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Pro Bowl analysis: NFC roster full of good calls, omissions

» CLICK HERE FOR LOMBARDI'S ANALYSIS OF THE AFC 

The NFL announced its Pro Bowl rosters Tuesday night. Below, I share my thoughts on the players who made it and in a few instances some players who should be heading to Hawaii instead.

QUARTERBACK

*Aaron Rodgers, Packers; Drew Brees, Saints; Eli Manning, Giants

Both Brees and Rodgers have been great, and Manning has been just as good. He has had to carry the Giants while they have dealt with all the injuries and no run game.

RUNNING BACK & FULLBACK

*LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Matt Forte, Bears; Frank Gore, Niners; *John Kuhn, Packers

McCoy is as close to Barry Sanders as anyone playing right now, and both Forte and Gore are so good in every phase. Leaving Adrian Peterson off the list is never easy, but these three were all better this season. In fact, the next one up wouldn't even be Peterson; it'd be Marshawn Lynch. And fullbacks, in my opinion, aren't full-time players; would rather see H-back or a second TE starting spot here.

WIDE RECEIVER

*Calvin Johnson, Lions; *Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals; Steve Smith, Panthers; Greg Jennings, Packers

All are big-time play-makers who had amazing years. Steve Smith has to be the Comeback Player of the Year. Two receivers are also deserving: the Giants' Victor Cruz has been amazing and the Packers' Jordy Nelson does not get the pub, but he is more than a third receiver. Roddy White's numbers are great, but the drops keep him off the list.

TIGHT END

*Jimmy Graham, Saints; Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

Graham has been the key component in the explosive Saints offense and Gonzalez once again has been consistent. The Cowboys' Jason Witten is hard to leave off. Jermichael Finley of the Packers has not caught the ball consistently enough to be here.

TACKLE

*Jason Peters, Eagles; *Joe Staley, Niners; Jermon Bushrod, Saints

Peters has been the best all season, and both Staley and Bushrod have played well.

GUARD

*Jahri Evans, Saints; *Carl Nicks, Saints; Davin Joseph, Bucs

All three have been outstanding, but it's hard to leave Chris Snee of the Giants and Steve Hutchinson of the Vikings off the list. Josh Sitton normally would belong, but injuries derailed his season.

CENTER

*Ryan Kalil, Panthers; Scott Wells, Packers

Excellent years for both players. Kalil especially should be given extra credit for his role in helping Cam Newton get off to a great start.

DEFENSIVE END

*Jared Allen, Vikings; *Jason Babin, Eagles; Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants

The two starters are great, but Jason Pierre-Paul might be the Defensive Player of the Year. He is dominating in both run and pass. No Julius Peppers? I'm fine with that. He has not played as well as the other three and finishes fourth.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

*Justin Smith, Niners; *Jay Ratliff, Cowboys; B.J. Raji, Packers

How does Smith get better with age? He is amazing and looks to be stronger and tougher now than at any point in his career. Brandon Mebane of the Seahawks has played better than B.J. Raji, and it is hard to leave Ndamukong Suh off the list. Ratliff is good, but he is not better than Suh -- this year, or any year.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

*DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; *Clay Matthews, Packers; Lance Briggs, Bears

Love all three, but where is Niners rookie Aldon Smith? He is a dominating rusher and a huge part of San Francisco's success. Briggs is so fun to watch; he can still run and make plays. Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orkapo are both talented rushers for the 'Skins and deserve mention.

INSIDE LINEBACKER

*Patrick Willis, 49ers; Brian Urlacher, Bears

Both are really good players, but NaVorro Bowman of the Niners and Sean Weatherspoon of the Falcons deserve to be on the list. Willis is good, but sometimes when I'm watching tape it is hard to tell Bowman from Willis. And when I watch tape on the Redskins, London Fletcher is a tackling machine. Not sure how he is off this list.

CORNERBACK

*Charles Woodson, Packers; *Carlos Rogers, Niners; Charles Tillman, Bears

Woodson might have lost some coverage skills, but he is still a top player. The Eagles thought they had two Pro Bowlers in Asante Samual and Nnamdi Asomugha, but both have been inconsistent. Rogers has benefited from a great pass rush and has played his best football of his career. Cardinals rookie Patrick Peterson made the team as a specialist but he should have won the third spot over Tillman, as he is really a good man-to-man corner.

FREE SAFETY

*Earl Thomas, Seahawks; Dashon Goldson, 49ers

The Saints' Malcolm Jenkins deserves some attention here, but both Thomas and Goldson have played well.

STRONG SAFETY

*Adrian Wilson, Cardinals

Part-linebacker and part-safety, Wilson is a force on every level of the defense.

» CLICK HERE FOR LOMBARDI'S ANALYSIS OF THE AFC 

Follow Michael Lombardi on Twitter @michaelombardi

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