5 players who shouldn’t have made the Pro Bowl

With every Pro Bowl roster announcement, there are some players whose résumés doesn't quite match the honor.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/TUSP, Jay Biggerstaff)

(AP Photo/TUSP, Jay Biggerstaff)

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.

  • Kyle Ferguson

    Don’t let fans pick!!!

    • crosseyedlemon

      Getting the fans involved is a benefit to the league from a PR and marketing perspective but being selected certainly carried more cache back in the days before fans had a vote. My bigger concern is that the league might let fan voting start to influence who is nominated for the HOF. Only those already inducted should be allowed to decide who joins them in Canton.

    • william smith

      The fans vote amounts to 1/3 of the total vote

    • Mike Riley

      Coaches like Mike Pettine, Jeff Fisher & Gus Bradley account for 1/3 of the vote as well. Would you trust them to identify talent?

      • larry mckinney


    • YouBarkIBite

      It’s not just the fans. Coaches and players don’t bother scouting the entire league, only the teams that are on their schedule (so, 13 distinct opponents per year). So for over half the league, coaches and players are relying on media coverage, hype, stats, and any previous experiences against that player as their basis for voting for them. So it makes a lot of sense that every year, probably a quarter of the picks are making it based on their reputation (especially for positions that do not have much in the way of stats), and rookies don’t get much love as most teams in the league have never seen him play.

    • derek lundeen


  • Forrest

    6 of the 7 TDs against Peters came in his first 5 games, he’s only given up 1 TD in the last 9 games. It seems relevant, and it’s also been ignored completely.

    • Dollar Flipper

      Can’t disagree with the easy interceptions though. Even his two in Baltimore were gimmies. The TD return only happened because the receiver fell down in the red zone on their route and the 2nd one was just a launched ball. If Peters hadn’t caught it, the safety had an easier shot at it than the WR. (and this is from a Peters fan)

      • Jimmy

        Sure, but as you’ll notice a lot of DBs drop those kind of “gimmies”. The fact that he’s constantly in the area to capitalize on those mistakes and make the QB pay is what makes him special. It’s not luck; it’s instinct, talent, and mental toughness that allowed him to get those picks.

      • DangaDave

        Peters made some of those plays look way easier than they were with quick recognition and breaking to the ball. A bunch of guys don’t even get to the ball like he did.

        The 2 in Baltimore would be a bad example though. Those were “gimmies”.

        • Dollar Flipper

          Yep. I’m probably just trying to not get too excited about him. :)

          • DangaDave

            I was thrilled when they drafted him and let everyone know it. It’s a bit too late for me to dial it back. 😀

    • Rodrigo

      hardly matters.
      The other guys didnt suck in the first 5 games and played better the rest.
      Its the worst pick of the year.

      • Anonymous

        Sherman started slowly but has been phenomenal in the 2nd half of the season, Butler doesn’t deserve to be there (only one less TD allowed than Peters), so Peters making it is totally legit.

        • James Winslow

          The tds numbers aren’t what are killing peters, its the fact he gets picked on in coverage in some games.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah he does plenty of picking on too. Leads the league in PD’s and leads corners in INT’s. Kid is special.

          • James Winslow

            He has talent, but he is inconsisitent. He gets beat badly some games. His highs are high but his lows are high as well.

          • Anonymous

            Well Butler is there, and his highs aren’t as high as Peters’s and his lows are just as low. If everyone is fine with Butler being there, why isn’t everyone fine with Peters being there? Especially given that 5 of the 7 TD’s he gave up were very early in the season.

            Now if you want to take both of them out for Darby/Vonte/Jonathan Joseph/Desmond Trufant/Stephon Gillmore/someone else from that next tier of corners then fine. But I didn’t really have a problem with either of them making it over those other guys I just listed.

          • James Winslow

            Nah butler has like two bad games, but he has had bunch games where he has been good and a few games where he has been great in coverage. He is a much better corner than peters. Peter may be better in year two though.

          • Jimmy

            If you get around to watching Peters’ “allowed TDs” you’ll notice that most of them are when he’s in zone coverage, and the QB finds the receiver in that iffy spot where it’s not his zone necessarily or the other DB’s either.

