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Green Bay Packers: Top 10 Players Most Likely to Make 2012 Pro Bowl

J FCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2016

Green Bay Packers: Top 10 Players Most Likely to Make 2012 Pro Bowl

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:  Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers takes the field during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Five Green Bay Packers were selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl, but not a single one actually suited up for the game.

    The reason? 

    Titletown's team was too busy getting healthy and preparing for Super Bowl XLV to worry about the meaningless contest a week before the big game.

    Packers players will strive to be in the same position next season, and while a few will be invited to Hawaii in 2011, they will hope they won't be required to attend.

    Some of the Packers' 2010 Pro Bowlers will have a great shot at winning the vote again, but other veterans may not make the cut.

    In this slideshow, I will examine 10 Packers who have a legitimate chance at reaching next season's Pro Bowl.

10. Mason Crosby

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 31:  Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates his field goal late in the fourth quarter that gave his team a 9-0 lead against the New York Jets on October 31, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford,
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    2011 Starter: David Akers

    Even if Mason Crosby manages to improve on his accuracy in 2011, he still is a long shot for a Pro Bowl selection.

    However, if he can repeat his rookie season, in which he was one of the league's top kickers, and become more accurate, then he'll at least be in the conversation among other NFC kickers to take a trip to Hawaii.

9. Jermichael Finley

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 27:  Jermichael Finley #88 of the Green Bay Packers reacts in the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 27, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won 20-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2011 Starter: Jason Witten

    If Jermichael Finley can compile an amazing comeback campaign and have the breakout year everyone was expecting last season, he could be headed to Hawaii instead of the IR.

    The only problem is he'll have to compete with superstar veterans like Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez on the ballot, but he has the skills and athleticism to do just that.

8. B.J. Raji

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  B.J. Raji #90 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after scoring on a 18-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Ch
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    2011 Starters: Jay Ratliff, Ndamukong Suh, Justin Smith

    B.J. Raji was a second alternate among interior lineman for last year's Pro Bowl, but one could make the argument he should've been a starter.

    Justin Smith and Ndamukong Suh deserved to be there, but Smith is listed as a defensive end, not a tackle. The NFC must've have been overloaded with DEs last season, so I guess they decided to throw him in on the interior.

    Anyway, Jay Ratliff had about half as many sacks as Raji—and less tackles in 2010—but he somehow managed to sneak past him to Hawaii.

    If Raji repeats or betters his solid sophmore season in 2011, the NFC will have to decide if they're willing to make the same mistake twice.

7. Tramon Williams

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    GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 20:  Tramon Williams #38 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after kicker Lawrence Tynes #9 of the New York Giants missed a 36-yard field goal to end regulation during the NFC championship game on January 20, 2008 at Lambeau Field
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2011 Starters: Charles Woodson, Asante Samuel, DeAngelo Hall

    Although Charles Woodson was selected for the 2011 Pro Bowl, some could argue he wasn't even the best cornerback on the team last season.

    Tramon Williams had three times as many picks as Woodson—although the veteran tore it up in other statistical categories—and Williams was only voted in as a first alternate.

    Asante Samuel and DeAngelo Hall both had good seasons, but their past success is probably what pushed them ahead of Williams, who had just begun to develop into a top cover cornerback.

    Many believe Williams was the second-most snubbed player on the Packers last year—as far as the Pro Bowl goes—and I'm sure he'll be out to prove he belongs in 2012.

6. Josh Sitton

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    ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Aaron Rodgers #12 and Josh Sitton #71 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 25 in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squi
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    2011 Starters: Jari Evans, Chris Snee

    Josh Sitton has often been overlooked, but he is what held the Packers' championship offensive line together, and he's become one of the best guards in the NFL.

    He was listed as an alternate for last year's Pro Bowl, but his skills are right up there with the starters.

    Even Aaron Rodgers has called him a Pro Bowl-caliber player, and although he may be a bit biased, he certainly has seen Sitton go to work first hand.

5. Charles Woodson

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    GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 12:  Cornerback Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates in the final moments as the Packers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 42-20 during the NFC divisional playoff game on January 12, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Ba
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2011 Starters: Charles Woodson, Asante Samuel, DeAngelo Hall

    The veteran corner was selected to his seventh Pro Bowl last season, and he's likely to add another one to his name in 2012.

    Woodson's interceptions may have declined, but he posted career highs in tackles and forced fumbles in 2010.

    He showed no signs of slowing down until he broke his collarbone in the Super Bowl, but if he can rebound from that devastating injury, he'll sit comfortably as one of the league's top three cornerbacks for at least one more season.

4. Greg Jennings

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    ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates scoring a fourth quarter touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers  during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Rob Carr/G
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    2011 Starters: Greg Jennings, Desean Jackson, Roddy White, Calvin Johnson

    Greg Jennings was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2011 as the fifth-leading receiver in the NFL.

    A trip to Hawaii will likely be an annual vacation for Jennings because of his talent, not to mention he has an elite quarterback and an explosive offense. However, it will be interesting to see if the Finley's return will affect his production.

    Unless his career suddenly spirals downward—or the Pack is back in the big game—expect Jennings to play in the 2012 Pro Bowl.

    He better watch out because he'll have some competition at his position on the ballot. The Lions are looking up, and Calvin Johnson is ready to take advantage.

3. Nick Collins

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against Nick Collins #36 of the Green Bay Packers during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Do
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    2011 Starter: Nick Collins

    Nick Collins was voted to his third consecutive Pro Bowl in 2011, as he continued to be one of the league's top free safeties.

    There's not too much competition in Collins' way to make it a fourth straight selection in 2012—unless his interceptions continue to drop.

2. Aaron Rodgers

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the NFC's Green Bay Packers scrambles out of the pocket during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The AFC defeated the NFC 41-34. (Photo b
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    2011 Starter: Michael Vick

    Backups: Matt Ryan, Drew Brees

    Aaron Rodgers was the biggest snub in last season's Pro Bowl voting.

    Yes, Michael Vick had an MVP season, but Rodgers' stats surpassed Matt Ryan's despite missing two games with multiple concussions. Drew Brees may have thrown for more TDs and yards, but he also threw over twice as many picks as Rodgers.

    Rodgers was unhappy about the snub, of course, but he did what he always has in the face of adversity. He moved forward, kept fighting and went out and got what he wanted.

    Rodgers not only played in the bowl game that really mattered, but he shined and took home the Super Bowl MVP. He'll now be the preseason favorite for NFL MVP, and my guess is Pro Bowl voters won't be fooled again.

1. Clay Matthews

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    ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 15:  Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates as he walks off the field after the Packers won 48-21 against the Atlanta Falcons during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15, 2011 in Atlanta
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2011 Starters: Clay Matthews, Demarcus Ware, Brian Orakpo

    Clay Matthews was selected to the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons in the NFL. Last year, he was the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year Award with 13.5 sacks.

    Even if he again falls short of the DPOY in 2011, it's almost a guarantee you will see him in the 2012 Pro Bowl as one of the best pass rushers in the NFC.

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