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Pro Bowl Teams 2017: Starters, Replacements for AFC and NFC Rosters

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 25, 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21 during the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 34-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The NFL's Pro Bowl, which will take place on Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. ET, has a few notable changes this year.

First, the game is returning to the old AFC vs. NFC format after three seasons of Pro Bowlers being drafted into two separate squads.

Second, the Pro Bowl is moving from Honolulu to Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, the home of the Citrus Bowl.

Lastly, the Pro Bowl's skills competition returns. From Conor Orr of NFL.com:

The Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, now called Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, returns after a 10-year hiatus this week. The reimagined version, which will tape on Wednesday and air Thursday night on ESPN, features a dodge ball game, a 'power relay challenge,' a precision passing competition and a best hands showdown.

Let's take a look at the starters, backups and replacements for the AFC and NFC rosters before delving into seven storylines for the game.

      

Notes

1. Rosters and information via NFL.com unless otherwise noted.

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2. Any starter with an asterisk will miss the game due to Super Bowl LI preparation.

3. Any starter with a hashtag will miss the game with an injury or otherwise declined to participate in the game.

        

AFC

Starting Offense

QB: Tom Brady (New England Patriots)*

RB: Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers)#

FB: Kyle Juszczyk (Baltimore Ravens)

WR: Antonio Brown (Steelers)#, Amari Cooper (Oakland Raiders)#

OL: Tackles Donald Penn (Raiders)# and Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns), guards Marshal Yanda (Ravens)# and Kelechi Osemele (Raiders), center Rodney Hudson (Raiders)

TE: Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs)

          

Starting Defense

DL: Ends Khalil Mack (Raiders)# and Cameron Wake (Miami Dolphins), tackles Geno Atkins (Cincinnati Bengals) and Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins)

LB: Middle linebacker Dont'a Hightower (Patriots)*, outside linebackers Lorenzo Alexander (Buffalo Bills) and Von Miller (Denver Broncos)

DB: Cornerbacks Marcus Peters (Chiefs) and Aqib Talib (Broncos), strong safety Eric Berry (Chiefs)# and free safety Devin McCourty (Patriots)*

     

Special Teams

Punter Pat McAfee (Indianapolis Colts)#, kicker Justin Tucker (Ravens), long snapper Morgan Cox (Ravens), returner Tyreek Hill (Chiefs), special teamer Matthew Slater (Patriots)*

Backups and Replacements

QB: Alex Smith (Chiefs), Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) and Andy Dalton (Bengals) replace Derek Carr (Raiders)#, Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers)# and Brady*, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.

RB: DeMarco Murray (Tennessee Titans), Melvin Gordon (Chargers) and Jay Ajayi (Dolphins). Gordon and Ajayi replace Bell and LeSean McCoy (Bills)#.

WR: T.Y. Hilton (Colts), Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos), Jarvis Landry (Dolphins) and Demaryius Thomas (Broncos). The latter three replace Brown, Cooper and A.J. Green (Bengals)#.

OL: Tackle Taylor Lewan (Titans) and guard David DeCastro (Steelers). Center Jeremy Zuttah (Ravens) replaces Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers)#, guard Richie Incognito (Bills) replaces Yanda and tackle Andrew Whitworth (Bengals) replaces Penn.

TE: Delanie Walker (Titans)

DL: Tackle Jurrell Casey (Titans), and ends Carlos Dunlap (Bengals) and Leonard Williams (New York Jets) replace Jadeveon Clowney (Houston Texans) and Mack.

LB: Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (Titans). Inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (Steelers) replaces C.J. Mosley (Ravens)# and Zach Brown (Bills) replaces Hightower.

DB: Cornerbacks Casey Hayward (Chargers) and Chris Harris (Broncos), and free safety Reggie Nelson (Raiders). Free safety Eric Weddle (Ravens) replaces McCourty, and strong safety Darian Stewart (Broncos) replaces Berry (Chiefs).

ST: Punter Dustin Colquitt replaces McAfee, and D.J. Alexander (Chiefs) replaces Slater.

