Skip to main content

Pro Bowl snubs: Sean Lee among players off roster

The 2015 Pro Bowlroster was announced Tuesday night on NFL Network, and plenty of quality players were left out in the cold -- just not as many players as usual.

I've been writing a Pro Bowl snubs list four seasons running and there were fewer egregious oversights than ever. More to the point: Almost everyone that made the Pro Bowl made sense.

We have one rule for a snubs list: To nominate a player as a snub, you have to take off a player off the team. Andy Dalton, for instance, at first blush feels like a snub. But he's just a victim of a numbers game at quarterback. If you put him on the Pro Bowl team, who do you take off? Ben Roethlisberger? Russell Wilson? Please.

That doesn't mean the list is perfect. There were plenty of offensive and defensive standouts that didn't make the team. The 11 names below should have found a way on the roster:

1. Reshad Jones, safety, Dolphins

Jones was unfairly punished for not having a big name and playing on a low-profile team. There's no question he's had a better season than Kam Chancellor, who made it over him at strong safety. He's a rare combination these days at safety of a big hitter that also makes big plays in coverage.

2. Mike Daniels, defensive lineman, Packers

Daniels was listed at tackle even though he's more of a 3-4 defensive end. No matter what position he's playing, there's no doubt he's one of the 12 best defensive linemen in the league. It's rare to see a player so consistently disruptive against the run and pass. Clay Matthews has the big name, but Daniels has been Green Bay's best defensive player. We'd replace Gerald McCoy with Daniels or even Chandler Jones. This might be the worst season of McCoy's incredible career.

3. Linval Joseph, defensive tackle, Vikings

Joseph could be the best run stopper in the league. For a period in November, no defensive player was more valuable. It felt like he won a couple of games on his own and is another player that deserved to make it over McCoy.

4. Anthony Barr, outside linebacker, Vikings

Barr was on our list of players that needed more love in Pro Bowl voting, and clearly it didn't happen. Every coach wants a player like Barr that can rush the passer, elude blockers in the run game to make tackles, and be a difference maker in coverage. Barr alternates sacking quarterbacks and covering tight ends. He's the NFC's Jamie Collins, and Collins was rightly rewarded. The outside linebacker position is loaded, but we'd put Barr in over DeMarcus Ware, who has only been healthy for eight games.

5. Sean Lee, linebacker, Cowboys

Lee has a lot of similarities to Anthony Barr because of his versatility. He transitioned from middle linebacker to the outside in Dallas' 4-3 defense, a move that only highlighted his playmaking ability. When Lee is at his best, few linebackers in football can control a game like him. It's tough to find an outside linebacker to take off this list, but we'd give Lee the slight edge over Tamba Hali. The longtime Chief has enjoyed an incredibly resurgent season, but he's not as good as Lee. This is the problem with evaluating pure pass rushers against 4-3 outside linebackers like Lee.

6. Derrick Johnson, linebacker, Chiefs

It's strange that Johnson is getting no love. He's an 11-year veteran that has name value with three previous Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro appearance. He has a great story, coming off a torn Achilles' tendon, at age 33. And he is the bedrock of the underrated Chiefs defense. We'd put him on the team over NaVorro Bowman, who has been more up and down coming off his serious injury.

7. Adam Jones, cornerback/return man, Bengals

No one has hopped on Pacman's story of redemption, but he's authored an incredibly surprising, resilient NFL career. It's crazy that he's enjoying his best season at age 32. He's one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league, never backing down to a physical challenge. He has also been one of the best punt returners in football for a long time. We'd have him replace Marcus Peters at cornerback or Tyler Lockett as a returner.

8. Allen Robinson, wide receiver, Jaguars

Breakout years are too often ignored by Pro Bowl voters comfortable with big names. And this was Robinson's breakout season, with 1,141 yards and 13 scores thus far. He is one of the best at high-pointing the ball in tight coverage and is statistically the best big playmaker in the league. He has 26 plays over 20 yards. No other receiver has more than 21 such plays. The receiver position is stacked this year, but Robinson had a better season than Calvin Johnson.

9. Harrison Smith, safety, Vikings

Like Jones, Smith is a do-everything safety. He's also one of the brightest young stars at the position and the key to the Vikings' secondary. He deserved to make it over the Bengals' Reggie Nelson, who is a fine center fielder. Nelson just isn't as versatile. Malcolm Jenkins is another safety that was overlooked.

10. DeAngelo Williams running back, Steelers

Williams' patience, burst and receiving ability looks the same as it did nearly a decade ago. He has kept the Pittsburgh running game afloat with very little drop-off from the league's best running back Le'Veon Bell. We'd put Williams on the team over LeSean McCoy, who made very little impact in the first five weeks of the season.

11. Ronald Darby, cornerback, Bills

If a rookie cornerback was going to make the team, we'd take Darby over Kansas City's Marcus Peters. While Peters has more interceptions and passes defensed, Darby gave up far fewer big plays. He was one of the NFL's steadiest cornerbacks, which is remarkable for such a young player.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content