The first-ever Pro Bowl draft was designed by the NFL to inject some fresh energy into the annual pro football all-star game. Without conferences to separate the teams, rosters were assembled by NFL legends Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, marked the second day of the Pro Bowl draft, and with so much star power on hand in Hawaii, the Twitter folk had plenty to say about the happenings as the selection process unfolded.
Before getting into the chatter on social media, here is an overview of all of the selections from Day 2:
|Team Sanders||Position||Team Rice|
|Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts||QB||Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers|
|Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers||QB||Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles||QB|
|RB||LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles|
|Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers||RB||Matt Forte, Chicago Bears|
|Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins||RB||DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys|
|A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals||WR||Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears|
|Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys||WR||Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns|
|Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers||WR||Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears|
|DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles||WR||Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals|
|Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns||TE||Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints|
|Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys||TE||Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons|
|Branden Albert, Kansas City Chiefs||OT||Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns|
|Trent Williams, Washington Redskins||OT||Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys|
|Duane Brown, Houston Texans||OT||Jordan Gross, Carolina Panthers|
|Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills||DE||Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints|
|Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers||DE||Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins|
|Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs||OLB||Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins (via trade)||OLB||John Abraham, Arizona Cardinals|
|Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens||OLB||Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts (via trade)|
|Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers||ILB||Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals|
|Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville Jaguars||ILB||Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Tim Jennings, Chicago Bears||CB||Alterraun Verner, Tennessee Titans|
|Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals||CB||Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns|
|Darrelle Revis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers||CB||Brandon Flowers, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Brent Grimes, Miami Dolphins||CB||Antonio Cromartie, New York Jets|
|T.J. Ward, Cleveland Browns||S||Antrel Rolle, New York Giants|
|Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs||S||Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills|
|Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers||S||Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers|
|Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens||K||Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots|
|Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings||PR||Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs|
There were polarizing reactions about the entire process. For example, JJ Zachariason endorsed the new format, while ex-Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis felt it was a mockery:
Seriously, I'm a fan of this Pro Bowl draft.— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) January 23, 2014
"They're making a joke of the Pro Bowl. I hate it." - Jerome Bettis on NFL Live— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 22, 2014
ESPN's Michael C. Wright was initially taken aback, but became sold on the draft as the saga unfolded:
When they announced new Pro Bowl format I thought it was wack. I actually like this.— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) January 23, 2014
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport was a fan and tuned in—even while reporting on such things as the Cleveland Browns reportedly courting fired Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano:
Love it. Will be watching RT @SteveMariucci: NFL Network gang getting ready to present the first ever Pro Bowl Draft. 8:00 pm EST— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 22, 2014
Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon led the league in yardage despite playing just 14 games this past season and had the quip of the evening. While he was selected No. 10 overall, Gordon did start wondering about a supplemental draft, which is how he landed in Cleveland back in 2012:
Does this thing have a supplemental draft..??— Josh Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) January 23, 2014
In the actual draft two seasons ago, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was selected No. 1 overall. On Wednesday, he was the first choice by Team Sanders yet again.
Bleacher Report captured Luck's amazing, appropriately dorky bucket hat as he shook Prime Time's hand:
Andrew Luck goes No. 1 overall in the Pro Bowl Draft to Team Sanders! pic.twitter.com/ktBrNyzKuI— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2014
Gil Brandt of NFL.com pointed out how half of the QBs selected played high school football in Texas but weren't recruited by the Longhorns:
Half the QBs in this year's #ProBowl played high school football in Texas (save your breath, I know, none recruited by Longhorns)— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) January 23, 2014
Andrew Brandt of ESPN noted the disparity between the winners and losers of the game, which should create at least a marginal amount of additional competitive fire:
Nice to see Pro Bowl players making $26,000 (losers) and $53,000 (winners) for a week in paradise getting drafted and getting Lei'd.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) January 23, 2014
TheDrawPlay.com's Dave Rappoccio wasn't so much disenchanted with the draft as he was with the bland uniforms:
Have you guys seen the Pro Bowl uniforms this year? Grey and White. It's like they want you to turn the channel— Dave Rappoccio (@DrawPlayDave) January 22, 2014
Arizona Cardinals star cornerback Patrick Peterson was the first defensive player taken at No. 5 overall. When it was realized he'd do battle with teammate Larry Fitzgerald, AZCardinals.com's Darren Urban tweeted a humble brag of sorts:
Larry Fitzgerald vs Patrick Peterson in the Pro Bowl. It'll be just like an #AzCardinals practice.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) January 23, 2014
One nice form of entertainment as Team Sanders and Team Rice were on the clock were some of the interviews and the on-camera, individual player testimony as to why they should be picked.
NFL Network's official Twitter account captured some of the horseplay that went on amid the loose atmosphere:
But by the time the broadcast was over, a storyline from the NFC Championship Game already shifted the focus—at least for league writer Brian McIntyre.
While the network tried to recap the action from Hawaii, McIntyre spoke for many in being more interested in the live field sound between Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree:
Please, NFL Network. Roll the Sherman-Crabtree mic'd up segment. 8-plus minutes of silly Pro Bowl draft recap is 8 minutes too many.— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) January 23, 2014
The Pro Bowl draft served its purpose.
By adding a new, somewhat exciting element of unpredictability to what's become a rather dull experience for fans not actually in attendance, the league has to be pleased overall. Having said that, the process on Day 2 did drag on for three hours and could have been a bit more succinct in its execution.
It wasn't bad for an experimental trial by fire, but it remains to be seen whether or not this draft is a sustainable model for the Pro Bowl or if it will be a one-year wonder.
These star-studded squads will do battle on Sunday, Jan. 26, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. ET at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium.