NFC Pro Bowl Roster 2013: Players Snubbed by Ultra-Deep Positions

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IDecember 27, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 23:   Luke Kuechly #59 of the Carolina Panthers watches on during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Bank of America Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There are two kinds of snubs. 

The first kind is the one everyone loves to complain about. From this point forward, we might be calling it the "John Sullivan Snub."

Jeff Saturday, you know, the center who was recently benched by the Green Bay Packers, somehow earned a Pro Bowl nomination over Sullivan, who has been a key part in clearing the way for Adrian Peterson to rumble his way to one of the best seasons ever for a running back. 

One guy completely deserves a spot, but is ousted by someone who doesn't even come close to justifying his selection. Snub No. 1. 

The second kind is the one that doesn't get talked about as much.

Often times, a player puts together what would normally be a standout season but gets "snubbed" because there are simply too many talented players who also warrant a trip to Honolulu. They become victims of playing a position where there is too much talent. 

Let's take a look at this year's players who fall in that second category. 

Note: A complete look at both Pro Bowl rosters can be found at the bottom of this page, or at


Luke Kuechly, ILB, Carolina Panthers

From a statistical standpoint, it's going to be difficult to find an inside linebacker with a résumé as impressive as Kuechly's. 

The rookie currently leads the NFL in total tackles and has chipped in a sack, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries for the improving Carolina Panthers defense. 

When you watch him fly from sideline to sideline and cover seemingly the entire field, it's hard to call him anything but a Pro Bowler, even as a first-year player. 

But the NFC is absolutely stacked at the position. 

Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, who received the two selections, are completely worthy of the spots, but in addition to Kuechly, Chad Greenway, James Laurinaitis, Lavonte David and Bobby Wagner can all make arguments for being chosen, as well.

There was no way for the voters to go wrong at this position. 


Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots

When you think about the New England Patriots, you think about Tom Brady. About those dreamy eyes. About that dominant pass attack. About Wes Welker. Rob Gronkowski. The endless amount of weapons through the air.

You don't think about the running game.

But Ridley emerged from a crowded backfield this season and has racked up 1,189 rushing yards (seventh in the NFL) and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Unfortunately for the young back, the AFC simply features too many talented ball carriers.

Arian Foster has ridden his work-horse load to 1,328 yards and 14 scores. Jamaal Charles has amassed 1,456 yards on a ridiculous 5.4 yards per carry and managed to break the 200-yard mark twice in the season. Ray Rice has suffered from poor play-calling at times, but has still tallied 1,138 rushing yards to go with 61 receptions, 478 receiving yards and 10 total scores. 

Ridley would usually be deserving of a spot, but it's tough to keep out any of those three. 


Anthony Spencer, OLB, Dallas Cowboys

Could the entire NFC linebacker corps be any more stacked?

We've already covered just how many options there were at the inside position. Now let's take a look at the outside.

The starters, Aldon Smith and Clay Matthews (CLAY...Matthews!), have been about as close to unblockable as physically possible. Smith has recorded a stunning 19.5 sacks while Matthews, despite playing in just 11 games, has racked up an equally impressive 12.0 on the season.

The third choice is where things get a little cloudy. 

DeMarcus Ware got the nod, likely because of his 11.5 sacks, but his teammate Anthony Spencer proved to be much more versatile, recording 10.0 sacks to go with 87 total tackles. 

In the end, I probably would have gone with the lesser-talked about Cowboy—Spencer—but you're basically splitting hairs either way. 


AFC Offense

Position Player Team
QB Peyton Manning* Denver Broncos 
QB Tom Brady  New England Patriots 
QB Matt Schaub Houston Texans 
RB Arian Foster* Houston Texans 
RB Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs 
RB Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens 
FB Vonta Leach* Baltimore Ravens 
WR A.J. Green* Cincinnati Bengals
WR Andre Johnson* Houston Texans 
WR Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts 
WR Wes Welker New England Patriots 
TE Rob Gronkowski* New England Patriots 
TE Heath Miller Pittsburgh Steelers 
T Joe Thomas* Cleveland Browns 
T Duane Brown* Houston Texans 
T Ryan Clady Denver Broncos 
G Logan Mankins* New England Patriots 
G Marshal Yanda* Baltimore Ravens 
G Wade Smith Houston Texans 
C Maurkice Pouncey* Pittsburgh Steelers 
C Chris Myers Houston Texans 
P Dustin Colquitt Kansas City Chiefs 
PK Phil Dawson  Cleveland Browns 
KR Jacoby Jones  Baltimore Ravens 
ST Matthew Slater New England Patriots 

*Denotes starter


AFC Defense

Position Player Team
DL J.J. Watt* Houston Texans 
DL Cameron Wake* Miami Dolphins 
DL Geno Atkins*  Cincinnati Bengals 
DL Vince Wilfork*  New England Patriots 
DL Elvis Dumervil Denver Broncos 
DL Haloti Ngata  Baltimore Ravens 
LB Von Miller*  Denver Broncos 
LB Tamba Hali*  Kansas City Chiefs 
LB Jerod Mayo* New England Patriots 
LB Robert Mathis  Indianapolis Colts 
LB Derrick Johnson  Kansas City Chiefs 
CB Champ Bailey* Denver Broncos 
CB Johnathan Joseph*  Houston Texans 
CB Antonio Cromartie  New York Jets 
S Ed Reed* Baltimore Ravens
S Eric Berry*  Kansas City Chiefs 
S LaRon Landry New York Jets 

*Denotes starter


NFC Offense

Position Player Team
QB Aaron Rodgers* Green Bay Packers
QB Matt Ryan  Atlanta Falcons 
QB Robert Griffin III  Washington Redskins 
RB Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings 
RB Marshawn Lynch   Seattle Seahawks 
RB Frank Gore  San Francisco 49ers 
FB Jerome Felton*  Minnesota Vikings 
WR Calvin Johnson*  Detroit Lions 
WR Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears 
WR Julio Jones  Atlanta Falcons 
WR Victor Cruz  New York Giants 
TE Tony Gonzalez*  Atlanta Falcons 
TE Jason Witten  Dallas Cowboys 
T Russell Okung*  Seattle Seahawks 
T Joe Staley* San Francisco 49ers 
T Trent Williams  Washington Redskins 
G Mike Iupati*  San Francisco 49ers 
G Jahri Evans*  New Orleans Saints 
G Chris Snee  New York Giants 
C Max Unger*  Seattle Seahawks 
C Jeff Saturday Green Bay Packers 
P Thomas Morstead  New Orleans Saints 
PK  Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings 
KR Leon Washington Seattle Seahawks 
ST  Lorenzo Alexander Washington Redskins 

*Denotes starter


NFC Defense

Position Player Team
DL Jason Pierre-Paul* New York Giants 
DL Julius Peppers*  Chicago Bears 
DL Justin Smith* San Francisco 49ers 
DL Henry Melton*  Chicago Bears 
DL Jared Allen  Minnesota Vikings 
DL Gerald McCoy  Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
LB Aldon Smith*  San Francisco 49ers 
LB DeMarcus Ware*  Dallas Cowboys 
LB Patrick Willis*  San Francisco 49ers 
LB Clay Matthews  Green Bay Packers 
LB NaVorro Bowman  San Francisco 49ers 
CB Charles Tillman*  Chicago Bears 
CB Tim Jennings*  Chicago Bears 
CB Patrick Peterson  Arizona Cardinals 
S Dashon Goldson*  San Francisco 49ers 
S Donte Whitner*  San Francisco 49ers 
S Earl Thomas Seattle Seahawks 

*Denotes starter



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