5 players who shouldn't have made the Pro Bowl
Each year, a Pro Bowl roster is announced, and each year we, like everyone else, get all riled up about it. Well, this year is no different, with the usual stat and reputation-based picks. You can see PFF’s Pro Bowl roster here, but for now, here are the five worst selections of this years Pro Bowl.
Marcus Peters, CB, Kanas City Chiefs (69.7 overall grade)
Why he was picked: Those big, juicy interception numbers. A rookie with seven picks? He must be playing brilliantly.
Why he is a poor pick: Because interceptions aren’t everything. And what’s more, why don’t we look at the actual picks themselves? There is a big difference between the ball being thrown to you, and actually making a play on the ball. We can’t ignore the fact that Peters has been beat for seven touchdowns this year (fourth-worst in the league) and allowed more yards into his coverage (902) than every NFL corner except Pittsburgh’s Antwon Blake.
Alternative selection: Pick your poison, because cornerback is a deep position this season. Let’s look at Detroit’s Darius Slay (88.9), briefly, because he had a heck of a year and got no love. Buffalo’s Ronald Darby (87.1) would be another fine rookie option.
Mike Tolbert, FB, Carolina Panthers (54.5)
Why he was picked: Let’s be honest, Tolbert got selected because few care about fullbacks, or watch them on a regular basis. They don’t care about lead blocking, so they just want to see who got the most receiving yards or rushing yards. As a result, Tolbert owns this Pro Bowl roster spot each year.
Why he is a poor pick: Because, fundamentally, you’re picking a guy to the Pro Bowl at a position for which he is not the best. If you were looking for a hybrid back that can do a bit of everything, great. But what you have is essentially a reserve, short-yardage and third-down back representing fullbacks.
Alternative selection: Patrick DiMarco (84.5) made a huge impact with his blocking for Atlanta.
NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers (62.0)
Why he was picked: Because history tells us Bowman is a beast. Oh, and tackles. Bowman had a ton of tackles (we had him with the most of any linebacker).
Why he is a poor pick: Tackles aren’t always a good indicator (in coverage, it normally means you’ve been beaten). But chiefly, it’s because Bowman would likely admit that this year hasn’t been near his 2013 best, and that he’s still working himself back to full fitness.
Alternative selection: Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson (90.9) must feel pretty slighted. He’s our second-ranked linebacker on the year.
Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia Eagles (83.3)
Why he was picked: Peters has forged a reputation as one of the best tackles over the last decade, and with no obvious line stats, he’s a “safe” pick.
Why he is a poor pick: Because there were better tackles. Peters hasn’t had a bad year—nor did he have anything close to his best. He also missed time due to injury at a position where staying on the field is huge.
Alternative selection: This was a true breakout year for Terron Armstead (91.2). He may play on a bad Saints’ team, but he’s been excellent all season.
Alex Mack, C, Cleveland Browns (75.6)
Why he was picked: As a former first-rounder and a familiar name. His interesting contract situation has made him more relevant to fans, and his play in years gone by has built an idea of him being as good as it gets at the center spot.
Why he is a poor pick: Because as he worked his way back from injury, he didn’t look like the guy he was before getting hurt. A very average year, with him not generating a lot of movement in the run game and allowing too much pressure. He’s played a lot better and not made the Pro Bowl.
Alternative selection: Minnesota’s Joe Berger (90.0) isn’t a fancy pick but so what if he’s only starting because John Sullivan is injured? He played fantastically.