Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: Unconferenced

With a new format on the way, Pro Bowl voting opens and we're here to help point out the worthy selections after seven weeks of play.

| 2 years ago

Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: Unconferenced

2013-Pro-Bowl-Cheat-Seven weeks down and you know what that means? It means you can start voting for who you want to be in the Pro Bowl!

Of course like you we question why you can start voting so early in the season with more than half of it to go, but we feel it our duty to have an influence into who makes it. It’s more than a popularity contest with reputations, legacies and even contract incentives resting on selection.

With that in mind, here’s our first Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet as we get to grips with the new “Unconferenced” formula.



The Starters: Peyton Manning (DEN) and Philip Rivers (SD)

There was never any doubt that Manning would make it. He’s comfortably our top-ranked quarterback and despite the setback against the Colts, having a season for the ages. It’s been his accuracy that has been the key to his dominance and that’s something he shares with Rivers as you can tell from our Accuracy Percentage signature stat. Rivers leads the way at 82.9% with Manning just behind him 80.6%.

The Backups: Matt Ryan (ATL), Andrew Luck (IND), Matthew Stafford (DET) and Drew Brees (NO)

Running Backs

The Starters: LeSean McCoy (PHI) and Frank Gore (SF)

It wasn’t hard picking McCoy who not only leads all running backs in yardage but also leads them all in our rankings. Gore was a harder selection with the truth being a host of guys are yet to stand out from the crowd, but the solid veteran keeps getting the job done as an every-down back.

The Backups: Darren Sproles (NO), Arian Foster (HOU), Marshawn Lynch (SEA) and Reggie Bush (DET)

Wide Receivers

The Starters: Antonio Brown (PIT), Dez Bryant (DAL), Andre Johnson (HOU) and Jordy Nelson (GB)

Not easy but I’ve lumped for the guys who represent the Top 4 in our receiving grades at the wide receiver position. Brown is the top dog there and it’s a shame the struggles of Pittsburgh have ensured he’s not getting the attention he should. Behind him, Nelson has the second most deep passes (eight) in the league, while Bryant is making plenty of moves after the catch (242 yards there and six broken tackles) to complement his ability to get open. Johnson may have failed to get into the end zone but his ability to move the chains remains something to behold.

The Backups: Wes Welker (DEN), Brandon Marshall (CHI), Demaryius Thomas (DEN) and Calvin Johnson (DET)


Anthony Sherman (KC) and Bruce Miller (SF)

There was some consideration given to Mike Tolbert, but given he’s used almost as much as a half back I opted for some true lead blockers. Mission accomplished in that respect with Sherman one of the success stories of the season and Miller getting back to his best after a slow start.

Tight End

The Starters: Jimmy Graham (NO) and Tony Gonzalez (ATL)

My colleagues won’t like me for this as they’ll think I’ve ignored the blocking tight ends. The problem is there’s been a lack of tight ends getting the job done in all phases of the game so I’ve gone for impact players. Graham is an obvious slam dunk pick but I went back and forth over Davis and Gonzalez. In the end it was the success of the Falcon despite a quite frankly absurd amount of defensive attention that got him in.
The Backups: Vernon Davis (SF) and Jordan Cameron (CLE)

Offensive Tackle

The Starters: Nate Solder (NE) and Doug Free (DAL)

The Patriots’ interior hasn’t been completely solid but their tackles are both getting the job done. Solder gets the start and Vollmer, who has been superb in pass protection, the sub. That’s because I like the work of Free in the run game a lot more. Kudos on the turnaround.

The Backups: Joe Thomas (CLE), Trent Williams (WAS), Andrew Whitworth (CIN) and Sebastian Vollmer (NE)

Offensive Guard

The Starters: Evan Mathis (PHI) and Louis Vasquez (DEN)

If you’re not getting it now you likely never will. The consistency of Mathis sets him apart as our top-ranked guard once again. The right side is a bit trickier but Vasquez, who even earned a positive when forced to play right tackle, was still a relatively easy choice. He’s proved worth the money.

