The NFL proves time and time again that the annual Pro Bowl is a popularity contest. Many unknown valuable players are snubbed, while popular players, who don’t play Pro-Bowl worthy, make the contest.
Unlike years before, no alternatives for the Pro Bowl will be announced, due to the cancellation of the annual event. Here are five players who were snubbed from this year’s Pro Bowl nomination.
Trey Hendrickson (Defensive End, New Orleans Saints)
Trey Hendrickson is apart of one of the best defenses in the NFL, belonging to the New Orleans Saints. His snub is often overshadowed compared to the likes of premiere pass-rushers like Khalil Mack and Yannick Ngakoue.
Hendrickson sacked the opposing QB five more times this season (12.5) than his colleague, Cameron Jordan (7.5), who has been to Pro Bowls in the past. To this point, Hendrickson has more QB hits this year than in his first three years combined with 24. Not to mention, he has more quarterback pressures than Jordan (31) as well.
There is no excuse to not nominate Hendrickson to his first Pro Bowl. Swapping with teammate Cameron Jordan or Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end Brandon Graham would make it fair.
Wyatt Teller (Offensive Guard, Cleveland Browns)
This snub is one of the most remarkable in history to this date. The Cleveland Browns acquired Teller with a 7th-round pick in exchange for a 5th and a 6th in 2019, a year after the Buffalo Bills drafted him. After remaining a backup for the first nine weeks, Teller started for the rest of the 2019 season.
With a coaching change and a general manager change, the Browns put more talent on the offensive line, drafting a future star in Jedrick Wills and signing former Titans’ star Jack Conklin. Not to mention, the line is being coached by Bill Callahan, the best offensive line coach in the NFL.
Though Teller allowed three sacks (to this point), Pro Football Focus graded him as the highest offensive guard at 93.8. Teller is apart of an offensive line that is blowing holes for the best running duo in the league with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. It is very noticeable when Teller is not on the field for Cleveland.
Despite being a snub, there is still hope for Wyatt Teller to be an All-Pro.
Leonard Williams (Defensive Tackle, New York Giants)
There is no doubt that Leonard Williams is having a career year. The New York Giants are one of the top teams in sacks compared to the last few seasons. With defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham using a Belichick-like defensive scheme, Williams fits right in.
Williams, to this point, has 8.5 sacks, 35 quarterback pressures, 25 quarterback hits, and 11 tackles for a loss, which are all career highs and ties.
A bold take, but replacing Fletcher Cox with Williams may do the trick to make the Pro Bowl fair. Cox has 6.5 sacks, 21 pressures, and 9 quarterback hits. Williams is better in all of those categories compared to Cox.
James Robinson (Running Back, Jacksonville Jaguars)
There are two new bright spots in Jacksonville: the 1st overall pick to likely select Trevor Lawrence and running back James Robinson. Robinson is one of the few rushers in the league to reach over 1,000 rushing yards. He is the first undrafted free agent to reach over 1,000 yards since Philip Lindsay in 2018. Unlike Robinson, Lindsay went to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year.
Many valuable and Pro-Bowl caliber players are overshadowed due to their organization’s incompetence. Robinson is a prime example. Not to mention, three different starting quarterbacks have handed Robinson the ball this season.
During his rookie season, with one game left against the Indianapolis Colts, James Robinson rushed for over 100 yards four times. Robinson has rushed 240 times for 1070 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also is a receiving weapon for the Jaguars, catching 49 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns.
If anyone deserves the team MVP for the Jaguars, it is Robinson. Swapping Las Vegas Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs for Robinson is a good idea if swapping was legal.
Calvin Ridley (Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons)
Despite the first two seasons of his career, Calvin Ridley is now in the category of 1,000+ yard receivers. So far, Ridley caught 82 passes for 1,322 yards and 9 touchdowns. Minnesota Vikings’ rookie wideout Justin Jefferson has 10 fewer receiving yards than the third-year man out of Alabama.
On a fantasy football note, many team owners are regretting drafting Ridley. Many will reconsider their options in 2021.
Ridley is outperforming his wideout teammate, Julio Jones, who has missed six games with injuries this season, thus failing to reach 1,000 yards for the first time since 2013.
Calvin Ridley is definitely a Pro-Bowl snub, however, the current nominees are statistically better. Hopefully, Ridley’s effort is not water under the bridge, and is apart of a 2021 All-Pro Team.