Snubs are always a crucial part of the Pro Bowl conversation around this time of year, and the 2022 version of this annual all-star game certainly features a few notable omissions. I’ve put together a list of the ten worst snubs, including the players I would bump off the Pro Bowl roster to create room for my new selections.
Too often fans hijack the vote and get their favorite players selected. I suppose that isn’t a bad mentality if every fan takes that approach. It eventually evens out. However, some fans try to make educated guesses about which players deserve votes and overlook rising stars. That’s why the Pro Bowl voting process often lags a year behind when it comes to rewarding breakout candidates. It’s all about name recognition and branding.
You can view the complete Pro Bowl rosters here. I haven’t considered the alternates in this article because that information is still coming out.
Reach out to me on Twitter @Sam_Teets33 if you believe I missed anyone.
1. A.J. Terrell, CB Atlanta Falcons
Terrell is Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded cornerback (minimum 100 snaps) entering Week 16. He’s also the highest-graded coverage corner, having allowed 23 receptions on 52 targets for 150 yards and three touchdowns. He has two interceptions and 14 passes defensed.
Who would Terrell replace on the current NFC roster? Obviously not Jalen Ramsey, but I could make arguments for bumping out Trevon Diggs or Marshon Lattimore. Diggs has surrendered 899 yards and five touchdowns, while Lattimore is responsible for 804 yards and seven touchdowns. The two Pro Bowlers have incredible ball production (ten interceptions for Diggs and 18 passes defensed for Lattimore), but Terrell has had the better season.
2. Creed Humphrey, C Kansas City Chiefs
I suppose it’s fitting Corey Linsley wasn’t voted to the Pro Bowl when he was the league’s best center last year because the same thing happened to Humphrey. The rookie from Oklahoma is PFF’s highest-graded center by a mile, but fans decided to vote for Ryan Kelly. There must be more Colts fans in the world than I initially realized because this makes no sense.
Kelly surrendered 24 pressures and three sacks in the first 15 weeks. Humphrey has only allowed ten pressures and one sack despite having never played at the pro level until a few months ago. I guess we’ll have to wait until 2023 to see Humphrey get the respect he deserves.
3. Cordarrelle Patterson, RB Atlanta Falcons
Patterson is hardly your typical running back, but what he’s done this season after eight seasons of primarily serving as a return man is incredible. The former first-round pick entered Week 16 18th in the league with 1,089 yards from scrimmage and tied for eighth in total touchdowns with ten.
The NFC roster features two of the usual suspects at running back, including Alvin Kamara. Kamara is 73 yards from scrimmage behind Patterson because he missed some time, and he’s averaging fewer yards per touch (6.0 vs. 4.6).
The fifth-year Saint is undoubtedly one of the game’s best players, but he’s averaging career lows in rushing yards per attempt and receptions per game. I would’ve given his spot to Patterson.
4. De'Vondre Campbell, LB, Green Bay Packers
Campbell is PFF’s second-highest graded linebacker (minimum 100 snaps), right behind Micah Parsons (who you could argue should be classified as an edge rusher). The sixth-year pro is in the midst of a tremendous breakout season. He’s stuffed the stat sheet with 125 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and four passes defensed.
Campbell separated himself this season by barely missing tackles and playing excellent coverage. He’s tied for the fewest yards allowed per reception among the 55 linebackers with at least 500 snaps this season. For reference, Bobby Wagner has allowed over 250 more receiving yards than Campbell despite only playing 40 more snaps in coverage.
I think Wagner belongs in the Pro Bowl, which is why I’d advocate for classifying Parsons as a defensive end or outside linebacker and giving Campbell his spot.
5. Josh Allen, QB Buffalo Bills/Joe Burrow, QB Cincinnati Bengals
Lamar Jackson is a former MVP and an electrifying athlete capable of taking over games, but he hasn’t looked that special this season. He’s responsible for 2,882 passing yards, 767 rushing yards, 18 total touchdowns, and 15 total turnovers (including 13 interceptions).
It’s okay to admit this is a down year for Jackson. He’ll rebound in the future, but he shouldn’t have taken a Pro Bowl spot away from Allen or Burrow.
Patrick Mahomes isn’t infallible either. This is easily his worst season as a full-time starter, but the former MVP still has his team atop the AFC. Mahomes is also responsible for 30 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He’s suffered some of the worst interception luck this year.
Burrow is one of the few quarterbacks capable of challenging Mahomes’ bad luck. The former Heisman Trophy winner entered the week tied with Trevor Lawrence and Ryan Tannehill for the league-lead in interceptions with 14. However, he’s PFF’s highest-graded quarterback thanks to plenty of big plays, which have resulted in 26 touchdowns.
Allen isn’t the MVP candidate he was in 2020, and it would be one of the weakest MVP races in history if he won the award. However, the fourth-year quarterback overcame a rocky start to pass for 3,734 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions over the first 15 weeks.
6. Dallas Goedert, TE Philadelphia Eagles
People began chatting about Goedert’s Pro Bowl potential when he broke onto the scene in 2019. This year should’ve been his first trip to Orlando, but the fans voted for Kyle Pitts. The rookie is a generational talent, but he has five games with under 40 yards this season. Goedert has four such games, but he’s seen 30 fewer targets than Pitts.
The rookie tight end also only has one touchdown to Goedert’s four.
7. Diontae Johnson, WR Pittsburgh Steelers
Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin had the best season of the wide receivers that didn’t get invited to the Pro Bowl initially, but he’s playing in a stacked conference. His recent season-ending ACL injury likely means he won’t earn an alternate spot either. Godwin and Seattle’s Tyler Lockett just ran into a stacked deck in the NFC.