          • DangaDave

            Yep, the gap in the zone. Or it’s an impossible play to defend, like DeAndre Hopkins outleaping him, a quick two yard slant he was all over in Green Bay but was already in the end zone, etc.

            I never came away from watching a game he was in and thought he was legitimately getting picked on.

          • James Winslow

            yeah thats debatable, but I mean someone has to cover that area, nd I am sure its not always the other guys fault.

          • Jonathon Joseph

            They would trade Butler for Peters in a heartbeat. I think that tells you who is better.

          • James Winslow

            Wow where did you get that inside knowledge, are you psychic?

          • Anonymous

            But Peters has 7 TDs allowed and Butler has 6. So how do you reconcile that into your “only 2 bad games” for Butler?

          • James Winslow

            giving up a touchdown doesn’t automatically mean a player a had a bad game.

        • SkolBro

          Allows 7 TDs and 2nd most yards allowed by a CB…
          Dude is more burnt than Shireen Baratheon at this point.

      • Tony

        Marcus Peters didn’t suck on the first five games. He literally picked off the first pass of the season. His game against Denver week 2 was easily one of the best by a CB this year.

        The biggest problem with PFF is that people like you look at their grades and think they know all about a player that they never bothered to actually watch.

      • Jimmy

        What? Of course it matters. The other guys also weren’t playing their first NFL games. Hell, he hadn’t even played college football in over a year, and he was thrown into a defense as the no. 1 corner against guys like DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Demaryius Thomas and Emannuel Sanders. So to make adjustments in 5 weeks and become a lockdown corner with a 6:1 turnover to TD allowed ratio is remarkable.

        • DangaDave

          He only missed a couple games at the end of Washington’s year I believe. People like to say he was kicked off the team for the rest of the year because it sounds worse.

          Still, improving as a rookie is relevant especially when comparing him to other rookies, but admittedly less so when comparing him to other potential Pro Bowlers.

    • Tim Squires

      Not only that, but 4 of the TDs against him were on those supposedly illegal pick plays near the goal line that teams like Denver and Green Bay get away with every game.

      • Jimmy


  • Nawlins

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to pick alternatives that are in the same conference? Doesn’t quite give the whole accurate depiction.

    • Vitor

      The votes are not linked to conferences anymore

  • 007Boss

    Bowman has been his old sensational self and belongs in the Pro Bowl. I thought tackles were the objective of defense.

    • Josh Knepshield

      No, no he hasn’t. Not even close. Even he would admit that.

  • Anonymous

    Malcolm Butler has been beaten for 6 TD’s and only has 2 INT’s, yet you guys are fine with him making it….

    • James Winslow

      Numbers aren’t everything for cbs. And six touchdowns really isn’t that much.


      • Tim Squires

        Oh, but seven is?

        • James Winslow

          Gets lucky and gets beat. Plenty of bad cbs have high interception numbers. Marcus peters is pretty good though.

          • Neal

            We need to also tall about the fact that he is the most targeted corner in the NFL as well so those numbers would be a bit a bit higher than all othe corners….and thus more INTs….he’s a good player. Pro bowl is deserving. The actual pics themselves were all really decent. It’s not his fault a qb underthrew his wr….you still have to make the actual play.

          • Jimmy

            And the only reason he’s targeted so much is because there’s a lockdown corner on the other side of the field in Sean Smith. The QBs and WRs are going to get their numbers from somewhere in this type of league.

    • Liam Mcknight

      I’m kinda agreeing. Logan Ryan would’ve been a better choice than butler, but both have been great

    • Oidkfkk

      But butler is 1 string cb

      • Anonymous

        What is a 1 string CB? A starter? Peters is also a starter

  • Mike

    Make no mistake, Peters is still the top offensive tackle in the NFL. He’s been incredibly banged up this year and when he has been playing, hes been playing hurt. Same with Lane Johnson actually, although he’s yet to fully reach his potential.

