2014 Pro Bowl roster analysis: Offense


The 2014 Pro Bowl rosters were announced Friday night on NFL Network, and we've already gone over the biggest snubs and taken a look at the honorees on defense. Now let's take a look at the offense.

Remember, gone are the familiar AFC versus NFC lineups that existed since 1971. This year's rosters mesh top players from both conferences as voted by fans, coaches and players:

Let's dive in:

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson

This six-pack of passers lines up exactly with Gregg Rosenthal's picks for the position, but it's a shame we won't see Ben Roethlisberger in Hawaii. He's quietly enjoyed one of his finest seasons on a Pittsburgh team that refuses to give up. Andrew Luck won't make the trip, either, but the voters got it right with Wilson, arguably the best of the second-year signal-callers. Brady struggled early, but played as well as anyone down the stretch.

Running back: Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson

My call for Eddie Lacy to earn a Pro Bowl bid fell on deaf ears. Honestly, his competition was too steep. Strip Peyton Manning from the narrative and Charles is this year's MVP. Forte looked like a runner reborn early this season and kept it going all year long. Nobody has more carries than the duo of McCoy (287) and Peterson (279), who also led the NFL in yards after contact. Lynch averaged fewer than four yards per carry for the fifth consecutive week last Sunday, but he's still the core of Seattle's offense.

Wide receiver: Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, Josh Gordon, A.J. Green, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas

Four of five Around The League scribes called for the ascendant Alshon Jeffery to earn his first Pro Bowl nod, but the voters have chosen his teammate Marshall instead. Gordon's inclusion is justified after one of the most explosive breakout seasons in years. Now we'll get to see what the young Browns pass catcher can do with a real quarterback at the helm. I hoped to see Jordy Nelson make this list after another campaign highlighted by some of the grittiest catches league-wide.

Tight end: Jordan Cameron, Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas

I get Rob Gronkowski missing this list, based on the fact that he's trolling Whole Foods in a motorized scooter, but there's no better tight end in the league. I figured Gronk's inclusion would knock out either Thomas or Cameron, but it will be fascinating to watch both players on the same field. With Graham and Davis at their disposal, as well, this year's Pro Bowl coaches have no excuses to play it safe on offense.

Tackle: Branden Albert, Jason Peters, Tyron Smith, Joe Staley, Joe Thomas, Trent Williams

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I'm irked to see Carolina's Jordan Gross miss the cut, but there's no arguing the inclusion of Thomas or Williams, both unanimous picks by our gang of ATL scribes. The Peters selection feels more like a nod to his work on an Eagles line that has stayed healthy all season and learned to meticulously execute Chip Kelly's offense. Smith, an ascendent talent, led a Cowboys line that exceeded expectations all year.

Guard: Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Mike Iupati, Logan Mankins, Louis Vasquez, Marshal Yanda

Where's Philly's Evan Mathis? I struggle with Yanda at this spot -- this year -- after watching Baltimore's interior line take a beating in big spots. Vasquez popped off the screen as a pass blocker in Denver and Grubbs is a core piece of the line in New Orleans, but he and Evans partly are culpable for a line that couldn't run block. Green Bay's Josh Sitton feels like a snub here, and I'd argue rookie Larry Warford played as well for the Lions as anyone on this list.

Center: Ryan Kalil, Alex Mack, Mike Pouncey, Max Unger

Houstonites will gripe about Chris Myers being left off, but Mack is deserving after another year of consistency from start to finish. Kalil remains one of the game's top run blockers, but I'm bummed to see rookie Travis Frederick ignored here. The Cowboys center has evolved into one of the draft's best surprises.

Fullback: Marcel Reece, Mike Tolbert

We've raved about Reece before, who gave the Raiders a punishing presence on the ground when Darren McFadden was lost to injury. Reece leads the NFL in average yards after contact (3.2) and Tolbert isn't far behind (2.0). We doubt they'll carry the ball in Hawaii, but both men represent a brand of fullback capable of more than blasting holes.

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