After last night’s announcement of the Pro Bowl roster, our RSNFL team analyse just why those selected were done so by their peers and fans alike. First, we wrote about the offensive players selected and why, now it’s the time for those that didn’t quite make the roster for Hawaii. Every year when the Pro Bowl rosters are announced there are players not on the list that deserve to be. It’s bound to happen when you let fans vote for their favourites rather than the most deserving players. So who are the players sitting at home without an invitation to Hawaii who should be going?
Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, Atlanta Falcons
I start this list with Trufant because I think he’s the most glaring omission for this seasons Pro Bowl. Trufant had a great 2014 campaign and has kicked on to an even higher level of play this year. He’s dominant in man coverage and very good in zone. He has made our team of the week three times this season which should tell you how dominant he’s been. Considering how little support Trufant gets from his pass rush – Atlanta have the fewest sacks this season – he should be in this team well before the likes of Aqib Talib. Trufant has become one of the most avoided cornerbacks in the NFL and that should be rewarded.
Kurt Coleman, Safety, Carolina Panthers
Coleman is perhaps the most improved player in the NFL this season. In previous years he’s been a useful part of the Eagles and Chiefs secondary but since arriving in Carolina he’s exploded into life. His 7 interceptions is 2nd in the NFL this season, he has 9 other pass deflections which is 3rd among true safeties. Sure, the Panthers have 10 players going to Hawaii but it should be 11. With the unfortunate injury to Tyrann Mathieu there is a place open among the safety group which I would hope Coleman fills.
Philip Rivers, Quarterback, San Diego Chargers
Wait, the Quarterback of a 4-10 team that doesn’t have anyone voted to the Pro Bowl? Yes. That Philip Rivers. The Philip Rivers who is second in the NFL in yards, first in pass attempts, 3rd in completion percentage in QB’s with over 450 attempts.
He is the quarterback doing the most with the least this season. Star receiver? Injured. Star running back? Non-existent. Blocking? What blocking!? Not only are all the parts around Rivers broken but he’s running a muddle offense and calling the protections and checks for the O-Line himself. He deserves a space on the flight to Hawaii over the likes of Ben Roethlisberger who, as good as he’s been, has missed time with injuries and is surrounded by the best wide receiver trio in the NFL.
Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
So it turns out the Jacksonville Jaguars have good players, but you wouldn’t know it by the Pro Bowl voting. Just like San Diego not a single Jaguar got a invitation and just like San Diego there is someone who absolutely deserves to go. Robinson has become a terror in the NFL in just his second season. He’s 7th in the NFL with 1,141 receiving yards, joint 1st with 13 touchdowns and second among players with over 100 targets in yards per catch (16.5). Those are fearsome numbers. He’s had far and away a better season than Calvin Johnson who has a spot to Hawaii thanks to name recognition only. I’m not a proponent of “Every team should have a representative” but Robinson deserves a trip and while I’m sure he’ll get one eventually it should be in February 2016, not further down the road.
Cordy Glenn, Left Tackle, Buffalo Bills
The Pro Bowl voting is usually worst around the offensive line. Name recognition and fan biases are strongest here because most people only see the O-line when they mess up, not when they dominate.
For me Cordy Glenn is the most glaring offensive line omission this season – as fun as La’el Collins vs a not-really-trying defense would have been. Glenn’s been a force on the blind side for Buffalo all year, keeping Tyrod Taylor safe and then blasting holes in the ground game. He’s been the best run blocker out of the elite pass protector group, particular due to his mobility that allows Greg Roman to get creative with pulls and traps. As much as I’ve enjoyed Joe Staley over his career I think he’s lost his place among the elite group of left tackles and has been usurped by Glenn.
Others worthy of consideration:
Latvius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Miami Dolphins
Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns
Russell Bodine, C, Cincinnati Bengals
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL Pro Bowl 2016 – Offensive player breakdown NFL announces 2016 Pro Bowl roster Week 15 Team of the Week NFL Draft Order 2016: Who’s picking where after MNF? NFL Playoff Picture: three more teams clinch playoff spots after Sunday NFL Week 15: Ten Things You Need To Know