The AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters are voted on by fans, players, and coaches. As such, each group’s ballot accounts for one-third of the votes. After taking a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL resumes its all-star showcase event. With it returns the reality that many great players will be snubbed from the rosters. With complete subjectivity and without fandom, which players should be considered “snubs” in the 2022 Pro Bowl?
2022 Pro Bowl Snubs: AFC
Here are the five AFC players who were snubbed from the Pro Bowl this season.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
An important part about listing snubs is stating who you’d swap them with. Otherwise, you are simply yelling out criticism without offering a solution. So, while I love Lamar Jackson as much as the next person, I’d give the nod to Josh Allen here. Allen paces Jackson in nearly every passing metric by a decent margin and has actually been the more efficient runner (6.2 to 5.8 yards per carry).
I’m not really sure what went wrong here as Allen has the name recognition to go along with his better statistics — the Pro Bowl is largely a popularity contest, so yes, name recognition matters.
Braden Smith, OT, Indianapolis Colts
Orlando Brown Jr. has played well in his first season in Kansas City. Dion Dawkins protects Allen’s blindside with impressive efficiency. Yet, I would take Braden Smith over either player. Smith is the best run-blocking tackle in the AFC right now. He has helped pave the way for Jonathan Taylor’s explosive 2021. Smith isn’t a liability in pass protection, either.
Creed Humphrey, C, Kansas City Chiefs
This was the biggest snub, in my opinion. And that isn’t because I’m a Chiefs fan. Creed Humphrey has not only been the most impressive rookie, but he’s also been the most impressive center in the league. He routinely wins his blocks, leaving defenders in the dirt more often than he gives up an inch of ground. Humphrey deserves an All-Pro vote, not just a Pro Bowl trip.
Jevon Holland, FS, Miami Dolphins
NFL, why do you only have one player for the free safety spot for each conference? Signed … everybody. I wouldn’t put Jevon Holland over Kevin Byard, but Holland would have a strong case for the second FS position — along with Denver Broncos S Justin Simmons. He patrols the deep third with ease, as demonstrated by his 9 pass deflections and 2 interceptions.
Ashton Dulin, Special Teams, Indianapolis Colts
Are we really going to argue over special teamers? Why yes, we are, because they matter, too. While Matthew Slater has arguably been one of the most reliable special teamers over the last decade, Ashton Dulin has earned the recognition in 2021. He’s wrapped up as a gunner and recovered 2 fumbles, taking 1 to the house. Hats off to you, Mr. Dulin.
2022 Pro Bowl Snubs: NFC
Here are the five NFC players who were snubbed from the Pro Bowl this season.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford owns the third-most passing yards (4,142) and second-most touchdowns (35) in the NFL. Additionally, he has the Rams sitting pretty with a 10-4 record, fifth in the conference. They own the same record as Kyler Murray’s Cardinals, but Arizona went 2-1 when Murray was out of the lineup with an ankle injury. The dual-threat QB only has 270 rushing yards this year, so that doesn’t make up for the 1,000+ passing-yard advantage Stafford holds.
Stafford has made some inexcusable decisions and poor throws, but his overall play has been greater than Murray’s, making the Ram a 2022 Pro Bowl snub.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Alright, it is not all about the stats, but Alvin Kamara doesn’t sniff Ezekiel Elliot’s numbers this year. Hell, he is even behind Elliott’s backup, Tony Pollard, in rushing yards this season (676 to 668). Kamara is averaging a paltry 3.6 yards per carry. Now, Elliott’s 4.3 average isn’t astonishing. Nevertheless, his 9 TDs and 862 yards are nothing to scoff at, as both are second in the NFC.
Kamara is New Orleans’ offense without Drew Brees and Michael Thomas in house. He is near the top of all receiving figures for the Saints, but Elliott’s numbers are not far behind. So, that doesn’t push Kamara over Elliott in my eyes. Cordarrelle Patterson deserves a mention as well. The do-everything offensive weapon has transformed Atlanta’s offense when he is on the field. Speaking of the Falcons…
A.J. Terrell, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta’s defense is … underwhelming, to put in nicely. Yet, A.J. Terrell has provided plus play all season. His 14 pass deflections are tied for fourth-most in the NFL, and he’s added 2 picks to his name. Darius Slay has 1 more INT, but 5 fewer PBUs. Terrell’s 44.2% completion rate allowed is the lowest among players with at least 150 coverage snaps this year.
Many wrote the 2022 16th overall pick off after a poor rookie campaign, but he is proving the Falcons brass were geniuses for selecting him.
Jayron Kearse, SS, Dallas Cowboys
Jayron Kearse won’t win a popularity contest next to Budda Baker. But this season, he has done more for his team. Kearse has flashed versatility, lining up in the slot, as a deep safety, in the box, and even along the defensive line. Who has more QB pressures? Kearse (9 to 2). More total tackles? Kearse (94 to 79). More pass defelctions? You guessed it. Kearse (9 to 4). Whatever way you slice it, Kearse is the bigger curse on defense in 2021.
Kene Nwangwu, Return Specialist, Minnesota Vikings
Although Jakeem Grant is the only player with a punt return touchdown this year, Kene Nwangwu is the only player with 2 return TDs in 2021. Further solidifying Nwangwu’s case is Grant has a muffed punt that was recovered by the opponent on his résumé. Oh, and Minnesota’s kick returner has only been active since Week 8!