NFL News & Analysis

2021 NFL Pro Bowl Snubs: Joe Burrow, Cordarrelle Patterson, De'Vondre Campbell and more

Detroit, Michigan, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs out of the pocket during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It may seem meaningless to those on the outside looking in, but being named to the NFL Pro Bowl remains one of the game's biggest honors for many of the NFL's best, and it can even impact their contracts by millions of dollars.

There’s always debate about the voting process and whether it's a true reflection on the NFL's best players. And while PFF agreed with a lot of the players who made the cut, there were still players who deserved the honor but somehow got overlooked.

Here are this year's biggest Pro Bowl snubs.

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AFC

QB JOE BURROW, CINCINNATI BENGALS

Burrow's omission was to be somewhat expected, given the fact he sits atop of the NFL in total interceptions with 14.

However, despite the high interception total, Burrow is still the highest-graded quarterback in the NFL, and he has actually done an excellent job this year limiting mistakes. He is tied for 12th among qualifying quarterbacks in turnover-worthy play rate (2.9%) and fourth in negatively graded throw rate. He also sits second in big-time throw rate (6.4%) and first in deep passing touchdowns (11).

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C CREED HUMPHREY, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Humphrey is making history in his rookie campaign. Not only does his 90.4 PFF grade lead all centers by over five grading points, but it also leads all rookie centers in the PFF era.

This season, the first-year center has generated 0.47 Wins Above Replacement (PFF WAR), which is 0.14 more than the next-best center. According to the same metric, Humphrey is actually tied with Micah Parsons as the most valuable rookie non-quarterback in the NFL. 

T KOLTON MILLER, LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Miller has graded better than each of the two players who got in ahead of him — by over eight grading points, no less.

The Raiders tackle has turned in a sub-70.0 pass-blocking grade in just two of his 14 starts this season, with his 83.2 pass-blocking grade over the year topping the AFC by a decent margin.

LB JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH, CLEVELAND BROWNS

Owusu-Koramoah put the world on notice by earning a 94.0 PFF grade in his third career game back in Week 3, and he’s performed admirably ever since. He owns a 76.5 PFF grade for the 2021 season, the second-highest among AFC off-ball linebackers behind only Darius Leonard. The second-round rookie has allowed only six first downs or touchdowns in coverage while racking up seven passing stops and four forced incompletions. As a pass-rusher, JOK has produced 10 pressures from 43 pass-rush reps. 

NFC

RB CORDARRELLE PATTERSON, ATLANTA FALCONS

Alvin Kamara has firmly placed himself in the conversation for most dangerous running back in the NFL, but this year is not his year. The New Orleans Saint made the Pro Bowl Patterson despite having a lower rushing grade, receiving grade, explosive run total, yards after contact average and yards per route run average. Given his role, giving Patterson a specific position is tough, but most of his snaps have come in the backfield, which is where he should have earned Pro Bowl honors. His 86.0 PFF grade is a top-five mark among NFL running backs.

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LB DE’VONDRE CAMPBELL, GREEN BAY PACKERS

Campbell has been a secret superstar in Joe Barry’s defense in Green Bay. The only off-ball linebacker who has a higher grade this season is rookie sensation Micah Parsons.

Campbell is actually the only off-ball linebacker in the league who has earned a grade above 75.0 against the run, as a pass-rusher, in coverage and as a tackler. He’s missed a mere four tackles on 127 attempts, a truly astounding number for that volume load.

CB A.J. TERRELL, ATLANTA FALCONS

Terrell is arguably the most improved player in the NFL this season. The 2020 first-round pick has improved his PFF coverage grade by over 33 points year-over-year, from 57.0 (71st) in 2020 to 90.2 (first) in 2021. The most yards Terrell has allowed in a single game this season is 32. He’s allowed the fewest yards per coverage snap in the NFL this season (0.33) while ranking third in forced incompletion rate (21.1%), and the former is on pace to be the lowest mark ever allowed by a cornerback since 2006.

S ANTOINE WINFIELD JR., TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Winfield has quickly approached Pro Bowl- and All-Pro-caliber play. The 2020 second-round pick is the second-highest-graded safety in the NFL this season, and he’s been responsible for zero touchdowns in coverage while intercepting two passes and breaking up four others.

The second-year safety has some of the best playmaking instincts at the position and has already racked up more defensive stops than in his rookie season despite playing nearly 500 fewer snaps.

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