Tonight, the NFL will announce their 2014 Pro Bowl rosters on NFL Network at 9:00 PM ET. In past years, the NFL has unveiled both AFC and NFC rosters. This year, in an effort to get fans and players more engaged in the game, the league will simply announce a pool of 90 players. The top two vote-getters will then become captains for a “Pro Bowl Draft” that will be held on January 22nd. The Game itself will be played on January 26th in Honolulu.
That being said, while you likely don’t care about the outcome of the game itself, it’s still fun to see who makes it from the Patriots. Here’s our guess at who makes it for New England:
Tom Brady, Quarterback: Brady has been Captain Comeback all season in New England, and is sure to get recognized for his sustained high-level of play with a makeshift receiving corps.
Logan Mankins, Guard: Mankins hasn’t had a great season, but he has been the Patriots’ most consistent lineman and his switch to left tackle the last two weeks is sure to be recognized. He also has the benefit of reputation on his side.
Chandler Jones, Defensive End: Jones is tied for fifth in the league in sacks, and has been one of just a few Patriots defenders to remain healthy all year. He’s also been a consistent factor in run defense, ranking third in the NFL in tackles amongst the league’s top 50 in sacks (behind Terrell Suggs and Rob Ninkovich). If the Patriots get one defender in the Pro Bowl, it’s likely to be Jones.
Stephen Gostkowski, Kicker: Gostkowski has become an elite kicker in 2013, hitting on 34 of 37 field goals, including many of the clutch variety. He was the leading vote getter at the position in early December. He’s looks like a lock. The new voting should allow Justin Tucker to get in as well.
Matt Slater, Special Teams: Slater has gotten in for special teams before, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get the nod again. He’s been awesome this year.
There are a couple of others that could get in as well. Aqib Talib’s play has fallen off since coming back from a hip injury, but he was a leading vote-getter in early December and could get in based off his strong start to the year. Julian Edelman probably won’t make at a crowded wide receiver position, but could grab the punt return spot based off of name recognition.