The NFL has released the 2012 Pro Bowl rosters, and it features seven Patriots:
QB Tom Brady
WR Wes Welker
OG Logan Mankins
TE Rob Gronkowski
DT Vince Wilfork
ILB Jerod Mayo
ST Matthew Slater
Looking at this list, glad to see the Patriots' "locks" made the list. The three "locks" in my opinion were Brady, Welker, and Wilfork. All three have had tremendous seasons, and all three deserve the Pro Bowl honor.
It's a bit of a surprise to see Logan Mankins here. Mankins has struggled a bit this year. A lot of that is likely due to his health, as he's battled multiple ailments. He's played only nine games, and you have to wonder if he's getting in on reputation more than anything else.
As for inside linebacker Jerod Mayo, his statistics would certainly suggest he's having a great season. He's played in every game, and has 142 tackles and a career high three sacks. Nonetheless, I'd argue that he hasn't been the Patriots' best inside linebacker this season. That distinction belongs to Brandon Spikes, who seems to make a momentum changing hit at least once a game. Not to mention he's the key to the Patriots' run defense, is an excellent blitzer, and even has seven pass deflections to his name this season.
Were there any other snubs? It's hard to say. I think you could make the argument that both running back Stevan Ridley and cornerback/safety Devin McCourty deserved spots. For Ridley, it's obvious why he didn't make the roster - he had Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, and Ray Rice ahead of him. While Ridley does have close rushing stats to a player such as Rice, he's not anywhere close to the receiver Rice is. As for McCourty, he likely didn't get in because he doesn't have a true position this year. At safety, he's far and away better than LaRon Landry, and has had a better year than both Eric Berry and arguably Ed Reed. At cornerback, he should be right up there with Champ Bailey and Jonathan Joseph as well. Unfortunately for McCourty, the poor reputation of the Patriots' defensive backfield, and his lack of a true position likely hurt him.
Lastly, I have yet to mention the selections of Rob Gronkowski and Matt Slater. Definitely a nice honor for Slater for the second year in a row. He's continued to display his value to the team on special teams this season, and is arguably still the Patriots' best cover man. As for Gronkowski, it may have been a mild surprise to see him voted in after having only played 10 games. Then again, considering his dominance in those 10 games, it's really not a surprise at all.
What are your thoughts on the selections?