Pro Bowl Rosters Announced

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I’m going to preface this by saying that I think the Pro Bowl is the most useless All Star Game in professional sports. The risk for injury in a game that is even more meaningless than preseason games is too great, just ask Tyler Eifert. The one benefit the Pro Bowl had was that players got a trip to Hawaii out of that but now that’s not even a thing, as they’ve been playing the game in Florida in some years, which is a state much of the league visits during the regular season anyway. There’s no incentive to play in this game whatsoever. All Star Games are cool in theory and has shown that it can be awesome when done right (I’ve always been a big fan of the MLB All Star game and the NBA All Star game can get exciting to watch since nobody plays any defense and everybody goes for the highlight play). With football, the risk of injury is so great that it’s just not worth it. Plus the quality of football is terrible because these guys have about a week to learn an extremely neutered playbook and the most basic concepts are run. Nothing exciting there. You aren’t even allowed to blitz! That being said, it’ll be the only football game on between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, so I’ll probably catch bits and pieces of it. The NFL has me by the balls.

So let’s take a look at the rosters from each conference. For the AFC:

QB: Tom Brady-New England Patriots, Philip Rivers-Los Angeles Chargers, Ben Roethlisberger-Pittsburgh Steelers

RB: Le’Veon Bell-Pittsburgh Steelers, Kareem Hunt-Kansas City Chiefs, Lesean McCoy-Buffalo Bills

FB: James Develin-New England Patriots

WR: Antonio Brown-Pittsburgh Steelers, DeAndre Hopkins-Houston Texans, AJ Green-Cincinnati Bengals, Keenan Allen-Los Angeles Chargers

TE: Travis Kelce-Kansas City Chiefs, Rob Gronkowski-New England Patriots

OT: Alejandro Villanueva-Pittsburgh Steelers, Taylor Lewan-Tennessee Titans, Donald Penn-Oakland Raiders

OG: Kelechi Osemele-Oakland Raiders, David DeCastro-Pittsburgh Steelers, Richie Incognito-Buffalo Bills

C: Maurkice Pouncey-Pittsburgh Steelers, Rodney Hudson-Kansas City Chiefs

DE: Joey Bosa-Los Angeles Chargers, Calais Campbell-Jacksonville Jaguars, Khalil Mack-Oakland Raiders

DT: Geno Atkins-Cincinnati Bengals, Jurrell Casey-Tennessee Titans, Malik Jackson-Jacksonville Jaguars

OLB: Von Miller-Denver Broncos, JaDeveon Clowney-Houston Texans, Terrell Suggs-Baltimore Ravens

ILB: CJ Moseley-Baltimore Ravens, Ryan Shazier-Pittsburgh Steelers

CB: AJ Bouye-Jacksonville Jaguars, Jalen Ramsey-Jacksonville Jaguars, Aqib Talib-Denver Broncos, Casey Hayward-Los Angeles Chargers

S-Eric Weddle-Baltimore Ravens, Reshad Jones-Miami Dolphins, Micah Hyde-Buffalo Bills

K-Chris Boswell-Pittsburgh Steelers

P-Brett Kern-Tennessee Titans

KR-Tyreek Hill-Kansas City Chiefs

ST-Matthew Slater-New England Patriots

Is it me, or did that seem like a LOT of Steelers there. Don’t get me wrong, the Steelers are a Hell of a team and boast some great talent. But they have 8 guys on this year’s roster whereas a team like the Patriots only has 4. For the most part, I think the voters (fans included) did a pretty good job with their selections, as I don’t see a single undeserving player on this list, though there are certainly some omissions that I think are absolutely egregious. This list isn’t final, though, as injuries and players making it to the Super Bowl will drastically alter who will actually play in this game. For example, Ryan Shazier is obviously going to need to be replaced. But as the roster stands right now, here are some players that I think got snubbed, whether that be because a lesser player made it over them or just simply the fact there wasn’t room on the roster:

QB: Alex Smith-Kansas City Chiefs

RB: Melvin Gordon-Los Angeles Chargers, Leonard Fournettte-Jacksonville Jaguars, Alex Collins-Baltimore Ravens

WR: Brandin Cooks-New England Patriots, TY Hilton-Indianapolis Colts, Robby Anderson-New York Jets

OG-Shaq Mason-New England Patriots, Kevin Zeitler-Cleveland Browns, Joel Bitonio-Cleveland Browns

DE: Yannick Ngakoue-Jacksonville Jaguars, Cameron Heyward-Pittsburgh Steelers,

DT: Ndamukong Suh-Miami Dolphins

OLB: Melvin Ingram-Los Angeles Chargers, Cameron Wake-Miami Dolphins, Dante Fowler Jr-Jacksonville Jaguars

