Opinion: Colts DT DeForest Buckner, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill among 2021 Pro Bowl snubs
The announcement of Pro Bowl selections annually yields plenty of second-guessing about the players who missed the cut.
While a good number of worthy players made the AFC and NFC rosters on Monday night, there were also plenty of noteworthy exclusions.
Here are some of the biggest Pro Bowl snubs:
Garett Bolles, OT, Denver Broncos — Bolles has been one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL this season. Per Pro Football Focus, Bolles is the top-rated offensive tackle in the AFC and has the third-highest grade among all tackles, behind the Green Bay Packers' David Bakhtiari and San Francisco 49ers' Trent Williams, who were both selected as Pro Bowl starters.
DeForest Buckner, DT, Indianapolis Colts — The Colts paid a hefty price to bring Buckner to Indianapolis. That move has paid huge dividends for the AFC South co-leaders. Buckner has been a standout on one of the league's best defenses, and a strong case could be made for Buckner to be the NFL's defensive player of the year.
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DeForest Buckner has been a defensive force for the Colts, who traded a first-round pick to the 49ers to acquire the defensive lineman. (Photo: Steve Roberts, USA TODAY Sports)
J.C. Jackson, CB, New England Patriots — The Patriots might be out of the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and could post the franchise's first losing season since 2000, but Jackson, an undrafted third-year player, is having a breakthrough season and could be a vital player for New England as it likely faces a rebuild. Jackson currently ranks second in the NFL in interceptions with eight, one behind current leader Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins.
Jordan Poyer, FS, Buffalo Bills — Poyer had the most votes at his position among fans, but that only counts for one-third of the equation. Fans noticed that Poyer is having the best season of his career for a Bills team that won the AFC East for the first time in 25 years. Maybe being on the wrong end of that "Hail Murray" play cost Poyer a spot in the Pro Bowl.
James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars — The Jaguars might be steamrolling toward the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL draft, but Robinson, an undrafted rookie, has been a revelation. Robinson is No. 3 in the NFL in rushing yardage (1,070) behind the Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry and Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook, and just ahead of three other running backs who made the Pro Bowl (Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb and Josh Jacobs).
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans — The Titans possess one of the league's best records, but only had two players selected to the Pro Bowl, Henry and wide receiver A.J. Brown. A strong case could be made for Tannehill to join them. He is one of six quarterbacks with 30 or more touchdown passes, and among quarterbacks who have played every game this season only the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers has thrown fewer interceptions.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers — Tonyan is experiencing a breakout season for a Packers team vying for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. Tonyan's 10 touchdown catches are tied for the most among NFL tight ends with the Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce, who is the AFC's Pro Bowl starter. The New York Giants' Evan Engram, who did make the Pro Bowl, has one touchdown reception this season.
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