Pro Bowl

Pro Bowl 2014 Roster: Unconferenced Teams, Captains and Expectations

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, left, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, center, and Hall of Famer and alumni team captain Deion Sanders, right, check their notes during day two of the 2014 Pro Bowl Draft, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Kapolei, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
Eugene Tanner/Associated Press
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2014

Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice played the role of fantasy football general manager as they completed their rosters for the 2014 Pro Bowl.

For the first time ever, the Pro Bowl teams aren't broken down by conference, but rather the result of a draft between Sanders and Rice.

The idea wasn't for everybody, and the draft itself certainly seemed to drag on, especially in the later rounds, when all of the skill-position players were gone.

But this was an experiment by the league to try and reinvigorate what had been a dying All-Star Game in the Pro Bowl. Fans got tired of seeing the same guys facing off against each other and almost no defense being played. The draft was a way to add a different element.

Looking at the rosters and some of the banter going on Wednesday in Hawaii, it's hard to see how the draft itself was a failure.

The captains were determined by taking the leading vote-getters on offense and defense from each conference. If a player was injured or taking part in the Super Bowl, he was excluded.

Rice won the coin toss and selected Drew Brees and Robert Quinn, leaving Sanders with Jamaal Charles and J.J. Watt.

From there, it was a straight draft, with the two alternating picks. The draft was stretched across Wednesday and Thursday.

Here are the results.

Day 1 Results
TeamPlayerNFL Team
Defensive Tackle
Team SandersNdamukong SuhDetroit Lions
Team SandersGerald McCoyTampa Bay Buccaneers
Team SandersDontari PoeKansas City Chiefs
Team RiceKyle Williams (assigned)Buffalo Bills
Team RiceJason HatcherDallas Cowboys
Team RiceMarcell DareusBuffalo Bills
Guard
Team RiceJahri EvansNew Orleans Saints
Team RiceBen GrubbsNew Orleans Saints
Team RiceEvan MathisPhiladelphia Eagles
Team SandersMarshal YandaBaltimore Ravens
Team SandersLogan MankinsNew England Patriots
Team SandersKyle Long (assigned)Chicago Bears
Center
Team SandersMike PounceyMiami Dolphins
Team SandersAlex MackCleveland Browns
Team RiceRyan KalilCarolina Panthers
Team RiceNick Mangold (assigned)New York Jets
Fullback
Team RiceMike TolbertCarolina Panthers
Team SandersMarcel Reece (assigned)Oakland Raiders
Special Teamer
Team SandersMatthew SlaterNew England Patriots
Team RiceJustin Bethel (assigned)Arizona Cardinals
Punter
Team RiceJohnny HekkerSt. Louis Rams
Team SandersBrandon Fields (assigned)Miami Dolphins
Long Snapper
Team SandersJ.J. JansenCarolina Panthers
Team RiceMatt OvertonIndianapolis Colts
NFL.com
Day 2 Results
TeamPlayerNFL Team
Quarterback
Team SandersAndrew LuckIndianapolis Colts
Team SandersCam NewtonCarolina Panthers
Team SandersNick FolesPhiladelphia Eagles
Team RiceDrew Brees (Captain)New Orleans Saints
Team RicePhilip RiversSan Diego Chargers
Team RiceAlex Smith (assigned)Kansas City Chiefs
Running Back
Team RiceLeSean McCoyPhiladelphia Eagles
Team RiceMatt ForteChicago Bears
Team RiceDeMarco MurrayDallas Cowboys
Team SandersJamaal Charles (Captain)Kansas City Chiefs
Team SandersEddie LacyGreen Bay Packers
Team SandersAlfred Morris (assigned)Washington Redskins
Wide Receiver
Team SandersA.J. GreenCincinnati Bengals
Team SandersDez BryantDallas Cowboys
Team SandersAntonio BrownPittsburgh Steelers
Team SandersDeSean JacksonPhiladelphia Eagles
Team RiceBrandon MarshallDenver Broncos
Team RiceJosh GordonCleveland Browns
Team RiceAlshon JefferyChicago Bears
Team RiceLarry Fitzgerald (assigned)Arizona Cardinals
Tight End
Team RiceJimmy GrahamNew Orleans Saints
Team RiceTony GonazlezAtlanta Falcons
Team SandersJordan Cameron (assigned)Cleveland Browns
Team SandersJason Witten (assigned)Dallas Cowboys
Offensive Tackle
Team SandersBranden AlbertKansas City Chiefs
Team SandersTrent WilliamsWashington Redskins
Team SandersDuane BrownHouston Texans
Team RiceJoe ThomasCleveland Browns
Team RiceTyron SmithDallas Cowboys
Team RiceDuane Brown (assigned)Houston Texans
Defensive End
Team RiceRobert Quinn (captain)St. Louis Rams
Team RiceCameron JordanNew Orleans Saints
Team RiceCameron WakeMiami Dolphins
Team SandersJ.J. Watt (captain)Houston Texans
Team SandersGreg HardyCarolina Panthers
Team SandersMario Williams (assigned)Buffalo Bills
Outside Linebacker
Team SandersTamba HaliKansas City Chiefs
Team SandersTerrell SuggsBaltimore Ravens
Team SandersBrian Orakpo (traded)Washington Redskins
Team RiceJustin HoustonKansas City Chiefs
Team RiceRobert Mathis (traded)Indianapolis Colts
Team RiceJohn Abraham (assigned)Arizona Cardinals
Inside Linebacker
Team RiceVontaze BurfictCincinnati Bengals
Team RiceDerrick JohnsonKansas City Chiefs
Team SandersLuke KuechlyCarolina Panthers
Team SandersPaul Posluszny (assigned)Jacksonville Jaguars
Cornerback
Team SandersPatrick PetersonArizona Cardinals
Team SandersDarrelle RevisTampa Bay Buccaneers
Team SandersBrent GrimesMiami Dolphins
Team SandersTim Jennings (assigned)Chicago Bears
Team RiceAlterraun VernerTennessee Titans
Team RiceJoe HadenCleveland Browns
Team RiceBrandon FlowersKansas City Chiefs
Team RiceAntonio CromartieNew York Jets
Safety
Team RiceJairus ByrdBuffalo Bills
Team RiceAntrel Rolle (assigned)New York Giants
Team RiceEric ReidSan Francisco 49ers
Team SandersEric BerryKansas City Chiefs
Team SandersEric WeddleSan Diego Chargers
Team SandersT.J. WardCleveland Browns
Kicker
Team SandersJustin TuckerBaltimore Ravens
Team RiceStephen GostkowskiNew England Patriots
Punt Returner
Team RiceDexter McClusterKansas City Chiefs
Team SandersCordarrelle PattersonMinnesota Vikings
NFL.com

