The 2023 Pro Bowl rosters are in place, with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa leading the league in fan votes but not making the AFC roster. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs), Josh Allen (Bills) and Joe Burrow (Bengals) provided the team instead, as Tagovailoa was the odd passer. In the NFC, quarterbacks are Jalen Hurts (Eagles), Geno Smith (Seahawks), and Kirk Cousins (Vikings).
The Eagles lead with eight Pro Bowl selections, followed by the Cowboys and Chiefs (seven each), and Ravens and 49ers (six each). The NFL announced Monday that Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander were the first two NFC players to make the roster. This is Donald’s ninth straight year being selected to the Pro Bowl.
The Pro Bowl will have a different look this year, moving away from the traditional game of football. Instead, players now take part in a week-long skill competition that ends with a game of flag football. The AFC meets the NFC on February 5 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas live on ESPN, ABC and ESPN+ at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Which players have been left out of these squads? Who should each of the snubs replace? And which eliminated players should make it in 2023? We asked our NFL analysts and reporters to contribute, with sports analysis writer Seth Walder picking snubs and the rest of our panel answering two questions.
Let’s dive into all the excitement surrounding Pro Bowl 2023, starting with the players who were snubbed.
Walder picks the seven biggest Pro Bowl snubs
Who to replace: Trevon Diggs, CB, Cowboys
Bradberry is the most egregious nudge on the board. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, he’s allowed 0.6 yards per coverage snap and minus 37 expected additional points (EPA) as the next defender, and those are both the best of any outside corner with at least 250 coverage snaps. These aren’t just Pro Bowl numbers; Those are numbers that should put him in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year.
Who to replace: Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
Sanders may have had the better season locally, but what McCaffrey brings in the passing game is worth far, far more. McCaffrey’s rush of 2.0 yards per route is the best among any backs with at least 15 routes per game, and his overall score of 79 in receiver tracking metrics is second best among running backs.
Simulate your own scenarios and check the latest playoff picture. playoff machine »
• Full schedule » | Ranking » | More “
Who to replace: CJ Mosley, LB, Jets
Edmunds ranks sixth in run-stop-win rate among linebackers and is ranked lowest and second-lowest for position in yards per allowable coverage snap and total allowable EPA according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Side note: Inside linebackers really get the short end of the stick on these rosters—at just two per conference—while edge rushers effectively get six per conference.
Who to replace: Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
There’s no obvious candidate for the third NFC quarterback spot, but Goff’s numbers are clearly better than Cousins’. Goff is more than 10 points ahead in QBR (62.5 to 51.6) and leads the offense, which ranks third in the EPA per dropback this season. Third! And he did all of that despite not having as strong a reception group to throw himself to as Cousins did.
Who to replace: Terry McLaurin, WR, Commanders
Lockett ranks second in both open and catch scores — and is second in overall scores with Justin Jefferson — in receiver tracking metrics, an indication of his exceptional ability that has long been overlooked . In a season where Russell Wilson failed without Lockett and DK Metcalf in Denver while Geno Smith thrived in Seattle, we shouldn’t overlook Lockett again.
Who to replace: Jonathan Allen, DT, Commanders
Hargrave has 10 sacks and is second in pass rush win rate, second only to Chris Jones (third if Aaron Donald qualifies) in defensive tackles. This is a gross mistake.
Who to replace: Quenton Nelson, G, Colts
Kansas City teammate Joe Thuney got the well-deserved nod, but Smith should have been right next to him. Smith ranks fourth in pass block win rate among guards this season, well ahead of Nelson, who has been tacitly not playing at his usual level this season. Nelson ranks 38th in the same stats — about the league average.
What stands out most about the Pro Bowl roster release?
Tristan H. Cockcroft, fantasy football author: Twenty-one Pro Bowlers hail from the NFC East — not to mention 13 of the conference’s 27 starters — something few of us could have seen coming preseason. The Eagles and Cowboys made up 15 of those, and each roster, two of the league’s best, may have been the source of some of my expected snubs. Instead, deserving contestants like Tony Pollard (Cowboys), AJ Brown (Eagles), and Trevon Diggs (Cowboys) made the cut. Pollard in particular was excellent and I’m pleased to see him at it, although he played an effective partnership role with Ezekiel Elliott for much of the season.
Jeremy Fowler, NFL National Author: Eight Pro Bowlers wasn’t enough for the Eagles. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and cornerback James Bradberry are among the Philly players who deserve a spot on the NFC team. This is the most complete squad in football.
Jordan Reid: NFL Draft Analyst: The biggest surprise for me was that Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave was dropped from the NFC roster. He had one of the best seasons of any centre-back; He is tied with Chris Jones for second-most sacks (10) of all tackles.
Mike Tannenbaum, NFL Front Office Insider: The Quarterback Picks Comparison by Conference. In the AFC, the Passers were all top-10 draft picks and had mixed initial successes, while the NFC’s three were all drafted in the second round or later — and each took time to develop.
Field Yates, NFL Analyst: Only two rookies have made it to the Pro Bowl this season, and while they each play cornerback, they’ve gotten into the league through very different routes: Sauce Gardner was the entire draft (taken #4 overall by the Jets), while Tariq Woolen slipped into the fifth round and the Seahawks. Both were exceptional and well deserved their place.
What player didn’t make this Pro Bowl roster but will definitely make it for the 2023 season?
Cockcroft: Breece Hall, RB, Jets. He was on a Pro Bowl trajectory before suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in Week 7 and while the lengthy recovery required for that particular surgery could cause a slow start to his 2023 campaign, he has the skills to get to the Mid-season to come out big and make the cut.
Fowler: Christian McCaffrey, RB, 49ers. A full season in San Francisco would have earned McCaffrey his second Pro Bowl nod. In eight games with the Niners, he averaged 110 yards per game and seven total touchdowns.
Reid: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Giants. The #5 overall rookie is slowly beginning to unfold. He has sacks in back-to-back games and is starting to convert his pressure into quarterback takedowns. Expect this to continue in Year 2.
Fir Tree: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers. In addition to his nine rushing touchdowns, he has 95 receptions (and five more points) with three more games to go. Ekeler is an incredibly productive and versatile player.
Yates: Justin Fields, QB, Bears. Chicago is in good hands with Fields, and the league is lucky to have him as one of the best young players in the game. His breakthrough this season is just the beginning.
Comments are closed.