The NFL will announce tonight at 9 Eastern the Pro-Bowl selections for the 2013 Pro-Bowl. This years format is a lot different and includes four team captains (including two fantasy football winners) who will at a later date “draft” their Pro-Bowl team. There will be no more AFC vs. NFC and in fact there is no AFC/NFC rules that force players to at least come from both conferences. In other words you could have six QB’s from the NFC or all the CB’s could come from the AFC.
It will still be boring.
The rules for this years NFL Pro-Bowl won’t carry any significant weight in curbing the high scoring non-defensive game. Still the entitlement of being elected to the game still carries weight even if the game itself does not. Today we have to ask if there are any legit Miami Dolphin candidates who could make the squad. Here is a look at a few of the players who might be headed to Hawaii.
Cameron Wake – Wake has been there before and his name carries a lot of weight but unfortunately he has not had the type of season many expected. He was actually out shined by the guy on the opposite side of him. While Wake stands a good chance of making the game, my money is on him not.
Olivier Vernon – Vernon came on strong in his sophomore year and put up 11.5 sacks on the season. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to add anything to that total in the last three weeks. While Vernon may deserve to go the PB he is still too unknown to receive the votes.
Randy Starks – You could lump Starks and Paul Soliai together here. They both have done a great job of anchoring the Dolphins defensive line but unfortunately the defense is on the verge of surrendering 2,000 yards rushing this season to opposing RB’s. Those numbers don’t get you voted into the Pro-Bowl.
Brent Grimes – The Miami Dolphins might just be hoping Grimes get’s overlooked for the game. A Pro-Bowl birth will add money to his contract that the Dolphins are still sitting on for next season. Still, of all Miami’s defensive players there is little question that Grimes has done enough to get a nod to the game. My money would go on him to make the Pro-Bowl this season. Grimes has been terrific in Miami and could be up for the leagues Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Charles Clay – Clay has been a solid TE/HB for the team this year and don’t think for a second that the rest of the NFL hasn’t taken notice. They have. Is it enough? Not likely but with Rob Gronkowski out and Cameron Jordan nursing an injury, Clay could get added to the mix as an alternate. It would be a deserving honor for a guy many thought would be cut prior to the season.
Brian Hartline – Hartline came up very short against Buffalo and is still short of a 1,000 yards receiving. He will be very short of a Pro-Bowl birth as well. There are simply too many other and better WR’s in the league today who have better numbers. Lump Mike Wallace into this group as well.
Ryan Tannehill – Until last week some might be able to make a small argument for Tannehill’s inclusion. Buffalo eliminated that possibility…as minuscule as it may have been.
Mike Pouncey – Pouncey might deserve to go to the PB but in reality the Dolphins offensive line is a total mess and Pouncey is a part of that mess. Maybe next year.
Brandon Fields – Probably the most deserving member of the Miami Dolphins. Fields led the fan vote last year only to see himself miss out on the final ballot. This year Fields has played better and it’s likely he has raised enough eyebrows to earn his first trip.
Predictions – I think that Miami will send three members to the Pro-Bowl this season. Brent Grimes, Charles Clay, and Brandon Fields.