          

NFC

Starting Offense

QB: Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)*

RB: Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys)

FB: Mike Tolbert (Carolina Panthers)

WR: Julio Jones (Falcons)*, Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants)

OL: Tackles Tyron Smith (Cowboys) and Trent Williams (Washington Redskins), guards Zack Martin (Cowboys) and Brandon Scherff (Redskins)#, center Travis Frederick (Cowboys)

TE: Greg Olsen (Panthers)

Starting Defense

DL: Ends Everson Griffen (Minnesota Vikings) and Cliff Avril (Seattle Seahawks) and tackles Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams)# and Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

LB: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Seahawks) and outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan (Redskins)# and Vic Beasley (Falcons)*

DB: Cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins (Giants) and Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals), free safety Harrison Smith (Vikings) and strong safety Landon Collins (Giants)

      

Special Teams

Punter Johnny Hekker (Rams), kicker Matt Bryant (Falcons)*, long snapper Jake McQuaide (Rams), returner Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings) and special teamer Dwayne Harris (Giants)

           

Backups and Replacements

QB: Dak Prescott (Cowboys) and Kirk Cousins (Redskins), who replaces Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers). Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) replaces Ryan, per NewOrleansSaints.com

RB: Darren Sproles (Philadelphia Eagles), per Corey Seidman of CSN Philly, and Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears) replace David Johnson (Cardinals) and Devonta Freeman (Falcons)*.

WR: Mike Evans (Buccaneers). Doug Baldwin (Seahawks) replaces Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals)#, per Liz Mathews of USA Today. Dez Bryant (Cowboys) replaces Jones, per DallasCowboys.com's David Helman.

OT: David Bakhtiari (Packers) replaces Jason Peters (Eagles)#

OG: Josh Sitton (Bears) and Trai Turner (Panthers) replace T.J. Lang (Packers)# and Scherff

C: Jason Kelce (Eagles) replaces Mack, per Seidman.

DL: End Michael Bennett (Seahawks) and tackle Fletcher Cox (Eagles). Tackle Linval Joseph (Vikings) replaces Donald.

LB: Outside linebacker Thomas Davis (Panthers). Outside linebacker Anthony Barr (Vikings) replaces Beasley, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, outside linebacker K.J. Wright (Seahawks) replaces Kerrigan and inside linebacker Sean Lee (Cowboys) replaces Luke Keuchly (Panthers)#.

DB: Cornerbacks Richard Sherman (Seahawks) and Xavier Rhodes (Vikings), and free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

K: Matt Prater (Detroit Lions) replaces Bryant

         

Six Pro Bowl Storylines

How 'Bout Them Cowboys?

Four Cowboys will be starting on offense this year: Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith. That's certainly no surprise given that Elliott gained 1,994 total yards and scored 16 touchdowns in 15 regular-season games behind that great offensive line.

     

Joe Thomas Hits Double Digits

Ten NFL seasons equals 10 Pro Bowls for offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who continues to be one of the best in the game despite playing on a team that finished 1-15 and hasn't made the postseason in 14 years.

            

What Will Zeke and OBJ Do?

Ezekiel Elliott and Odell Beckham Jr. have had some ridiculous celebrations this year, with Zeke jumping into a giant Salvation Army bucket and Beckham proposing to a kicking net. It's doubtful either player will care about any ensuing 15-yard penalty in a game that doesn't matter, so what will they come up with if they score?

       

Rookies Make Their Pro Bowl Debuts

Dak Prescott will join Elliott as rookies making their Pro Bowl debuts. Jordan Howard also joins the mix following a strong season where he took the starting job in Chicago and accumulated 1,313 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

      

How Will the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown Resonate with Fans? Will It Be a Success or a Disaster?

Will people tune in to see football players play dodgeball? Little is happening in the American sports world on Thursday night aside from midseason basketball and hockey games, so there's a chance sports fans will tune in to kill the time between then and the Super Bowl.

     

Many Stars Missing

Tom Brady, Julio Jones, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Aaron Rodgers and other big names aren't playing this year, but other big stars will make appearances, including the aforementioned Beckham and Elliott as well as Richard Sherman.

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