  • Peter Trujillo

    David Amerson over Marcus Peters. Amerson leads the league in passes defended while missing a few games at the beginning of the year.

    • Tim Squires

      They’re tied for passes defended (Or Amerson has one more, depending on where you look up the stats at), Peters has four more picks (two of which were returned for touchdowns), and more tackles as well. Also, Amerson only missed one game.

    • heLLpaso

      He hasn’t missed a game. 12 games as a Raider, 2 as a Skin, 2 games to go.

  • Andrew Heinz

    Calvin Johnson shouldn’t have made it. Allen Robinson is 7th in yards and tied for 1st in TDs and is only an alternate? Stop letting fans vote, they’re biased and dumb

    • Jaguars28

      Exactly, at least he’s an alternate though.

    • Dennis Forbes

      The fans counted for 1/3rd of the results, so save blaming the fans. I honestly doubt Calvin even did that great among fans given that he’s been so quiet this year.

      Calvin got in for the same reason a lot of huge stars get in – inertia.

      • Sam Doohan

        I think inertia is the right word for a lot of these picks. It’s been a really weird year for loads of positions with lots of high profile injuries changing a lot of the voting. People pick the guys who’s names they know. Even coaches are doing that a lot of the time, picking the guys who are in their head when they fill it out.

        It’s not like anyone is ever sitting down and doing a position by position break down to choose the best players – That’s closer to how the All Pro teams work. The Pro Bowl is about popularity not performance really. And that’s fine. The Pro Bowl is never going to be a really competitive game even if you pick the top graded guys at every position. There’s nothing on the line and no synergy in the teams so it’s never a good game to watch. What gets people tuning in is the big names they know.

    • Scott Kohler

      That’s by far the biggest snub. I was baffled by him not actually making it. My other 2 giant snubs are Cameron Jordan and Terron Armstead. I may be biased because I’m a saints fan, but I’m also aware that players don’t get much credit when they are on bad teams. That also describes Allen Robinson. The Saints defense is garbage, so you must assume that everyone on that defense is bad, right? Not the case. That’s what the voters think though. Jordan has had an excellent season, and is PFF’s 2nd best edge rusher and the best 4-3 defensive end in the league. Terron is the 3rd best overall tackle. But, just because they are stuck on a bad team, they are kept out of the pro bowl.

      • gregg rice

        I’d take ziggy over Jordan, but Jordan a close second

      • Devin

        Bitch stfu how gives a fuck about the saints

  • Tim Squires

    On Marcus Peters INTs, “why don’t we look at the actual picks themselves?” Okay, then when it comes to the TDs allowed, why don’t you look at the actual TDs themselves? Four of the seven he’s given up were on those stupid pick plays that are supposedly illegal, yet never get called against Denver/Green Bay.

    • Greg Mueller

      One did get called on Green Bay, and it cost them the game against the Bears. Oh, and it wasn’t even a called pick play – the refs were just anticipating one and threw a flag when James Jones was run into by a defender.

    • James Winslow

      yeah but they are part of the game. Other corners adapt to them.

      • Jimmy

        Well that’s a fairly ridiculous statement.

        • James Winslow

          Uh its ridiculous to think that corners account for picks, I mean if they didn’t wouldn’t every offense run picks every play since it is clearly undefendable?

    • Tony

      You’re absolultley right. This site is completley inconsistent in evaluating the context of a play. They treat all TDs allowed as bad but apparently are only impressed with certain interceptions. In actuality:

      One of the TDs allowed was to DeAndre Hopkins in garbage time.
      Multiple TDs were allowed on pick/screen plays on the goaline in the GB game. Those plays don’t involve coverage, they involve tackling. In fact, Peters was all over one of these plays but the reciever just needed to lunge over the goal line.
      Another TD was allowed to Lance Moore deep in garbage time, and it looked like Peters passed him over to the safety.

      On top of it all PFF doesn’t know anyone’s coverage responsibilities. Also, if a catch is allowed by a CB and the safety misses a tackle after the catch, the CB is deemed responsible for a TD. The fact of the matter is that Peters has allowed a TD in the endzone 3 or 4 times, and at least one of them was in garbage time.

