While I believe the Pro Bowl is ultimately meaningless, the idea of being recognized as one of the best players in the NFL is a good one. For that reason, I thought it’d be a worthwhile endeavor to share my Pro Bowl ballot and ultimately which Broncos made it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about it, and do recommend each and every one of you submit your own ballot here.
For the sake of transparency, I want to make it clear that I tried to be an objective as possible with my vote while also being fully aware that I do not focus on every team like I do the Broncos. Most of my Sundays are spent watching NFL Gamepass, and then I focus on the matchups the Broncos play against. I also did not use every selection. As an example: I did not vote for 6 fullbacks. I didn’t vote for long snappers as I don’t pay enough attention to differentiate and thought that unfair to the players.
- Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs
- Deshaun Watson - Houston Texans
- Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers
- Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills
- Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks
- Ryan Tannehill - Tennessee Titans
- I thought about Derek Carr, but think the players above have done more to carry their teams this season. At the end of the day there’s a big difference between a quarterback you win because of, and a quarterback you can win with. Above, the only quarterback below the first tier may be Ryan Tannehill. Maybe.
- The timing of the vote is going to make some of these tough because Wilson is coming off a stinker against the Giants, but I have faith he’ll get back to looking like a runner up for MVP down the home stretch.
- It won’t surprise me if the Josh Allen vs. Bradley Chubb debate gets to insane levels over these next two weeks, by the way. The Buffalo offense is starting to really heat up and the Broncos will have to try and defend Stefon Diggs with Michael Ojemudia or De’Vante Bausby.
- Derrick Henry - Tennessee Titans
- Dalvin Cook - Minnesota Vikings
- Nick Chubb - Cleveland Browns
- Darrell Henderson - Los Angeles Rams
- David Montgomery - Chicago Bears
- James Robinson - Jacksonville Jaguars
- Whether we agree or disagree, I do not believe total rushing yards is a clear indicator of talent. Situation matters a ton and really shows up when you look at Cook or Henry vs. Chubb, even if I consider the three in the same tier as players.
- While I thought about Aaron Jones of the Packers, the situation with Rodgers, the offensive line, and Matt LaFleur’s system that it became hard to choose him over some of the other deserving candidates. Both Jones and Jamaal Williams rank among the top ten in the league in success rate, which points to a very favorable environment.
This same rationale is what helped both Montgomery and Robinson, as both are dealing with shaky quarterback situations which makes it harder to run the ball effectively. Washington’s Antonio Gibson also drew a bunch of consideration, but his turf toe injury left me wary. If he’d gotten a larger role in the Ravens’ offense earlier, I would have considered J.K. Dobbins.
- I do not believe either Melvin Gordon or Phillip Lindsay will draw any serious Pro Bowl consideration this year. That isn’t a knock on them as players so much as some poor health luck and Gordon’s DUI knocked them out of games this year. Shaky quarterback and line play also hurt: even after last week’s game against the Chiefs, the Broncos line allows the most stuffs in the league.
- Davante Adams - Green Bay Packers
- Tyreek Hill - Kanas City Chiefs
- Justin Jefferson - Minnesota Vikings
- D.K. Metcalf - Seattle Seahawks
- Corey Davis - Tennessee Titans
- Adam Thielen - Minnesota Viking
- If he hadn’t been suspended, Will Fuller would have fought for that last spot. Missing time to injury is what ultimately knocked Julio Jones off my ballot. I also spent some time pondering Deandre Hopkins as he’s been a warhorse in the Cardinals’ offense lately. There’s a ton of other receivers who deserve a mention and I’m sure to omit one on accident if I list them, so let’s just pretend I did. It seems weird that you only get to vote for six receivers, but let’s try not to dwell on anything regarding the Pro Bowl too long.
- In another universe Courtland Sutton is healthy creating opportunities for Jerry Jeudy and both fight for this ballot. My hope is I get to visit there sometime.
Can't wait to see him run with Sutton. https://t.co/uSt3Kj5a4o— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 12, 2020
- Andy Janovich - Cleveland Browns
- Kyle Juszczyk - San Francisco 49ers
- Let’s just say I can’t wait to see what Elway does with that 2021 7th round pick.
- Travis Kelce - Kansas City Chiefs
- Darren Waller - Las Vegas Raiders
- T.J. Hockenson - Detroit Lions
- Mo Alie-Cox - Indianapolis Colts
- Mike Gesicki - Miami Dolphins
- Robert Tonyan - Green Bay Packers
- If you’re looking to make an argument that the Broncos should devote premium draft capital into finding a linebacker this year, the tight ends in the AFC West make a compelling argument.
- Alie-Cox is quietly emerging as one of the better all around players at the position.
- Gesicki is operating as the Dolphins number two receiver for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa.
- I almost went with just five players here because Tonyan’s producing in a really favorable environment. I just think he’s been good enough in his role that it’s worth celebrating.
- If Noah Fant doesn’t improve as a blocker, he’ll need more touchdowns to make it to Hawaii.
- David Bakhtiari - Green Bay Packers
- Garett Bolles - Denver Broncos
- Trent Williams - San Francisco 49ers
- Tristan Wirfs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Jack Conklin - Cleveland Browns
- Michael Onwenu - New England Patriots
- Wirfs has had some rookie moments, but the way he’s stepped in without an offseason is really something. Coming into the year I had him as my top tackle, but thought he’d need a little time to really pick it up. I was wrong.