However, the AFC is more wide open. Ja’Marr Chase is having a phenomenal rookie season, but he’s been eclipsed by Tee Higgins in recent weeks. The LSU product hasn’t recorded 100 yards in a game since October, and he’s failed to finish a game with 50 or more yards in five of his past seven appearances.
Even Stefon Diggs, who was an All-Pro last year, only has two 100-yard outings in 2021. They came against the Jets and Texans. He’s failed to hit the 80-yard mark ten times this season. Keenan Allen has four games with 50 or fewer receiving yards, but he’s crossed the century mark four times.
In comparison, Johnson has six games with 80 or fewer yards, two games with under 50 yards, and three 100-yard outings. He entered Week 16 seventh in receiving yards per game and is top-five in yards after the catch.
Fans are probably still holding Johnson’s drop issues from 2020 against him. He had 15 drops in that frustrating campaign, but he’s cut that number to three this year. In comparison, Chase and Tyreek Hill entered Week 16 tied for the league lead with nine drops.
8. Matthew Stafford, QB Los Angeles Rams
I’ve never viewed Stafford as an elite quarterback (outside of his shortened 2019 season), but the former Lion has a serious case for jumping Kyler Murray. Murray made the Pro Bowl despite missing three games and throwing for three touchdowns and three interceptions since returning.
Murray was my MVP front-runner before getting injured, but he and the Cardinals have fallen off since his return. Stafford, who has over 1,000 more passing yards, 15 more passing touchdowns, ten more overall touchdowns, and the same number of interceptions (ten) despite 136 more pass attempts, deserved a Pro Bowl berth.
9. Antoine Winfield Jr., S Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winfield is PFF’s second-highest graded safety (minimum 200 snaps), but he got outvoted by Budda Baker and Harrison Smith at strong safety. Smith has a top-ten grade (overall and in coverage), so his selection makes plenty of sense. On the other hand, Baker ranks outside of the top 50 because of his poor tackling, ineffective pass rushing snaps, and struggles in coverage.
Baker is having the worst season of his career since he became a full-time starter. He’s missing over 14% of his tackle attempts, only has two pressures applied (his previous career-low is 11), and he’s allowed 17 receptions on 22 targets for over 12 yards per catch.
In comparison, Winfield is holding opponents to below ten yards per target and hasn’t surrendered a touchdown this season. His profile has flipped significantly from last year. As a rookie, Winfield thrived as a tackler and in run support, but he struggled in coverage. This season, he’s regressed in those areas but grown stronger in coverage.
My ideal solution involves obliterating the gap separating strong and free safeties on the ballot so Winfield can take Quandre Diggs’ place. Diggs has five interceptions for the second consecutive season, but he’s not even graded inside the top 30 safeties. I’d also be okay with giving Winfield Baker’s spot and replacing Diggs with New Orleans’ Marcus Williams.
10. Derrick Henry, RB Tennessee Titans
Yeah, I know he wouldn’t have a chance to play in Orlando, but do you realize Henry is still fifth in rushing yards and fourth in rushing touchdowns? The reigning rushing champion hasn’t played since Week 8. Granted, his 219 carries still rank sixth in the league, but you get my point.
Extra Point: NFC Offensive Tackles
Shout out to Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata from Philadelphia and Penei Sewell from Detroit. The two Eagles rank among PFF’s 12 highest-graded tackles and have only allowed three sacks and 25 pressures combined. Sewell is further down the list, having allowed 32 pressures and five sacks. However, he’s only allowed 11 pressures and one sack over the past nine games.
Going for Two: Stacked Safety Play
Buffalo’s Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer and Miami’s Jevon Holland are all top-ten safeties in PFF grading. I especially feel bad for Poyer because he’s never made the Pro Bowl before despite several worthy campaigns. The former seventh-rounder has only allowed 13 completions on 27 targets for no touchdowns and 61 yards this season. Sixty-one yards!
Combined, Hyde and Poyer have surrendered fewer receptions (29) than Derwin James, receiving yards (258) than Kevin Byard, and receiving touchdowns (two) than Jessie Bates.
Meanwhile, Holland leads all safeties with 15 pressures. He’s allowed three touchdowns but has strung together good ball production for a rookie.
Marcus Williams and Justin Simmons also have Pro Bowl cases. Simmons is once again having a solid season across the board, which features five interceptions and 12 passes defensed. Williams has two picks and eight passes defensed, but he’s only surrendered 103 yards in coverage.
Under the Radar Snub: Matt Feiler, G Los Angeles Chargers
Feiler was a tremendous offseason signing for the Chargers. He’s lined up primarily at left guard this season and has played a massive role in opening running lanes for Austin Ekeler. However, Feiler’s work in pass protection is less praiseworthy. He had some bad games early in the year against Las Vegas and Washington, which has led to him giving up 18 pressures and four sacks.
Shaq Mason, G New England Patriots
Lane Johnson, OT Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Mailata, OT Philadelphia Eagles
Penei Sewell, OT Detroit Lions
Austin Ekeler, RB Los Angeles Chargers
Chris Godwin, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyler Lockett, WR Seattle Seahawks
Jeffery Simmons, IDL Tennessee Titans
Lavonte David, LB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Demario Davis, LB New Orleans Saints
Eric Kendricks, LB Minnesota Vikings
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Cleveland Browns
Jamel Dean, CB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Casey Hayward Jr., CB Las Vegas Raiders
Jevon Holland, S Miami Dolphins
Micah Hyde, S Buffalo Bills
Jordan Poyer, S Buffalo Bills
Justin Simmons, S Denver Broncos
Marcus Williams, S New Orleans Saints