1951 All-Pro Team

The 1951 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1951 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP) (chosen in a national poll of AP football writers),[1] the United Press (UP) (selected by UP sports writers),[2] and the New York Daily News.[3]

The All-Pro selections were dominated by players from the Cleveland Browns (nine first-team honorees including Otto Graham and Lou Groza), New York Giants (seven honorees including Emlen Tunnell), Los Angeles Rams (six first-team honorees including Elroy Hirsch), and Detroit Lions (four first-team honorees including Doak Walker).

This was the first year that separate defensive and offensive teams were selected as up until this point most players had played both ways for much of the game (although this had decreased in the later 1940s), so a quarterback/tailback/ halfback on offense usually just became a defensive back similar to today's safety when playing defense while the fullback, usually a larger player, or a larger halfback (and before the T-formation, the quarterback, who was usually actually a blocking back on offence), would play a position similar to linebacker. Ends would also usually convert to defensive backs, similar to corner backs of today.


Offensive selections
Position Player Team Selector(s)
Quarterback Otto Graham Cleveland Browns AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Quarterback Bob Waterfield Los Angeles Rams UP-2, NYDN-2
Halfback Doak Walker Detroit Lions AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Halfback Dub Jones Cleveland Browns AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Halfback Joe Geri Pittsburgh Steelers UP-2, NYDN-1
Fullback Dan Towler Los Angeles Rams UP-1, NYDN-1
Fullback Eddie Price New York Giants AP-1, UP-2
Fullback John "Kayo" Dottley Chicago Bears UP-2
End Elroy Hirsch Los Angeles Rams AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
End Dante Lavelli Cleveland Browns UP-1, NYDN-1
End Leon Hart Detroit Lions AP, UP-1 [def. end]
Tackle George Connor Chicago Bears AP, UP-1 [def. tackle], NYDN-1
Tackle Tex Coulter New York Giants UP-1, NYDN-1
Tackle Lou Groza Cleveland Browns UP-1, NYDN-1
Tackle Leo Nomellini San Francisco 49ers AP
Guard Lou Creekmur Detroit Lions AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Guard Dick Barwegen Chicago Bears AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Center Frank Gatski Cleveland Browns UP-1, NYDN-1
Center Vic Lindskog Philadelphia Eagles AP
Defensive selections
Position Player Team Selector(s)
Defensive end Len Ford Cleveland Browns AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Defensive end Larry Brink Los Angeles Rams AP
Defensive tackle Arnie Weinmeister New York Giants AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Defensive tackle Al Derogatis New York Giants AP
Defensive guard Bill Willis Cleveland Browns AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Defensive guard Les Bingaman Detroit Lions AP
Defensive guard Jon Baker New York Giants UP-1
Defensive guard Stan West Los Angeles Rams UP-1
Linebacker Chuck Bednarik Philadelphia Eagles AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Linebacker Tony Adamle Cleveland Browns UP-1, NYDN-1
Linebacker Paul "Tank" Younger Los Angeles Rams AP
Defensive halfback Otto Schnellbacher New York Giants AP, UP-1, NYDN-1
Defensive halfback Warren Lahr Cleveland Browns UP-1, NYDN-1
Defensive halfback Jerry Shipkey Pittsburgh Steelers AP
Safety Emlen Tunnell New York Giants AP, UP-1, NYDN-1


  1. ^ Frank Finch (January 9, 1952). "Hirsch, Younger, Brink Make AP All-Pro Team". Los Angeles Times. p. IV-1.
  2. ^ "Browns Dominate All-Pro". San Bernardino Daily Sun. December 20, 1951. p. 38.
  3. ^ "1951 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
Bob Celeri

Robert Lavern Celeri (June 1, 1927 – March 9, 1975) was a quarterback who played for the University of California, two seasons in the National Football League (NFL), and a total of eight seasons in two Canadian leagues – the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and the Ontario Rugby Football Union (ORFU).

Bob Waterfield

Robert Stanton Waterfield (July 26, 1920 – March 25, 1983) was an American football player and coach and motion picture actor and producer. He played quarterback for the UCLA Bruins and Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. His No. 7 jersey was retired by the Los Angeles Rams in 1952.

Born in Elmira, New York, Waterfield moved to Los Angeles as an infant. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins in 1941, 1942, and 1944. In 1942, he led UCLA to a Pacific Coast Conference championship and was selected as the quarterback on the All-Pacific Coast team.

From 1945 to 1952, he played quarterback for the Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League (NFL). He led the Rams to NFL championships in 1945 and 1951 and was selected as the NFL's most valuable player in 1945. He was the first-team All-Pro quarterback in 1945, 1946, and 1949. Known as one of the best passers, punters, and place-kickers in the NFL, he set NFL career place-kicking records with 315 extra points and 60 field goals, as well as a single-season record with 54 extra points in 1950, and a single-game record with five field goals in a game.

Waterfield was married to movie actress Jane Russell from 1943 to 1968. During the 1950s, Waterfield also worked in the motion picture business, initially as an actor and later as a producer. He remained involved in football as an assistant coach during the 1950s and served as the head coach of the Rams from 1960 to 1962.

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