NFL Pro Bowl Draft 2014: Expectations for Team Jerry Rice vs. Team Deion Sanders

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NFL Pro Bowl Draft 2014: Expectations for Team Jerry Rice vs. Team Deion Sanders
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we know the identities of the players who will partake in the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on Jan. 26, we can now begin to better understand how Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will pick their teams.

That's right, two NFL legends will pick teams in the first-ever Pro Bowl fantasy draft. The event will air at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Both Rice and Sanders will have help from two captains and an NFL.com fantasy champion.

Anything can and surely will happen in the inaugural event.

Here is a look at the entire list of draft-eligible players, followed by what to expect from Rice and Sanders in the upcoming draft.

 

Pro Bowl Roster - Offense
Pos. Player Team
QB Tom Brady New England Patriots
QB Drew Brees New Orleans Saints
QB Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
QB Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
QB Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers
QB Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks
WR Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers
WR Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys
WR Josh Gordon Cleveland Browns
WR A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals
WR Andre Johnson Houston Texans
WR Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions
WR Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears
WR Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos
OT Branden Albert Kansas City Chiefs
OT Jason Peters Philadelphia Eagles
OT Tyron Smith Dallas Cowboys
OT Joe Staley San Francisco 49ers
OT Joe Thomas Cleveland Browns
OT Trent Williams Washington Redskins
OG Jahri Evans New Orleans Saints
OG Ben Grubbs New Orleans Saints
OG Mike Iupati San Francisco 49ers
OG Logan Mankins New England Patriots
OG Louis Vasquez Denver Broncos
OG Marshal Yanda Baltimore Ravens
C Ryan Kalil Carolina Panthers
C Alex Mack Cleveland Browns
C Mike Pouncey Miami Dolphins
C Max Unger Seattle Seahawks
TE Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns
TE Vernon Davis San Francisco 49ers
TE Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints
TE Julius Thomas Denver Broncos
RB Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs
RB Matt Forte Chicago Bears
RB Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers
RB Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks
RB LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles
RB Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
FB Marcel Reece Oakland Raiders
FB Mike Tolbert Carolina Panthers

NFL

 

Pro Bowl Roster - Defense
Pos. Player Team
DE Greg Hardy Carolina Panthers
DE Cameron Jordan New Orleans Saints
DE Robert Quinn St. Louis Rams
DE Cameron Wake Miami Dolphins
DE J.J. Watt Houston Texans
DE Mario Williams Buffalo Bills
DT Gerald McCoy Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DT Haloti Ngata Baltimore Ravens
DT Dontari Poe Kansas City Chiefs
DT Justin Smith San Francisco 49ers
DT Ndamukong Suh Detroit Lions
DT Kyle Williams Buffalo Bills
OLB John Abraham Arizona Cardinals
OLB Ahmad Brooks San Francisco 49ers
OLB Tamba Hali Kansas City Chiefs
OLB Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs
OLB Robert Mathis Indianapolis Colts
OLB Terrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens
MLB NaVorro Bowman San Francisco 49ers
MLB Vontaze Burfict Cincinnati Bengals
MLB Luke Kuechly Carolina Panthers
MLB Patrick Willis San Francisco 49ers
CB Brandon Flowers Kansas City Chiefs
CB Brent Grimes Miami Dolphins
CB Joe Haden Cleveland Browns
CB Patrick Peterson Arizona Cardinals
CB Darrelle Revis Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CB Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks
CB Aqib Talib New England Patriots
CB Alterraun Verner Tennessee Titans
FS Jairus Byrd Buffalo Bills
FS Earl Thomas Seattle Seahawks
FS Eric Weddle San Diego Chargers
SS Eric Berry Kansas City Chiefs
SS Kam Chancellor Seattle Seahawks
SS Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL

 

Pro Bowl Roster - Special Teams
Pos. Player Team
P Brandon Fields Miami Dolphins
P Johnny Hekker St. Louis Rams
K Matt Prater Denver Broncos
K Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens
PR Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers
PR Dexter McCluster Kansas City Chiefs
ST Justin Bethel Arizona Cardinals
ST Matthew Slater New England Patriots

NFL

 

Team Rice

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Fans have to know where Rice is headed with his team from the get-go—offense, offense and more offense.

Rice does not lack for options. At quarterback, he can either pick from savvy veterans like Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, or he can roll with young blood like Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.

But where is Rice most likely to turn for help early? Wide receivers, of course. As Rice was in his day, several names pop up as stars who will make any player under center better as ESPN illustrates:

Rice can go with Megatron (1,492 yards, 12 touchdowns) from the Detroit Lions, but his options far from end there. If he wants to stick with reliable veterans, Rice can grab up Andre Johnson (1,358 yards and five scores), who helped to make Chase Keenum look like a star at times in 2013 for the Houston Texans. The Chicago Bears' Brandon Marshall (1,221 yards, 11 scores) is an option too after he survived a quarterback carousel.

But the young blood is once again where Rice should look. Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns broke records this year en route to 1,564 yards and nine scores, including two straight games with more than 230 yards—all while missing the first two games of the season.

As Dan Murphy, Cleveland's Communications Coordinator, points out, Gordon was the best deep threat in the NFL:

Gordon, along with corner Joe Haden, were thrilled with their nominations as the NFL Network Twitter captured:

But Rice knows his defense, too. He had great praise for J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Robert Quinn of the St. Louis Rams, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner:

Expect Rice's team to be a fantasy guru's dream. The Pro Bowl is known for sexy offense and little defense, and Rice is sure to assemble a squad that will put up historic numbers.

 

Team Sanders

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Which team will win?

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But do not sleep on Primetime's team, because Sanders has plenty of defensive options to work with to counter what will be an explosive Team Rice.

Let's go ahead and jump into top cornerbacks, because we know that is where Sanders will look for the most help.

First up, the New England Patriots' Aqib Talib, who has made a habit of shutting down the best of the best this year, and even cashed in thanks to his selection, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

While other big names such as Haden and Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals are great options, expect Sanders to also give the nod to another young gun about to take the league by storm—Alterraun Verner of the Tennessee Titans.

Verner ranks as the No. 11 corner in the NFL this year according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He is already thrilled about his big opportunity as the team's Twitter illustrates:

But Sanders, who is more than familiar with defenses, will surely know how to draft in the trenches, too. He already (while cracking a joke at his age) has his eye on Robert Mathis (53 tackles, 17.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles) from the Indianapolis Colts, as the 11-year pro revealed on Twitter:

If Rice's team is stacked to the brim with offensive studs, Sanders' squad will come with a lineup sure to make the Ryan family tree blush.

Just imagining the possibilities has to excite fans. Not a bad way to make the Pro Bowl entertaining again, right?

 

Note: All draft info and official rosters courtesy of NFL.com.

 

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