Pro Bowl voting ended last week, and the NFL is already starting to leak some of the players selected to the 2022 All-Star game. While the entire roster won’t be revealed until Wednesday, the league has already announced that players from the Browns (five), Raiders (three), Vikings (three) and Baers (two) have made the Pro Bowl.
All is currently quiet on the Detroit Lions front, thus far.
As a reminder, Pro Bowl selections are based on three criteria: fan vote, player vote and coaches vote—all three of which represent exactly one-third of the influence over the final roster.
What we do know about the Lions players in terms of Pro Bowl chances is that they didn’t fare particularly well with the fan vote. As revealed by Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, only three players finished in the top 10 at their respective position. T.J. Hockenson finished eighth among tight ends, Jason Cabinda was fifth at fullback and Scott Daly was sixth among long snappers.
But it is very common for unpopular players to still make the Pro Bowl after being voted in by a collection of their peers.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Are any Lions players worthy of making the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl?
My answer: Probably not, but a few at least deserve some recognition.
Let’s start with the easiest choice of all. Punter Jack Fox made the Pro Bowl last year and he deserves serious consideration again this year. Fox’s overall average is actually slightly up from last year (49.3 this year compared to 49.1 last year), but his net is down a couple yards (from 44.8 to 42.3). Still, that net is good for seventh best in the NFL and fifth in the NFC.
Then there’s Amani Oruwariye, who leads the Lions with six interceptions. While a few of those interceptions have been of the “right place, right time” variety, the third-year cornerback has really come along nicely lately. He had extremely impressive interceptions against the Bears and Cardinals, and his PFF score over the last month is actually among the best. Over the past four games, Oruwariye has a PFF grade of 75.2, good for 13th among all NFL cornerbacks.
It would be bold of the NFL, but Lions rookie tackle Penei Sewell deserves some love. Not only has his play been worthy of Pro Bowl consideration (No. 2 offensive tackle by PFF grade since Week 6), but Sewell has been asked to do more than the average offensive tackle. He trained at right tackle—an unfamiliar position—for all of the offseason only to switch to left tackle as a last-minute injury replacement. Then after finding his feet, Detroit moved him back to right tackle at the midway point in the season. If there’s anyone on this Lions team that deserves a Pro Bowl nod, it’s Sewell.
Lastly, there’s Tracy Walker. Though he doesn’t have the statistical output that would earn a player a Pro Bowl nod (zero interceptions, zero forced fumbles), Walker has shown the kind of solid, instinctive play that has made him a force. A couple of Oruwariye’s interceptions are the direct result of Walker’s anticipation. And that’s not to mention some of the huge hits Walker has laid down this year.