- Even after Cover2Broncos spoke with Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey last summer, I had my doubts about Garett Bolles developing. I made this err after I read Timo Riske’s study on positional development last spring and learned It is not unusual for a tackle to figure it out in year 4. My mistake lay in my belief that at Bolles’ advanced age relative to most tackles with his experience would limit how much he could improve. I’m so glad he proved me wrong.
- Wyatt Teller - Cleveland Browns
- Joel Bitonio - Cleveland Browns
- Brandon Scherff - Washington Football Team
- Dalton Risner - Denver Broncos
- Shaq Mason - New England Patriots
- Ali Marpet - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- This may be a homer pick on Risner over someone like Quenton Nelson, Chris Lindstrom, or Joe Thuney, but let me explain:
If you had asked me a month ago if I thought he should make the Pro Bowl, I would have told you no. Early in the year he was having trouble with stunts and the quick twitch rushers he was coming across. This was really notable in the first three weeks and has cropped up here and there since. At least for me, it isn’t enough to tank all the things he’s done well this year. His ability to lead for the Broncos power and pin-and-pull concepts are a big reason why the running game has become one of the five best off right tackle and end by Adjusted Line Yards. On top of that, he’s been a steadying force for Lloyd Cushenberry even while Graham Glasgow misses time due to injury.
- Corey Linsley - Green Bay Packers
- Brandon Linder - Jacksonville Jaguars
- J.C. Tretter - Cleveland Browns
- Voting for Linsley with the assumption his knee injury doesn’t completely derail his season, as he’s been very good.
- Myles Garrett - Cleveland Browns
- Joey Bosa - Los Angeles Chargers
- Chase Young - Washington Football Team
- J.J. Watt - Houston Texans
- Shelby Harris - Denver Broncos
- Brian Burns - Carolina Panthers
In another life Shelby Harris is an NBA DPOTY pic.twitter.com/0n9wo6eqVr— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 18, 2020
- Aaron Donald - Los Angeles Rams
- Cameron Heyward - Pittsburgh Steelers
- Grady Jarrett - Atlanta Falcons
- DeForest Buckner - Indianapolis Colts
- Chris Jones - Kansas City Chiefs
- Jeffrey Simmons - Tennessee Titans
- T.J. Watt - Pittsburgh Steelers
- Khalil Mack - Chicago Bears
- Shaq Barrett - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Leonard Floyd - Los Angeles Rams
- Z’Darius Smith - Green Bay Packers
- Myles Jack - Jacksonville Jaguars**
* If someone can call the NFL and let them know the 1980s called, the rest of us are ready to differentiate between 3-4 outside linebackers, 3-4 defensive ends, 4-3 defensive ends and tackles. They’re called Edge rushers and interior defensive lineman. It’s not that difficult. Stop making it difficult.
- I am quite happy with where Bradley Chubb is at in his development, all things considered. There’s no way around the fact that losing most of his sophomore season was unfortunate. With that in mind, I do believe he has a very, very bright future in Denver and look forward to watching him feast.
Inside Linebacker (Off ball linebacker)
- Fred Warner - San Francisco 49ers
- Bobby Wagner - Seattle Seahawks
- Lavonte David - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Eric Kendricks - Minnesota Vikings
- Demario Davis - New Orleans Saints
- Alexander Johnson - Denver Broncos
- Blake Martinez won’t ultimately make it, but he should be in the conversation. NFL Twitter laughed at Dave Gettleman when he signed the former Packer last spring. He’s been a glue guy in the middle of an overperforming defense.
** Myles Jack is an off-ball linebacker who could feasibly make this list if the NFL knew what they were doing.
- An elite run defender who helps to mask the issues with injuries in front of him, the threat Alexander Johnson poses as a pass rusher is a crucial part of the Broncos’ pressure scheme minus Von Miller. He’s also a solid player in coverage.
- Jalen Ramsey - Los Angeles Rams
- Bryce Callahan - Denver Broncos
- Jaire Alexander - Green Bay Packers
- Janoris Jenkins - New Orleans Saints
- Xavien Howard - Miami Dolphins
- Denzel Ward - Cleveland Browns
- Thought about Xavier Rhodes because unlike last year he’s played at a Pro Bowl level in Indianapolis for most of the season.
- I decided to vote for Bryce Callahan with the hope that he returns this season. Ultimately missed time could doom what’s been his best season as a Pro. A dang shame.
- Tyrann Mathieu - Kansas City Chiefs
- Budda Baker - Arizona Cardinals
- Harrison Smith - Minnesota Vikings
- I wouldn’t have voted for Smith before watching the Panthers game against the Vikings, but just seeing how he’s used in Zimmer’s defense sold me.
- Justin Simmons - Denver Broncos
- Jessie Bates - Cincinnati Bengals
- Minka Fitzpatrick - Pittsburgh Steelers
- John Johnson III - Los Angeles Rams
- Marcus Maye - New York Jets
- Simmons prowess in coverage, elite range, instincts, run defense, and versatility makes the Broncos defense what it currently is. A true franchise cornerstone.
Justin Simmons should have two picks today. Hero of the game. pic.twitter.com/TiusyW82j9— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 23, 2020
- Brandon McManus - Denver Broncos
For the majority of the season, McManus’s been the one consistently good thing Tom McMahon has had any sort of control over.
- Johnny Hekker - Los Angeles Rams
Not only can Hekker boot the eff out of a football, he’s also a threat on fakes.
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