Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: The NFC
Kahled Elsayed gives out his choices for the NFC Pro Bowl with over half the season now gone
Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: The NFC
So read below to find out which quarterbacks we went for, what pass rushers impressed, and most importantly of all, which rookie kicker got the nod.
NFC Offense (starter’s name first)
Quarterbacks: Matt Ryan (ATL), Aaron Rodgers (GB) and Eli Manning (NYG)
The start goes to Ryan who has done an exceptional job in leading his team to an 8-0 record that nobody predicted before the start of the year. Some in PFF Towers may disagree, but that warrants first team recognition. Behind him Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning are both coming off a couple of weeks that neither would describe as their best.
Running Backs: Adrian Peterson (MIN), Marshawn Lynch (SEA) and Doug Martin (TB)
Three of our top four ranked rushers, all of whom are coming off games where they showcased their talent. The fact Adrian Peterson is on the field at all is remarkable, but that he’s leading the league in rushing and is doing it looking as good as ever. Well that warrants a start. Martin is running as well as anyone right now, and Lynch has been a model of consistency. The three have accounted for 106 forced missed tackles and have earned your vote.
Wide Receivers: Percy Harvin (MIN), Roddy White (ATL), Brandon Marshall (CHI) and Vincent Jackson (TB)
Calvin Johnson and Victor Cruz have both dropped just enough balls that it makes this selection a comfortable one. Harvin has forced 22 missed tackles, 13 more than the next best wide receiver and already has 542 yards after the catch. White just keeps on getting the job done and works the sideline catches as well as anyone. Behind those two you’ve got the most productive receiver in the league in Marshall (2.94 yards per route run) and a man averaging 22.9 yards per reception in Jackson. They’re pretty good.
Fullback: Jerome Felton (MIN)
Whether as a runner or as a lead blocker, Felton has never really stood out in his career. Until this year, where his lead blocking has helped Adrian Peterson immensely.
Tight Ends: Vernon Davis (SF) and Tony Gonzalez (ATL)
Davis has been the cream of the crop as far as tight ends in the NFC go. His 374 yards won’t blow you away, but with just one dropped pass and no penalties, he’s improved massively on the mental lapses that once highlighted his game. Throw in some excellent run blocking and he’s a no brainer. Joining him is Gonzalez because even though he’s no great shakes in the run blocking department, he is our top graded receiver at the spot. Well worth your time.
Offensive Tackles: Trent Williams (WAS), Anthony Davis (SF) and Joe Staley (SF)
While Staley actually has a better grade, Williams’ work in pass protection is undeniably superior and that’s a priority from the left tackle spot. Still, there’s one 49er who does get a start and it’s Davis who has taken a big step forward this year. He may be behind Todd Herremans in our grades, but considering the Eagle is a blindside protector, I’d like a little better pass protection.
Offensive Guards: Evan Mathis (PHI), Alex Boone (SF) and Mike Iupati (SF)
A couple of strong performances in the last two weeks meant that even though Iupati is our second ranked guard in the league, he should be behind Mathis in your voting. Much like the offensive tackles though, the right side should provide a home for a 49er with Alex Boone excelling in his first year starting.
Centers: John Sullivan (MIN) and Jonathan Goodwin (SF)
It was tough not recommending Will Montgomery, but the superior run blocking of Goodwin and Sullivan means you can vote for either man with a clear conscience. Sullivan is our top ranked center and is proving his 2011 year was no fluke.
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