• Young OTs miss the cut: The Vikings' Christian Darrisaw and the Giants' Andrew Thomas are among the top tackles in the NFL, yet neither earned a Pro Bowl nod.
• Jaylen Waddle, Chris Olave among WR snubs: The wide receiver position is routinely loaded in the current pass-happy state of the league, leaving players such as Waddle and Olave on the outside looking in.
• No Pro Bowl for veteran pass rushers Jerry Hughes, J.J. Watt: The established stars have dominated throughout their careers and have put together excellent 2022 seasons.
Estimated Reading Time: 11 mins
JUMP TO A TEAM:
Watt announced he will retire after the 2022 season, and it’s a shame he didn’t get one last Pro Bowl nod. His 2022 season includes 50 pressures and 10 sacks for the Cardinals through Week 16. Watt has been fantastic in the past month of the season, in particular, racking up four sacks and 13 pressures.
McGary has had a solid year in Atlanta, slotting in as the third-highest run-blocking offensive tackle (88.0) in the league. He’s a better run blocker than pass protector at this point, but McGary is still a top-tier right tackle overall. He’s allowed only 15 pressures, eight of which are hurries, on 452 pass-blocking snaps this season. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Jackson has missed the past few games as he deals with a knee injury, but he's still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Before his injury, Jackson was the sixth-highest-graded quarterback in the NFL, averaging over 63 rushing yards per game this season. Despite lackluster playmakers, he was playing some of the best football of his career. Here's to hoping he will be 100% healthy before the start of the playoffs.
Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano deserved Pro Bowl consideration, but Milano has made the most splash plays for the Bills. Milano has recorded two interceptions, 1.5 sacks and nine pass deflections. When the Bills need a big play on defense, he always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
After back-to-back average seasons, Brown broke out in a big way in 2022. He has totaled 27 stops in the run game and is the league's sixth-highest-graded run defender (79.3). He's even improved as a pass rusher this season, totaling 33 pressures through Week 16 after recording 34 and 23 in his previous two seasons. In addition, Brown is overall the eighth-highest-graded interior defensive tackle in the league and might be the best pure nose tackle outside of the Giants' Dexter Lawrence.
Not a lot has gone right for the Bears this season, but Jackson played at an elite level while on the field. Among safeties with at least 600 snaps in 2022, Jackson ranks as the NFL's eighth-highest-graded player (75.8). Unfortunately, he will miss the rest of the season with an injury, but he continues to be one of the best pure free safeties in the league.
Logan Wilson has been the better Cincinnati linebacker over the past few seasons, but Germaine Pratt can stake claim to that honor in 2022. He's the highest-graded coverage linebacker in the NFL (90.4) and ranks No. 6 overall. He has yet to allow a touchdown in coverage and has already recorded two interceptions and two pass breakups.
You can make the case that Wyatt Teller and Ethan Pocic deserve to be mentioned here, but Cooper is having a strong season for the Browns. He’s gone over 1,000 receiving yards for the sixth time in his career and has brought stability to the team's wide receiver unit as a contested-catch weapon (15 such receptions, tied for sixth most).
Seven Cowboys made the Pro Bowl, so it’s hard to get too upset about any snubs. But kicker Brett Maher has a legitimate gripe. Jason Myers got the nod over him despite Maher making nine of his 11 kicks beyond 50 yards this season. Against the Vikings earlier this year, he made back-to-back 60-yard field goals before halftime.
Maher has missed just three field goals this season, with two of those kicks at 59 yards. Besides Justin Tucker, there might not be a better long-range kicker in the NFL than Maher.
Simmons hasn't been quite as good as he was in 2020 or 2021, but he's still among the most dynamic safeties in the league. He's already recorded five interceptions this season, and opposing quarterbacks have just a 90.7 passer rating when targeting him in coverage. Simmons has been a big reason the Broncos have been so good on defense this season.
The third-highest-graded receiver in the NFL this season, St. Brown has managed to become one of the most reliable weapons in the league. He is averaging 2.48 yards per route run, the fifth-best mark in the NFL. He’s also second in the NFL in yards after the catch (501), behind only Justin Jefferson. St. Brown is now over 1,100 yards on the season despite missing a game and leaving another in the first quarter.
Jones, the sixth-highest-graded running back in the NFL (85.3), has been the most consistent player on the Packers' roster this season. For the fourth straight season, he has totaled at least 1,100 yards from scrimmage and scored seven touchdowns. Among all running backs with at least 150 carries, he has the second-highest yards-per-carry average (5.1) in the NFL. He's also a fantastic receiver and an all-around weapon for the Packers.
HOUSTON TEXANS: EDGE Jerry Hughes
Only Laremy Tunsil made the Pro Bowl for the Texans, and while that's understandable due to their league-worst record, Jerry Hughes is on the outside looking in despite putting together a noteworthy season. Hughes has played over 600 snaps for the Texans and recorded 51 pressures and eight sacks. While that's not quite good enough to make the Pro Bowl, he deserves some credit for having such a strong campaign on a bad team.
Buckner made the All-Pro Team in 2020 and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2021, but he did not make the team this year. That’s a bit surprising, considering he’s totaled 46 pressures and nine sacks on 775 snaps. He’s still one of the best run defenders in the league, playing all over the defensive line for the Colts. There are some true standout interior defensive linemen in the AFC, but Buckner had a good-enough season to warrant Pro Bowl consideration.
