Sharks allowed only eight sacks. While Tommy Grady has been under pressure sometimes, for the most part, the Sharks are able to protect their quarterback. Because of Lewis’ consistency, the Sharks have one of the most dynamic offenses in the AFL.

Arizona Rattlers WR Chase Deadder shows off the team's new away uniforms during media day at Talking Stick Resort Arena March 29, 2016.

Jordan Mudge (C, Arizona Rattlers)

Mudge is on his third team in four seasons, but he’s seemed to have found a home in the desert. The Rattlers have one of the most consistent offensive lines in the AFL, and Mudge is a key component of that offensive line. Arizona has done a fantastic job of protecting Davila, as they’ve only allowed eight sacks this season.

Without Mudge anchoring the offensive line, the number of sacks allowed might’ve ballooned, which is why he earned First Team All-Arena honors. Look for Mudge to stick with the Rattlers for some time, because it would be different team without a dominant force on the offensive line.

 

image

Joe Madsen (C, Cleveland Gladiators)

For the first time in his three-year career, Madsen has earned First Team All-Arena honors. Madsen spent his first two seasons with the LA KISS, but he seems to have found a home in Cleveland. Even though the offensive line allowed 24 sacks last year, Madsen and the rest of the offensive line was able to pave the way for Arvell Nelson to be able to scramble. Nelson was the third best rusher in the AFL this year, as he rushed for 212 yards and 11 touchdowns. Even though the number of sacks allowed was a little high, Madsen still had the best season of his career.

Defense

image

Jake Metz (DL, Philadelphia Soul)

 

Metz was one of the many dominant players on a Soul defense that terrorized every team they faced. Metz is one of three players that was named to the First Team All-Arena defense, and at the rate he sacked quarterbacks, that seems like a well-deserved honor for Metz. Metz was the league leader in sacks (8), and he forced opposing teams to lose 44 yards on those eight sacks.

Metz also had 29.5 tackles and 10 tackles for loss this year, while also forcing two fumbles. Metz played in every game this season, and what’s scary is he’s one of many very dominant players on the Soul defense.

 

image

Damien Borel (DL, Arizona Rattlers)

While Metz was first in the league in sacks, Borel wasn’t far behind, as he was the centerpiece of the Rattlers defense this year. Borel recorded 6.5 sacks this year, which was by far the most on the Rattlers. Borel was Mr. Consistent last year, as he missed only one game. Borel racked up 21.5 tackles, and he had 7.5 tackles for loss, which was the second highest total on the team.

Borel also forced one fumble, which was tied for third on the team. While Arkeith Brown gets most of the attention, Borel is the unsung hero of the Rattlers defense, which is why he earned First Team All-Arena honors.

 

image

Randy Colling (NG, Cleveland Gladiators)

Colling is the only player from the Gladiators to earn First Team All-Arena Defense honors, and that makes sense for someone who couldn’t be stopped by offensive lineman. This is the first time in his career that Colling has earned First Team All-Arena honors.

Colling racked up 19.5 tackles and 4.5 sacks, which was the seventh best total in the AFL. Colling led the team tackles for loss (6.0), and he forced teams to lose 29 yards. Colling played in every single game this year, and he’ll look to build on the success he had this year.

 

image

 

Tyre Glasper (MLB, Arizona Rattlers)

Glasper is one of the best middle linebackers in the AFL, which is why he is the lone middle linebacker to earn First Team All-Arena honors. Glasper hasn’t put up jaw-dropping numbers like some of his other defensive counterparts, but his consistency was what helped him have a very successful season.

Glasper has played in every single game this year, and he’s provided quality production in every one of those games. Glasper has recorded 24.5 tackles, with 16 of those being solo tackles. Glasper also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss, and he sacked the quarterback four times.

 

image

 

Joe Goosby (JLB, Philadelphia Soul)

Goosby is one of three Soul players to be on the First Team All-Arena Defense, and other than Tracy Belton, Goosby has probably been the Soul’s best defensive player. Goosby has racked up 70 tackles which is the second best total on the entire team. He also recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, and he picked off two passes. Goosby has started in every game this season. Without Goosby, the Soul defense would still be dominant, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same without him.

image

Tracy Belton (DB, Philadelphia Soul)

Belton is the best player on the Soul defense, and you could make a case that he’s the best defensive player in the AFL. Belton leads the team in tackles (90), which ranks fourth in the entire league. Belton recorded nine interceptions, which ranks first in the AFL.

Belton also forced one fumble. He’s started in every single game, and there are no words to describe the impact that Belton has had on the Soul defense. Without him, the defense wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is today.

 

image

Greg Reid (DB, Jacksonville Sharks)

Reid has the ability to shut down any wide receiver in the league, and he is an absolute tackling machine. Reid leads the league in tackles (101.5), and he ranks second in interceptions (8). Reid also added 1.5 tackles for loss, and he forced one fumble. Reid started in 15 games this year, and he’s probably the best defensive player in the AFL.

His ability to shut down any wide receiver, while being able to rack up a crazy amount of tackles, makes him the best defensive back in the league, and arguably the best defensive player in the league.

 

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 1: Tampa Bay Storm play the Orlando Predators during their Arena Football Game at the Amalie Arena on April 1, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/Tampa Bay Storm)
                                                                                            

Varmah Sonie (DB, Orlando Predators)

If Greg Reid didn’t play in the AFL, then Sonie would be the league leader in tackles, and he probably would be considered the best defensive player in the AFL. Sonie started in all 16 games, and there was never a game where he wasn’t contributing.

Sonie racked up 97 tackles this year, which is by far the most on the team, and it’s the second most in the entire league.  Sonie was tied for the lead in interceptions on the team with six, and he forced one fumble. Sonie is definitely one of the best defensive backs in the game because of how many tackles he gets each and every game.

 

Special Teams    

image

Tommy Frevert (K, Philadelphia Soul)

 

In a year where teams were usually always scrambling for kickers, the Soul didn’t have that problem because they had a consistent kicker in Tommy Frevert. Frevert went 2/2 on field goals this year, and he converted 118 extra points this year.

Frevert accounted for 124 points, which is the most by any kicker in the entire league. Frevert totaled 35 touchbacks this year when he served as the kicker on kickoffs. Frevert was one of the only kickers to remain with a team for the entire year.

image

Brandon Thompkins (KR, Orlando Predators)

Thompkins has made the team twice, as he already made the team as a wide receiver. Thompkins was the far and away the best kick returner this year, as he racked up 1,823 kick return yards, which is by far the most of any kick returner.

Thompkins returned 93 kicks, and his longest return went for 57 yards. Thompkins averaged 19.8 yards per return, and he scored five touchdowns on returns this year. When you factor in his receiving yards, Thompkins recorded 3,530 total yards this year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s