2014 PFF Pro Bowl Selections
The voting has finished and hopefully you’ve done the right thing with your Pro Bowl ballot.
For us, though, we’re renegades. We can’t be confined by a ballot and as such we’ve changed the structure of the positions to respond to a more versatile NFL, ensuring the right players get their due.
You’ll see how shortly, but for now sit back and enjoy the PFF Pro Bowl Roster.
Starters: Aaron Rodgers (GB) and Drew Brees (NO)
Reserves: Tom Brady (NE), Matt Ryan (ATL), Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) and Andrew Luck (IND)
Breakdown: Rodgers has, Buffalo game aside, been the standout QB this year but Brees has pushed him hard. The woes in New Orleans have detracted from this, but it’s been a huge effort from the Saints’ QB to keep them competitive.
Starters: DeMarco Murray (DAL) and Le’Veon Bell (PIT)
Reserves: Marshawn Lynch (SEA), Justin Forsett (BAL), Eddie Lacy (GB) and Jamaal Charles (KC)
Breakdown: The hardest question was who to drop from the starting lineup, with Lynch just missing out. Then it was just a case of deciding between Lacy and Arian Foster for the last spot, with the greater work by Lacy in the passing game pushing him in.
Starters: Antonio Brown (PIT), Dez Bryant (DAL), Jordy Nelson (GB) and DeMaryius Thomas (DEN)
Reserves: Emmanuel Sanders (DEN), Odell Beckham Jr (NYG), Julio Jones (ATL) and T.Y. Hilton (IND)
Breakdown: So many players to choose from, some were bound to miss out. Its telling just how good Beckham was that he was close to a starting spot despite missing so much time, though it’s worth noting A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson missed more time and were close themselves to cracking the list.
Starters: Anthony Sherman (KC) and Ryan Hewitt (CIN)
Breakdown: Two years on the bounce for Sherman who has gone from afterthought in Arizona to the league’s best fullback in KC.
Starters: Rob Gronkowski (NE) and Greg Olsen (CAR)
Reserves: Martellus Bennett (CHI) and Jason Witten (DAL)
Breakdown: Olsen just edged out Bennett for the second starting spot, with no doubts whatsoever that Gronkowski would be in there. A down year (by his standards) for Jimmy Graham, injuries to Dwayne Allen and Julius Thomas, as well as a lack of playing time for Travis Kelce derailed their bids.
Starters: Joe Thomas (CLE) and Ricky Wagner (BAL), Jason Peters (PHI) and Sebastian Vollmer (NE)
Reserves: Andrew Whitworth (CIN) and Jared Veldheer (ARZ)
Breakdown: The three best tackles in the league this year were hard to separate, so we feel a little guilty with Whitworth not being down as a starter, but we’re steadfast in our belief that right tackles are worthy of some respect to. The last spot on the bench saw the excellent Veldheer just hold off the superior run blocking from Joe Staley to highlight his impressive debut season as a Cardinal.
Starters: Marshal Yanda (BAL), Kelechi Osemele (BAL) Joel Bitonio (CLV) and Zack Martin (DAL)
Reserves: Josh Sitton (GB) and Brandon Linder (JAX)
Breakdown: No change here from our earlier Pro Bowl cheat sheet. Yanda has been superb all year in arguably his finest season as a Pro, being one half of a tremendous tandem in Baltimore. As for the three rookies making the list, that just goes to show it’s not just the wide receivers who look like a special group from the 2014 draft class.
Starters: Nick Mangold (NYJ) and Corey Linsley (GB)
Reserves: Travis Frederick (DAL) and Rodney Hudson (KC)
Breakdown: Mangold is back to his best and Linsley stunned us with his consistency in his rookie year. Quite the impression for a guy who was only starting because of injury. Special nod to Max Unger who has playing lights out but had his playing time limited through injury.
Starters: Cameron Wake (MIA), J.J. Watt (HOU), Von Miller (DEN) and Justin Houston (KC)
Reserves: Khalil Mack (OAK), Terrell Suggs (BAL), Michael Bennett (SEA) and Everson Griffen (MIN)
Breakdown: Criteria change alert! The NFL’s ballot mixed players who do fundamentally different jobs, so we’ve turned their 4-3 DE category into one for Edge Rushers. That’s a mix of 4-3 defensive ends, 3-4 outside linebackers along with odd 3-4 DEs (who play a lot outside the tackles) and 4-3 OLBs (who rush the passer a lot). After that long-winded explanation, the guys above where the best of the bunch, with the starters all dominating their official position in large part to their excellent pass rushing.
Starters: Aaron Donald (SL), Gerald McCoy (TB), Sheldon Richardson (NYJ) and Fletcher Cox (PHI)
Reserves: Ndamukong Suh (DET), Muhammad Wilkerson (NYJ), Calais Campbell (ARZ) and Marcell Dareus (BUF)
Breakdown: Again we’ve taken some of the guys balloted as defensive ends and slotted them here, given how they’re used as interior defenders. No big surprises — all of these guys make enough plays that it would be harder not to notice them.
Starters: Luke Kuechly (CAR) and Dont’a Hightower (NE)
Reserves: Jamie Collins (NE) and Daryl Smith (BAL)
Breakdown: Whisper it quietly but Kuechly is playing better this year than he did last. It’s a shame what wins can do to a player’s perception. The New England duo may be two of the most underappreciated players in the league, but they’ve been tremendous. While Smith gets the nod for his consistent every-down work, taking advantage of injuries to a plethora of players.
Starters: DeAndre Levy (DET) and Brandon Marshall (DEN)
Reserves: Thomas Davis (CAR) and Nigel Bradham (BUF)
Breakdown: Again we’ve changed things around so we’re looking at those traditional 4-3 outside linebackers. Levy was an easy pick with a superb season as the Detroit defense dominated. Marshall has rightly got plenty of credit with a breakout year.
Starters: Chris Harris Jr. (DEN), Vontae Davis (IND), Darrelle Revis (NE) and Richard Sherman (SEA)
Reserves: Orlando Scandrick (DAL), Sean Smith (KC), Desmond Trufant (ATL) and Corey Graham (BUF)
Breakdown: One of the more controversial positions. Harris and Davis have had wonderful years, while Revis and Sherman have in different ways dominated against quality opposition. The more up-and-down nature of years by others left room for players in smaller markets (Graham) to make quite the impression and get backup duties.
Starters: Eric Weddle (SD), Harrison Smith (MIN), Tashaun Gipson (CLE) and Glover Quin (DET)
Reserves: Devin McCourty (NE) and Antoine Bethea (SF)
Breakdown: The four-safety system is dead to us; long live the six-safety version! Try as we might to make sense of the official ballot, the introduction of two extra spots ensured credit was spread around to those who deserved it.
Starters: Dan Bailey (DAL) and Matt Bryant (ATL)
Breakdown: Big-time kicks from Bryant and Bailey meant they got the nod. These modern kickers don’t miss a lot do they?
Starters: Darren Sproles (PHI) and Devin Hester (ATL)
Breakdown: De’Anthony Thomas might be a little annoyed at just missing out to the combined brilliance of Hester and Sproles.
Starters: Pat McAfee (IND) and Johnny Hekker (SL)
Breakdown: McAfee’s consistent combination of hangtime, distance and location ensure he’s been our top-ranked punter all the way, though Hekker is only marginally behind.
Starters: Josh Martin (KC) and Kelcie McCray (KC)
Breakdown: To quote our special teamers guru Gordon McGuinness, “these two are the best at what they do” on special teams. So there.
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