Pro Bowl 2019: AFC and NFC Starters, Full Rosters and Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) heads to the end zone for a touchdown after making a catch against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Driskel recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

The latest alterations to the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl rosters were made Tuesday, with another replacement named for a Super Bowl participant. 

Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints replaced Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams at running back on the NFC roster, joining five other replacements for members of the Rams and New England Patriots. 

Barring any late injuries suffered in Pro Bowl practice or last-minute decisions to opt out, the rosters for Sunday's exhibition at Camping World Stadium in Orlando are set. 

The AFC will be coached by the staff of the Los Angeles Chargers, while Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys coaches lead the NFC squad. 

The updated list of Pro Bowl rosters, with starters included, can be found on the NFL's league website

                             

Predictions

Smith-Schuster Puts On A Show 

Pittsburgh Steelers fans need something to smile about entering the long offseason.

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who replaced teammate Antonio Brown on the AFC roster, will provide a glimmer of hope that 2019 will be better in the Steel City by producing one of the top receiving totals Sunday.

The second-year receiver is coming off a regular season in which he recorded eight 100-yard receiving performances, with four of them coming after Week 10. 

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 30: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after a 11 yard touchdown reception in the third quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on December 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

During his short time in the NFL, the USC product has displayed an ability to get open all across the field, and that's a quality each of the AFC quarterbacks will try to take advantage of at the Pro Bowl. 

Smith-Schuster could be particularly dangerous on deep routes, as he'll be working with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, who both are capable of launching the ball down the gridiron with ease. 

When Andrew Luck is under center, Smith-Schuster should have more success on shorter routes that keep drives alive for the AFC. 

At minimum, Smith-Schuster should receive five targets, but that number should be higher given his explosiveness. 

If he plays up to his potential Sunday, Smith-Schuster will provide some joy to Pittsburgh fans, who have suffered through the Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown sagas over the last few months. 

                         

Barkley Concludes Impressive Rookie Season With Standout Performance

Saquon Barkley put up ridiculous numbers in the second half of his rookie season with the New York Giants. 

Five of Barkley's seven 100-yard rushing games occurred after Week 10, and it's because of that form that we believe the rookie out of Penn State will be successful in his first Pro Bowl. 

Barkley's inclusion on the NFC roster when it was originally released is a testament to the respect he's gained in such a short time. 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants runs for a one-yard touchdown during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 28-27. (Photo by Joe R
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Since the NFC is loaded with talented running backs, Barkley could've been left off in favor of a more experienced player, but instead, he joined Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott on the original roster. 

Even though he's going to split carries with Elliott and Kamara, Barkley is the freshest option out of the backfield for the NFC since he last played in Week 17. 

With Elliott and Kamara still recovering from playoff games, Barkley takes advantage of his opportunity and comes close to hitting triple digits on the ground. 

Recording such a high mark in an exhibition is tough because coaches usually try to manage the snaps of every player, but Barkley will develop a rhythm that forces Garrett to keep him in the game. 

By putting up impressive numbers at his first-ever Pro Bowl, the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year will throw himself into contention for the Pro Bowl Offensive MVP. 

                            

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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