You can make an argument every year for players who deserved to make the Pro Bowl, but this year there were a few guys who should have been obvious picks for the NFL showcase.
USA TODAY SportsKyle Terada
LeGarrette Blount, Patriots, RB
Not sure what else Blount needed to do to make the cut. He’s leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 15, averaging 4 yards per carry and is one of the main offensive weapons for the best team in AFC. This is just added motivation for a bruising running back on a team that feeds off something like this.
Rushing stats: 265 carries, 1,060 yards, 15 TDs
Jordy Nelson, Packers, WR
Aaron Rodgers’ go-to target has shown he’s fully healthy after missing all of last season due to a knee injury. Nelson has a chance at 100 catches, already has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards and is leading the NFL in touchdown receptions (12).
Receiving stats: 82 catches, 1,037 yards, 12 TDs
Dennis WierzbickiUSA TODAY Spor
Drew Brees, Saints, QB
Despite leading the league in passing yards and touchdowns, Brees didn’t make the cut. The 37-year-old has a good shot at his fifth season of at least 5,000 yards and third season of 40 or more touchdowns. But the Saints’ 6-8 record is likely the reason he won’t be on his way to Orlando.
So if Brees was left off because of his team’s record, why was Stafford’s name not called? The Lions are first in the NFC North thanks in large part to Stafford, who has had a knack for guiding Detroit to comeback wins this season. Stafford's snub is enve more shocking because no Lions made the team this year.
In the midst of a bounce-back season, Graham has a chance to record his third-career 1,000-yard receiving season and first since he was dealt from the Saints. He’s made the most of his limited touches this season, averaging 13.8 yards per catch despite being a tight end.
Receiving stats: 59 catches, 816 yards, 5 TDs
Sean Lee, Cowboys, LB
Lee is having a career year, ranking second in the NFL with 140 tackles. The Cowboys are in the middle of the pack in yards allowed and the offense has garnered most of the attention for the team’s 12-2 mark. But Lee has been the glue that has kept the unit together.
Defensive stats: 140 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 INTs
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
Calais Campbell, Cardinals, DE
The two-time Pro Bowler has six sacks, two forced fumbles and six passes defensed. He showed off his athleticism with a 53-yard fumble return for a touchdown for a Cardinals defense that ranks fourth in fewest yards allowed.
Defensive stats: 46 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 INT
USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Zach Brown, Bills, LB
Browns’ first season in Buffalo has been one to remember. He’s third in the NFL with 130 tackles, has four sacks, two forces fumbles and an interception. Basically, the 27-year-old has done a little bit of everything in 2016.