  • B17

    Dimarco just got Snubbed so hard. he was the reason the falcons even had a run game, and was the Falcons most consistent player

    • Jsjsjsjsj

      Exactly, freeman just run behind Dimarco and the O-line

    • DangaDave

      DiMarco has been excellent. He plays pretty similar to the guy that replaced him in KC, Anthony Sherman.

  • Adrian Hupp

    Y’all really hate PETERS lol rookie of the year get ready for the why he shouldn’t have won it lol

  • http://fark.com Troy

    How does Pat McAfee get snubbed? Seriously, he is easily the best punter in the game. (And he’s gotten lots of attempts this year to show off that skill.)

    • pacodagreat_est

      Sam koch

      • http://fark.com Troy

        Koch is good, though McAfee has the same average gross yardage/kick and better average net yards/kick with 11 more punts. His net yards, I assure, are not because of our coverage which is terrible. It comes from the fact that he has Koch beat 21-12 on forcing the returner to fair catch. (He has one of the best hang times of any punter.)

    • Scott

      Easily the best? What about Dustin Colquitt? He’s at least in the discussion.

  • Robert Knight

    With all due respect, that’s a low blow to Bowman. He’s been one of the only bright spots for the lowly 49ers. Doesn’t sound like you watched any of his games, because he was a beast, all while coming back from a horrid knee injury. Can’t blame you for not watching any Niners games, but you should have watched some tape. I have a feeling you only saw the stats when you made your assumptions. Try watching tape next time, you might learn something. You know what they say about when you assume?

    • AC

      Literally the whole basis of PFF is to look at tape and rate a player

      Maybe you should follow your advice and look at the tape

    • John Carter

      I’m not sure you understand how this site operates…

      (BTW I’m a big Bo fan, and thrilled with his comeback, but he got in mostly on name recognition and total tackles)

    • Median Trace

      Bowman hasn’t been as good in coverage as he has been in the past. But he has been excellent against the run and has gotten back his lockdown tackling. Not everyone who votes can watch every player during every game. So sometimes primary stats matter. Bowman leads the lead in tackles. So I can see why he got votes. I can virtually guarantee he won’t be on any all-pro lists at the end of the year though.

  • DJ

    malcolm butler making it but no jason verrett? such garbage butler was routinely beaten on deep balls and got destroyed by antonio brown. Verrett has been ridiculous since he came in the league and gets zero recognition

  • Vince

    We all the the pro bowl has become a popularity contest, which makes it pretty much a joke now . It’s just a about names, reputation and sportscenter highlights. I can’t waste any time being outraged about that.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Doesn’t it make more sense to wait until the game has actually been played before passing judgement on who shouldn’t have been there? Khaled is setting himself up to look like a fool if one of these guys goes on to be the game MVP.

  • jack

    The NFL needs to change the way you vote for certain players on defense. If your a OLB in a 4-3 there is such a small chance you make the Pro Bowl because all the spots get taken up by 3-4 OLB. Only Davis made it this year while the rest are on teams that run a 3-4

    • tapayday

      Same with DE’s in a 3-4 vs. the 4-3 DE. Cam Heyward got no love.

  • Brandon

    Marcus Peters has been the most thrown at CB by a wide margin (almost 20 more than Ronald Darby of Buffalo). Makes sense that INTS and TDs allowed might skew a bit high based on opportunity. But Peters leads in Passes Defensed, and has one of the lowest QB Ratings and Catch% ratings allowed. Those numbers pass muster, and he passes the eye test too. Guy is seriously talented and by no way is one of the most egregious Pro Bowl nominations

    • Peter F Football

      Not to mention that the vast majority of the TDs he has allowed were in the first 5 weeks. Understandable for a rookie.

    • DangaDave

      It also ignores the impact of his INTs. Including his 2 defensive TDs, KC has scored on 6 of his 7 INTs. He takes points away from the opponent and sets them up for his team.

