2016 Pro Bowl squad analysis: Offense

The 2016 Pro Bowl squad was announced Tuesday night on NFL Network, and we've gone over the biggest snubs and examined the honorees on defense. Now, let's unpack the offense.

Remember, long gone are the familiar AFC versus NFC lineups that existed from 1971 through 2013. This year's rosters mesh top players from both conferences as voted by fans, coaches and players.

Let's jump in:

Andy Dalton pieced together a Pro Bowl-worthy season, but who do you remove to include him? On the bright side, we know today's voting methods are gaining effectiveness when Peyton Manning misses the list, but don't get too excited about seeing Brady unfurl passes in Honolulu: He'll never attend this game, and neither will half this list. The quarterback position is the strongest argument to deep-six the Pro Bowl altogether. After three-quarters of the honorees announce mysterious elbow maladies, we're just as likely to see a matchup between Kirk Cousins and Jim Bob Cooter III.

Pro Bowl voting is organically weighted toward early season heroics, which is great news for Freeman. After four 100-yard performances and nine touchdowns over his first seven starts, Freeman has just one touchdown and two 50-yard games since. Voters got it right with Gurley, a backfield revelation who did enough in his first campaign to be considered for rookie of the year honors. Peterson remains the finest runner on the planet, but Martin's outburst is especially impressive after he was a candidate for release last offseason. Stewart has been hyper-critical to Carolina's offense and McCoy had his moments despite only three 100-yard tilts. There isn't room for everyone, but Chris Ivory deserved more heat here, along with Latavius Murray and Thomas Rawls.

It will be fascinating (or highly tedious) to see Beckham potentially square off with Norman again -- or to observe them as teammates. Brown is arguably the finest receiver in the NFL, while Green and Jones were deserving shoe-ins for All-Star honors. Hopkins earns his first Pro Bowl nod as one of the most exciting young pass-catchers league-wide, especially considering the laundry list of corpses throwing to him. You could argue that Marshall was as valuable to his team as anyone here as the Jets might be a four-win club without him. For my money, I'd choose Allen Robinson over Megatron. Calvin Johnson is a legend, but he wasn't a top-eight wideout in 2015.

Gronkowski remains heads and tails above the rest, while Eifert's breakout campaign is worthy of a Pro Bowl nod. Like Jonathan Stewart, Olsen was a weekly engine on offense for the Panthers and one of the game's most productive tight ends. Kelce is a talent, but I'd argue that Delanie Walker was just as valuable to the weapons-depleted Titans. And what about Cleveland's Gary Barnidge, who emerged from the wilderness to tie Ozzie Newsome's franchise record with nine touchdowns at the position, two more than Olsen and five more than Kelce?

"I'm probably one of the weakest offensive linemen in the NFL,"Joe Thomas told reporters on Monday, before explaining that his stellar career has been built on a bedrock of footwork, leverage and angles. Also durability, with Cleveland's alpha-and-omega bookend starting 142 straight games and turning in another fantastic season. The rest of this list makes plenty of sense, with every one of these names grading near the top of the list at their position, per Pro Football Focus. Buffalo's Cordy Glenn, Cleveland's Mitchell Schwartz and Terron Armstead of the Saints loom as potential snubs, but who would they replace?

Yanda was outstanding for a lost-at-sea Ravens team, while Martin logged another Pro Bowl-worthy campaign for the equally dismal Cowboys. Sitton is deserving of this list, but Packers guard T.J. Lang might feel robbed if he's reading this. If you're into hot guard play, don't miss this game.

Plenty of voters are simply looking for names they recognize when it comes to interior linemen. They got it right with Frederick, one of the NFL's brightest young centers. Alex Mack is also among the league's toughest maulers, even if this wasn't his finest season. Kalil has been an anchor for the Panthers, while Pouncey is set to make his third Pro Bowl. A worthy foursome.

Tolbert is a versatile player for Carolina at a position half the NFL ignores. This wasn't his most productive campaign, but the Panthers certainly value him. Reece remains an integral part of Oakland's passing game and leads all fullbacks with 266 yards through the air. Still, Baltimore's Kyle Juszczyk -- and arguably Atlanta's Patrick DiMarco -- should have gotten more attention here.


Wide Receiver (8)

Offensive Tackle (6)

Guard (6)

Center (4)

Tight End (4)

Quarterback (6)


Punter (2)

Placekicker (2)

Return Specialists (2)

Special Teamer (2)

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