On Tuesday night, the NFL announced the rosters for the 2019 Pro Bowl. Now, plenty of these first choices won’t show up so these snubs will likely end up Pro Bowlers anyway. This is not to say the guys who were voted in did not deserve it because they certainly do. Spots are limited in a league filled with talented stars. But nonetheless, here are the biggest names who deserve to be at the Pro Bowl.
Andrew Luck, QB: Indianapolis Colts
The AFC quarterbacks that got in over Luck were Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers, and Tom Brady. Mahomes and Rivers are MVP candidates so they certainly deserve the nod. Brady, on the other hand, hasn’t had a better year than Luck. Luck has ten more touchdown passes than Brady (34 to 24) and a higher completion % (67.3 to 65.9). However, Brady edges Luck in total yards (3,979 to 3,951) and yards per attempt (7.8 to 7.1). Brady gets the Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant treatment at this point in his career. He’ll be a Pro Bowler until he retires but Luck has a good chance of getting in because any of those quarterbacks’ teams could be Super Bowl bound.
Darius Leonard, LB: Indianapolis Colts
Another Colt has made the snubbed list. The Colts have been a completely transformed team from last year. The three main parts in that are the return of Luck, much-improved o-line, and the play of the front 7. Leading the latter group is rookie linebacker, Darius Leonard. Leonard was taken in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft and he is having a phenomenal rookie campaign. He leads the league in tackles with 146 and recorded 7 sacks in 13 games.
Jason Kelce, C: Philadelphia Eagles
Kelce is having another great season where his offensive line around him has often been hurt. Kelce is the highest rated center this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Kelce has been a better player than Alex Mack and Max Unger for the past couple of seasons. He’s only allowed 9 pressures in 14 games this season.
Mike Evans, WR: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans likely fell victim to playing for a poor team. He sits behind Julio Jones in total receiving yards with 1,328. That number should be weighted considering he had Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston throwing him the ball. He also has a ridiculous yards per reception at 17.9. Touchdowns could also be the reason he got snubbed. He has just 5 on the season but then again, look who’s throwing him the ball.
Desmond King, CB: Los Angeles Chargers
King has been outstanding this season. The second-year cover man out of Iowa is a big reason the Chargers are ranked 8th in passing yards allowed. His presence in the slot allowed the Chargers’ defense to be much more flexible. King tallied 3 interceptions this season. Pro Football Focus has him as the 2nd highest rated cornerback in the league behind Stephon Gilmore.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB: Dallas Cowboys
It’s hard to say the rookie out of Bosie State should have gotten the nod over the likes of Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner. But Vander Esch has been a phenomenal addition to the Cowboys’ front seven. With Sean Lee sidelined due to an injury, Vander Esch not only filled his role but also is an upgrade over Lee. Him and his partner in crime, Jaylon Smith, have been wreaking havoc— chasing down everyone sideline to sideline. This will likely be the last year he’s left off the first roster choices.
Featured image via Flickr/Kieth Allison