Andrew Luck was the first overall pick on Thursday, going to Team Sanders. It wasn't much of a surprise, as it seemed "Prime Time" would go with a QB to counter Brees, so the only question was whether or not it would be Luck or Cam Newton. Plus, Luck gets reunited with head coach Chuck Pagano, who's coaching Team Sanders.

Sanders then went ahead and took Newton with his second pick, giving himself a phenomenal combination at quarterback.

With his first pick, Rice took Jimmy Graham, making sure to keep he and Drew Brees together.

Although this draft made things interesting during the buildup, it's hard to see how it will radically affect the game itself. There will still be a ton of points scored and little defense. Guys like Luck, Newton, A.J. Green, Josh Gordon and Dez Bryant will thrive, while it will be a day to forget for those stuck in the secondary.

It's not hard to see how the players will be unwilling to go full force in what is nothing more than a glorified exhibition game. Let's not forget Brees' injury during the 2007 Pro Bowl.

Andrew Brandt of The MMQB noted the financial incentives on the line for the players:

Taking a look at the rosters, Team Deion would have to get the slight edge. He did a great job loading up at QB and provided Luck, Cam Newton and Nick Foles with Green, Bryant, Antonio Brown and DeSean Jackson at wideout.

On the other side, Sanders has two of the best cornerbacks in the game, with Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis. Eric Berry and Eric Weddle will also help to provide what little defense Team Sanders will play.

It should be a fun game as long as you don't take it too seriously, and the draft has helped to craft matchups that otherwise wouldn't have happened.

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