One of the biggest snubs, Tyson Campbell is currently PFF's fifth-highest-graded cornerback among those with at least 500 snaps. He has allowed more than 50 yards in a single game just once this year and is one of the league's most active and physical run defenders. Campbell has proven to be a star in Year 2, and it's a shame he didn't get more attention from the Pro Bowl voters.
Seven Chiefs players made the Pro Bowl, so finding a true snub from this team is challenging. Sneed is producing for Kansas City, racking up two interceptions and six pass breakups. While he’s allowed more than 600 yards in coverage this season, he’s still been one of the league’s better overall cornerbacks.
Miller has been one of the NFL’s best left tackles this season, allowing just three sacks and three quarterback hits all year long. He’s been a significantly better player than Orlando Brown Jr., who got the nod over him in the Pro Bowl. Miller is currently the eighth-highest-graded offensive tackle in the NFL (82.4).
Guess who leads the NFL in total touchdowns this season? That’s none other than Austin Ekeler, who also led the league in touchdowns last season. Ekeler is averaging just under 100 yards a game this season and has been the Chargers' most consistent playmaker this season.
It’s been a tough season for the Rams, with most of their offseason moves not panning out. But the one that did was the signing of Bobby Wagner, who is currently the highest-graded linebacker in the NFL (91.3) by a significant margin. He sports just a 2.5% missed tackle rate and has not allowed a single touchdown in coverage this season. Despite not making the Pro Bowl, Wagner should get some All-Pro consideration.
Waddle has appeared in all 15 games for the Dolphins and is one of the biggest playmakers in the league. He's totaled nearly 1,300 yards from scrimmage and has scored eight touchdowns, but the most impressive stat is that he's averaging 2.78 yards per route run. That ranks second best in the NFL, behind only Tyreek Hill, who just so happens to be his Pro Bowl teammate. Waddle is having an incredible season as PFF’s second-highest-graded receiver since Week 6.
Darrisaw has missed a few games due to a concussion, but he’s among the league’s best left tackles this season. He did not allow a single sack in the first nine games of the season and has allowed only 15 pressures all year long. His play has dipped a bit since he returned to the lineup, but he’s still one of the highest-graded offensive linemen in the NFL (90.3).
Uche deserved Pro Bowl consideration over some of the other names that made the list, as he's PFF's sixth-highest-graded edge rusher this season. He's totaled 12 sacks this season along with 30 hurries. It's a breakout season for the former Michigan pass rusher in Year 3.
The Saints had just one Pro Bowl selection this season: linebacker Demario Davis. Olave deserved a look, as the rookie's 84.6 PFF grade this season ranks 10th among wide receivers. Olave is averaging nearly 15 yards per reception this season and should go over 1,000 receiving yards over the next two weeks.
There haven’t been many offensive tackles better than Thomas this season. In fact, he’s the third-highest-graded offensive tackle in the league (87.8), behind only Trent Williams and fellow snub Christian Darrisaw. Thomas has allowed only three sacks and three quarterback hits this year as he’s developed into an elite player.
Sauce Gardner might be the best cornerback in the NFL, but Reed has also been fantastic. Opposing quarterbacks have just a 73.9 passer rating when targeting Reed, and he's racked up 10 pass breakups and is allowing under 10 yards per reception. He remains wildly underrated.
While the Eagles lead the league with eight Pro Bowl selections, Sweat has to be one of the biggest Pro Bowl snubs this year. He is currently PFF’s ninth-ranked edge rusher by overall grade, as he’s already totaled 13 sacks, one forced fumble and one pick-six against Dak Prescott. He has improved every year and didn't deserve to miss out on a Pro Bowl nod this season.
Highsmith is only the 22nd-ranked edge rusher this season by PFF grade(80.3), but he's still having a fantastic year. He's recorded 12 sacks this season along with 29 hurries en route to 46 pressures overall. Somehow, T.J. Watt got in instead of Highsmith despite missing most of the season with a pectoral injury. It's a mind-blowing decision. This one isn’t even all that close.
The NFL is full of star running backs, but McCaffrey might still be the best for any game. Despite switching teams midway through the season, he's totaled more than 1,600 yards this season to go along with 11 touchdowns. He's fumbled just once and has the highest receiving grade (92.3) in the NFL at the position. McCaffrey remains one of the most dynamic weapons in the league, and it's pretty shocking not to see him on the Pro Bowl list.
You could make a case for either Seahawks receiver here, but let's go with Lockett. Whenever the Seahawks have needed a play, Lockett has been there and delivered. He is averaging 1.99 yards per route run, and 47 of his 78 receptions have gone for first downs. Plus, Geno Smith has a 112.0 passer rating when targeting Lockett. He might not be the flashiest receiver in the league, but he deserves more national attention.
David remains one of the NFL's best and most versatile linebackers. He currently boasts the second-highest coverage grade (86.1) among linebackers, and he's racked up 51 stops in the run game. David deserved to be one of the two off-ball linebackers on the NFC Pro Bowl team.
Byard has given up some big plays in coverage this season, leading to a career-worst 12.3 yards allowed per reception, but he’s still managed to rack up two interceptions and two pass breakups en route to a 74.0-plus overall grade. He remains a top-tier safety in the NFL.
Sweat is the eighth-highest-graded edge rusher (87.4) in the NFL, totaling 57 pressures and seven sacks. He's also racked up 18 quarterback hits, the third most in the league. Sweat has firmly established himself as one of the league's most complete players at the position and a cornerstone for the Commanders going forward.