Thursday, January 28, 2021

NFL: My Pro Bowl Picks – Offense

NFL Pro Bowl fan voting has opened and is available here, so I thought why not let’s share my Pro Bowl picks with our beloved TSD readers. Every player I have picked for the Pro Bowl is either on their team’s active roster or has played a minimum of 600 snaps.

In this article I’m going to talk through the six Quarterbacks, Receivers, Running Backs, Tight Ends, Guards, Centres, and Tackles I have nominated for the 2021 Pro Bowl with help from Pro Football Focus. There are some surprises in there.

Pro Bowl Quarterbacks

Look no further than Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers in my Pro Bowl ballot. The two MVP favourites were the first two players listed on the voting website, as you’d expect. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear that PFF has the pair as their highest-graded QBs either.

After Rodgers and Mahomes is where it starts to get difficult. There are a lot of Quarterbacks who have had good seasons that don’t make the six, but I’m picking half a dozen guys who have performed week in week out at a high level. Those are Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, and Tom Brady.

What Murray lacks as a passer (height and therefore the ability to see the middle of the field) he makes up for with arm strength and his legs. Josh Allen has put the Buffalo Bills on his shoulders this season, just as Watson has done with the god awful Texans. Tom Brady has put 3300 yards and a 129 passer rating up on the year so can’t be ignored.

Pro Bowl Running Backs

Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook lead the league by a good 300 yards over the third-placed running back in yardage, James Robinson. 25 TD’s and 2567 yards by Week 14 between them is flat out incredible. That number could quite easily be 3000 in 4 games time

Robinson also makes the list. If it wasn’t for Justin Herbert’s outstanding rookie season, he’d be the guy for Offensive Rookie of the Year. 968 yards on the ground, 7 TD’s, and 5 yards per carry already cannot be overlooked. Neither can Nick Chubb’s 7 ypc. Throw into that 7 touchdowns and 799 yards, he’s on track to be a 1000 yard rusher even though he’s missed 5 games.

Aaron Jones and Alvin Kamara are my other two selections. Both have missed time, but have still combined for 16 rushing TD’s. Both are a key part to their offenses who struggle without them. Both contribute heavily to their passing attack too. Josh Jacobs would have been guy number 7, just missing out.

Pro Bowl Wide Receivers

DK Metcalf leads the league in receiving yards so is my first pro bowl vote. The second-year player out of Ole Miss averages 18 yards per reception and has nine TD’s on the season. Joining him is Mr. Tyreek Hill who looks even better than before in this struggling Kansas City Chiefs offense. His 1079 yards and 13 touchdowns get him into yet another Pro Bowl

Justin Jefferson also averages eighteen yards per catch and has already put up 1039 yards in his rookie season. What was most impressive to me was how good he performed when Adam Thielen was out. All the attention from opposing defenses was on the rookie and he still shone.

Davante Adams is the best receiver in the league and probably would lead it in yards and touchdowns had he played all thirteen games. His 1029 receiving yards and an average of 1.3 TD’s per game is pretty impressive and 100% Pro Bowl worthy. DeAndre Hopkins is showing up Bill O’Brien this season, putting together another top season, and is up there with Adams in the best in the league conversation.

Pro Bowl Tight Ends

Box 1, Travis Kelce, tick. The eight-year vet out of Cincinnati is second in the league in receiving yards, only 5 off of Metcalf, as a tight end. That’s unbelievable. He’s Patrick Mahomes’ favourite target with 84 receptions and 8 touchdowns on the year the joint-most of all TE’s

His fellow division rival Darren Waller is another one of my picks for that exact reason. He’s PFF’s third best-graded TE with over 500 snaps behind Kelce and TJ Hockenson who is also on the list. His 7 TD’s put’s him joint seventh behind you guessed it, Travis Kelce.

Hunter Henry makes it three tight ends from the AFC West on my ballot, but ahead of him are Mike Gesicki and TJ Hockenson. Gesicki averages 44.75 receiving yards per game in only 5.17 targets and has the longest reception by any TE this season, 70 yards. Hockenson is having a much better sophomore season and is showing exactly why the Lions drafted him.

Pro Bowl Offensive Linemen

David Bakhtiari is having some year protecting Aaron Rodgers, and grades as PFF number 1 offensive tackle at 90.0. Just behind him are 49ers OT Trent Williams and Garrett Bolles of the Broncos. All three of them make my pro bowl ballot. They are joined by Jack Conklin of the Cleveland Browns, who themselves have three linemen on my ballot. That run game is insane. To close the six, NFC West tackles DJ Humphries and Duane Brown make the list as standout players on average lines. They rank 5th and 6th of all OT’s by Pro Football Focus.

At Guard, Wyatt Teller has been incredible notching a 94.0 total offense grade on the year, whilst teammate Joel Bitonio places third with 87.0, that’s some margin. Away from the Browns, Zach Martin is in between them even with the Cowboys’ offensive struggles. Patriots Guard Shaq Mason, Brandon Scherff of the Washington Football Team and Buccaneers lineman Ali Marpet complete my ballot. Not only are these guys the six top guards on PFF, but all of their respective units, bar the Bucs, are averaging over 100 rushing yards per game.

As for Centers, there’s a clear number 1, Corey Linsley off of the Green Bay Packers. His 89.8 PFF grade is 9.1 better than any other C in the league. Him and ARod have great chemistry, but his main strength is creating gaps for Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Chiefs C Austin Reiter is a key part of that offense, as is Brandon Linder of the Jaguars and Frank Ragnow of the Lions. Pats Center David Andrews is having one heck of a return year, and has got the most fan ballots so far whilst Jason Kelce has been tremendous in the run game.

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