The NFL announced its AFC and NFC rosters for the 2021 Pro Bowl early Monday morning. While it’s no surprise players like Patrick Mahomes, Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara and Aaron Donald all made rosters, it seems like a few players were snubbed this year.
1. DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had a total of three players selected for the Pro Bowl, but leaving out Buckner seems like a crime.
So far this season he has 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, 47 total pressures, 28 defensive stops and 24 quarterback hits in 13 games. Buckner has better stats than both Cameron Heyward and Calais Campbell, who were both selected this year.
Buckner was well worth the deal Indianapolis made with the San Francisco 49ers for the 13th overall pick.
2. Trey Hendrickson, New Orleans Saints
Even though Hendrickson normally takes a backseat to Marcus Davenport, he is currently tied with Donald for the second-most sacks in the NFL at 12.5 and has hit opposing quarterbacks a total of 24 times. Hendrickson has nearly twice as many sacks as teammate Cameron Jordan, who was selected to his sixth Pro Bowl.
Drafted in 2017, Hendrickson isn’t a household name quite yet, which could be the reason he was left out of the conversation this year.
3. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Ridley is having a breakout campaign, ranking third in the NFC in yards and sixth in touchdown receptions. Not enough? Ridley has 10 more yards and 2 more touchdowns than Pro Bowl selection and rookie star Justin Jefferson. His 1192 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns are both career highs with two games left to play.
What was holding Ridley back from being selected for his first Pro Bowl? Most likely the team he plays for.
4. J.C. Jackson, New England Patriots
Jackson is in his third season after coming out as an undrafted rookie and is only getting better. It’s mind-boggling that an athlete can rank second in the NFL in interceptions (8) and rank among the top 10 in pass deflections (13) and still be overlooked.
Jackson hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year and could arguably be more reliable than Stephon Gilmore, who was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl.
5. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
As an undrafted rookie, Robinson is making sure Jacksonville knows his name. He only trails Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook in yards but has still run for 1,070 this season. Robinson has also scored 10 touchdowns, 7 of which are rushing, and has 344 receiving yards. He currently ranks second in the AFC in scrimmage yards and fifth in rushing touchdowns among running backs.
It’s questionable that Josh Jacobs was selected to the Pro Bowl over Robinson, when he is averaging less than 4 yards per carry with 245 attempts.
PhotoL (Kelvin Kuo/AP Photo)