ILB: DeMario Davis-New York Jets, Christian Kirksey-Cleveland Browns

CB: Marcus Peters-Kansas City Chiefs, Xavien Howard-Miami Dolphins, Tre’Davious White-Buffalo Bills, Jason McCourty-Cleveland Browns

S: Kevin Byard-Tennessee Titans, Tashaun Gipson-Jacksonville Jaguars

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The most egregious omission is Alex Smith when Philip Rivers made the team. That’s outrageous. While yes, Philip Rivers is having a good season, Smith has been so much better. More touchdowns, fewer interceptions, better quarterback rating, better completion percentage, better yards per attempt, pretty much every major category except passing yards, which Rivers only leads by exactly 100. Yes, Smith kind of slumped in the middle of the season, but the entire body of work is so much more deserving. Hell, Kareem Hunt had a similar slump yet he still made the team. On to the NFC:

QB: Carson Wentz-Philadelphia Eagles, Russell Wilson-Seattle Seahawks, Drew Brees-New Orleans Saints

RB: Todd Gurley-Los Angeles Rams, Alvin Kamara-New Orleans Saints, Mark Ingram-New Orleans Saints

FB: Kyle Juszczyk-San Francisco 49ers

WR: Julio Jones-Atlanta Falcons, Adam Thielen-Minnesota Vikings, Michael Thomas-New Orleans Saints, Larry Fitzgerald-Arizona Cardinals

TE: Zach Ertz-Philadelphia Eagles, Jimmy Graham-Seattle Seahawks

OT: Tyron Smith-Dallas Cowboys, Trent Williams-Washington Redskins, Lane Johnson-Philadelphia Eagles

OG: Zack Martin-Dallas Cowboys, Brandon Brooks-Philadelphia Eagles, Brandon Scherff-Washington Redskins

C: Alex Mack-Atlanta Falcons, Travis Frederick-Dallas Cowboys

DE: Everson Griffen-Minnesota Vikings, DeMarcus Lawrence-Dallas Cowboys, Cameron Jordan-New Orleans Saints

DT: Fletcher Cox-Philadelphia Eagles, Aaron Donald-Los Angeles Rams, Gerald McCoy-Tampa Bay Buccaneers

OLB: Chandler Jones-Arizona Cardinals, Ryan Kerrigan-Washington Redskins, Anthony Barr-Minnesota Vikings

ILB: Luke Kuechly-Carolina Panthers, Bobby Wagner-Seattle Seahawks

CB: Xavier Rhodes-Minnesota Vikings, Patrick Peterson-Arizona Cardinals, Marshon Lattimore-New Orleans Saints, Darius Slay-Detroit Lions

S: Earl Thomas-Seattle Seahawks, Landon Collins-New York Giants, Malcolm Jenkins-Philadelphia Eagles

K: Greg Zuerlein-Los Angeles Rams

P: Johnny Hekker-Los Angeles Rams

KR: Pharoh Cooper-Los Angeles Rams

ST: Budda Baker-Arizona Cardinals

Fun fact about this team. Amongst the offensive lineman, only Alex Mack doesn’t play in the NFC East. Random, but I thought it was kind of wild. Also, the Rams nearly swept the specialists category, with Budda Baker being the only specialist not wearing horns on his helmet. Like the AFC team, not too many complaints with this one as I feel like everybody on this team is deserving. But of course, some deserving players got snubbed. Here’s a few:

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QB: Jared Goff-Los Angeles Rams, Matthew Stafford-Detroit Lions

RB: Jordan Howard-Chicago Bears, Devonta Freeman-Atlanta Falcons

WR: Marvin Jones-Detroit Lions, Marquise Goodwin-San Francisco 49ers

TE: Evan Engram-New York Giants

OT: Andrew Whitworth-Los Angeles Rams

C: Jason Kelce-Philadelphia Eagles

DE: Julius Peppers-Carolina Panthers, Mario Addison-Carolina Panthers, Brandon Graham-Philadelphia Eagles

DT: Akiem Hicks-Chicago Bears, David Irving-Dallas Cowboys, Anthony Zettel-Detroit Lions, Kawann Short-Carolina Panthers

OLB: Robert Quinn-Los Angeles Rams

ILB: Preston Smith-Washington Redskins

S: Harrison Smith-Minnesota Vikings

Worst omission for me here is Harrison Smith. He’s been arguably the best safety in the NFL this season and has been a key catalyst in this excellent Vikings defense. Another bad miss is Jordan Howard. I mean, what more does a guy have to do to make the team? The problem here, though, is that who would you bump out? Everyone in their position is deserving of the honor, which I mentioned above. I’m sure a lot of these errors will be corrected once players start bowing out, whether through injury, Super Bowl, or personal preference.

Those are my thoughts on the Pro Bowl roster. You can tell it’s been a slow day in sporting news. Are there any other players who didn’t make the Pro Bowl who you thought should have? Let me know in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter @jimwyman10 and contribute to my Patreon.

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