The Backups: Kory Lichtensteiger (WAS), Ben Grubbs (BAL), David DeCastro (PIT) and Brandon Fusco (MIN)


The Starters: Chris Myers (HOU) and Alex Mack (CLE)

This would have been trickier but for Kelce having a nightmare of a game against the Giants. That left Myers and Mack clearly atop our ranking as they lead the way in their positional run block grading.

The Backups: Manny Ramirez (DEN) and Jason Kelce (PHI)


Turn the Page for the Defense and Special Teams

  • Patrick

    Where’s Charles on that RB list….????

    • Pretzel

      I agree Charles is carrying that Chief’s offense. He should be on there instead of Gore.

      I would pick Bowman instead of Derrick Johnson and Vernon Davis over Gonzalez.

      Mistake: Shane Lechler is in Hou not Oak.

      • Guest

        instead of Gore? Look at the numbers, look at the tape. you cannot say he is better than gore.

  • donpat

    Why not have Vontaz Burfic as LB. Leads the league in tackles?

    • Kevin

      Outside of his tackles(He is 2nd according to PFF among 4-3 OLB’s) he has been fairly average in all aspects. He is their ninth ranked 4-3 OLB and in the probowl you have to add 3-4 and 4-3 together.

    • Phil

      If you don’t understand why this shouldn’t specifically put him on this list then you are very much on the wrong site… :)

  • Neer

    Grubbs is at NO, not BAL

  • LightsOut85

    Are the players still being voted in per conference? (That is, the same number per conference, then they’re divided up afterwards)

    • LightsOut85

      Oh, and you list enough starters for EACH team, except for OT & OG (only enough for 1 team). Reason, or just an oversight?

    • Chris

      No they are not.

  • jad

    Grubbs plays for NO now and DeCastro is on PIT

  • jeffy weffy

    First of all Jamal Charles if voted on today could very well be one of the front-runners for Offensive player of the year, along with MVP but the experts here don’t even consider him in your top five running backs?…I guess the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and score touchdowns don’t count much in way of PFF Points

  • sir irate

    How would you put gore over charles or lynch? Lynch has more rushing yards, 200 more receiving yards and 7 total tds.

  • sir irate

    Also, 80% of Lynch’s yards have been after contact. C’mon. Gore doesn’t make sense.

    • SFGoldRush21

      Even though gore has more yards after contact? weird…..oh yea and gore has more tds? more yards? and he has more 20 plus runs too? weird

  • sir irate

    No Brandon Mebane @ honorable mention?

  • locdog284

    Dwayne Harris has been pretty good as a punt returner as well

  • Kevin

    Teams have 2 tackles starting for them, you should list 4 starters at OT and OG, not 2.

  • Chris

    I dont know what this sites deal is with the hate on Jamaal Charles, He is the first RB since OJ Simpson to have over 100 yards and atleast 1 td in his first 7 games of the season. Not a surprise they left him off the list, since they didnt even rank him in their top 100

  • bobrulz

    Sometimes I wonder if PFF is somehow biased against Jamaal Charles. He’s really the only offensive threat for the Chiefs.

  • Reginald Demar

    Do you honestly think Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Patrick Peterson won’t make the Pro Bowl? I know this is just a mock, but c’mon man.

  • Hunter

    How is lamarr woodley not here he blitzes on only 58% of all pass plays with lebeau’s zone blitz, if he were to blitz like 75% of all pass plays which would give him 6.5 sacks by now which would project him to 17.5 sacks this year, I think lammarr woodley clearly deserves a spot at the pro bowl

  • Steve

    For some odd reason, shows D McCourty as a SS. Would he replace Polamolu? Who would replace him at FS?

  • kuhydb

    I <3 Frank Gore

  • [email protected]

    Why is voting so early? I’d rather see what players do for a full season.

  • Alan

    I’m honestly inclined to think that the writer simply forgot about Charles or something especially with all these initial errors on which teams many of these players are on. No Johnson too is just trying to be cute I feel.

  • SFGoldRush21

    The people who dont think gore should be on here (especially to lynch lmfao) are the ones who know nothing about football.