Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: The NFC
Who in the NFC should really go to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl? Khaled Elsayed gives his recommendations for your balloting selections.
Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: The NFC
Every two weeks we get down to it. Cutting through all the propaganda to give you guys the lowdown on which players have truly earned themselves a spot on your Pro Bowl team.
We’re only sticking to guys the NFL lets you vote for, so it leads to me being somewhat handcuffed at certain positions, and just scratching my head at others.
Now here’s the list.
Quarterbacks: Matt Ryan (ATL), Aaron Rodgers (GB) and Robert Griffin III (WAS)
How competitive is this? Ryan and Rodgers should have done enough to secure your vote, but picking between RG3, Brees, Manning and Wilson isn’t easy. I’ve plumped for my rookie of the year candidate Griffin. He’s devastating and avoids turnovers. What more could you want out of a quarterback, let alone a rookie?
Running Backs: Adrian Peterson (MIN), Marshawn Lynch (SEA) and Doug Martin (TB)
While the all-around play of Ahmad Bradshaw deserves some consideration, how can you look past these three guys? Adrian Peterson is playing like an MVP candidate, such is his brilliance. Martin and Lynch have slowed down a little which means down the line it’s conceivable that Alfred Morris, Frank Gore or even Steven Jackson could earn the endorsement.
Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson (DET), Roddy White (ATL), Vincent Jackson (TB) and Brandon Marshall (CHI)
It’s really a shame that Percy Harvin has missed so much time. Not so much for me mind you. Five into four didn’t go, and the lack of playing time for Harvin allowed me to keep him out. As it is, I’m pretty happy telling you that Johnson, White, Jackson and Marshall deserve your vote. However, you probably knew that already.
Fullback: Bruce Miller (SF)
I was close to going in the direction of Jerome Felton, but in the end the extra consistency of Miller won my approval.
Tight Ends: Vernon Davis (SF) and Tony Gonzalez (ATL)
Davis is an easy selection. Even though the 49ers aren’t making use of him in the passing game he’s still doing a fantastic job with his blocking. Choosing between legends like Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez wasn’t easy, and I wouldn’t hold it against anyone going a different route. Ultimately, I can live with the blocking of Gonzalez because of what he does as a receiver, especially in the red zone.
Offensive Tackles: Phil Loadholt (MIN), Joe Staley (SF) and Matt Kalil (MIN)
Joe Staley was an easy decision. He’s the best tackle in the division right now with his run blocking something to behold. The choice of Kalil over Trent Williams was made easier with Williams form dipping as he plays hurt. That’s a shame because before then he was playing some top-level tackle. Loadholt gets the nod at right tackle for his superior run blocking, but anyone opting for Tyson Clabo, Gosder Cherilus or Anthony Davis should go with their gut.
Offensive Guards: Evan Mathis (PHI), Alex Boone (SF) and Mike Iupati (SF)
No change here, though I would understand the final guard nominee going to Jahri Evans, Josh Sitton or Rob Sims. Its the run blocking of Iupati that wins me over. He’s a real mauler and I can really appreciate that.
Centers: John Sullivan (MIN) and Will Montgomery (WAS)
Brian De La Puente is making a late run for one of these spots, but he’s got some work to do to catch both Sullivan and Montgomery. A special word for Sullivan who has been so good over the past two years you could make a case that he’s the best center in the league.
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