  • jimsco

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  • Nick_CT

    its all about narrative

  • Richard Gonzalez

    Uh how about Gabe Jackson? Not even getting an alternate spot

  • JT

    The problem with your FB analysis is all these FBs you mention can do is block and that’s what they are asked to do 90% of the time….so you give them a great grade when they block but you like to call out Tolbert for being a pretty good 3rd down back who is actually a pretty moderate threat to catch a simple pass to the flats and make a few guys miss for a TD?

    • The Legendary Dealat

      Dimarco does similar things but is better at blocking than Tolbert this year. He doesn’t carry the ball often but he’s capable. He’s a threat out the backfield to catch and can even be split out wide to run routes.

  • DangaDave

    Peters is an aggressive playmaker. Someone like Darby is a conservative shutdown corner. Both are good and it’s hard to compare the two. In fact, the two would work off of each other marvelously if they were on the same team.

    However, it’s stupid to simply quantify a 90 yard INT return for a TD as the equivalent of making a couple pass deflections, which is absolutely something PFF does in their cumulative numbers. It ignores the impact of the play, which may be fine when it comes to grading players, but not when it comes to handing out accolades. INTs, especially ones returned for TDs, win games, not just ‘not lose’.

    Darby has allowed what, 3 less TDs? However, including his 2 defensive TDs, KC has scored a TD off of every INT Marcus Peters made except for the more or less game sealing second INT last week. I believe that means Peters is responsible for 42 points for KC and 49 points against and Darby is responsible for 3 points for Buffalo and 28 points against. Conflicting styles.

    You can’t entirely ignore the impact of Peters’ playmaking. It’s not as clear cut as PFF grades would make it seem.

    • Jimmy

      The funny thing is that KC DOES have a conservative shutdown corner. His name is Sean Smith, and since he takes away or at least mitigates the offense’s no. 1 receiver, it allows Peters to be the aggressor. Just look at the difference in Peters’ numbers before and after Sean Smith returned to action, they play really well of each other.

      • DangaDave

        From watching the games I thought before Smith came back from the suspension teams were more willing to throw at Fleming or Cooper or whoever else was lining up in the nickel than pick on Peters. Peters was just unlucky enough to have some plays no one was likely to stop, like DeAndre Hopkins outleaping him for a ball. It was a real pain to the team whenever Philip Gaines got hurt, that kid looks pretty solid too, but they’ve seemed to stabilize the defensive backfield.

        I figure that most of the improvements in Marcus Peters’ game is him maturing, but Peters and Sean Smith do complement each other. Smith is so hard to pass on being so tall with long arms and great ball skills. You think you have a catch and Smith just swipes his big old mitt across your hands. Peters loves the fact teams are trying to throw on him, and if you look at his QB Rating against and completion percentage, it’s right in line with other top corners.

        Also, unrelated to your comment, but people can act like Peters is just lucky some “errant” balls got thrown at him, but the truth is in most of those cases he made a great break on the ball. I remember one he was in man coverage the ball was thrown to another receiver yet as the ball was still being thrown he recognized it, broke to it, beat the receiver to the “errant” throw, and made a play look real easy that few players would actually make because they’d never get that break to the ball.

        • Jimmy

          I completely agree, especially on your last point. Peters repeatedly deciding to break on the ball is something rarely seen in rookies, either because they’re not confident or they lack the skills to do so. Every pick has some element of luck; tipped pass, ball slipped out, receiver fell down, but you can’t get 7 picks and TDs just from luck.

  • Erik11235813

    Anthony Barr is a big snub he has been dominating the position.

  • Z

    How did Pat McAffee get snubbed? Best punter in the league by far.

  • etyb

    I feel like Jordan Reed should’ve gotten in over Tyler Eifert or Travis Kelce. I know he missed two games with injury but he’s been an absolute beast catching the ball.

  • Zack23

    Does anyone think players or coaches are really sitting down doing intense research on their votes? I’m thinking coaches who are 7-6 are spending those extra time on trying not to get fired

  • cyberry

    Peters leads NFL CB’s in passes defended and tied with most inceptions.. in his rookie year..

  • R.j. Rumsey

    I’m worried Alex Mack will get massively overpaid this offseason