The 2023 Pro Bowl rosters are out and while one Lion made the cut, several sports analysts believe many other Detroit players should’ve been included.
This time around, center Frank Ragnow was deservedly selected for the second time in his career. But upon scouring the internets, I found quite a few writers, when penning their annual Pro Bowl snub lists, including Detroit players. (But make sure you read our very own Morgan Cannon’s list first.)
Starting with NFL.com’s Eric Edholm, he believed two Lions deserved consideration. The first being right tackle Penei Sewell.
“He’s been flagged eight times, which is on the high side, and eventually he’ll need to grow out of the false starts. But when Sewell is locked in, especially when the Lions are running the ball in have-to-have-it situations, the former seventh overall pick has looked outstanding.”
Edholm also included perhaps the most popular snub pick I saw across the board — wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
“St. Brown very quietly ranks among the league leaders in receptions (89; sixth), receiving yards (974; 10th) and yards per touch (11.0; seventh). He’s surpassed his rookie receiving and rushing totals in about the same number of chances so far this season, becoming more adept at breaking tackles and gaining yards after the catch.”
Yahoo Sports’ Tyler Greenawalt agreed on the St. Brown front, only selecting six names for his snub list.
“St. Brown missed some time due to an ankle injury but is still one of the best pure receivers in the NFL. The second-year St. Brown likely wasn’t going to beat Justin Jefferson or A.J. Brown, but he had a case against Terry McLaurin and CeeDee Lamb. St. Brown has more receptions than both, the same number of touchdowns as Lamb, twice as many as McLaurin and only slightly fewer receiving yards than both.”
“There’s no super obvious candidate for the third NFC quarterback spot, but Goff’s numbers are clearly better than Cousins’. Goff is more than 10 points clear in QBR (62.5 to 51.6) and is leading the offense that ranks third in EPA per dropback this season. Third! And he did all that despite not having as strong a receiving group to throw to as Cousins.”
USA Today’s Safid Deen believes all three of the Lions mentioned above, plus running back Jamaal Williams deserved spots.
“It’s a shame the Detroit duo of St. Brown and Williams didn’t get any Pro Bowl love, as both have been instrumental parts in the Lions’ resurgence this season.”
It wasn’t just members of the humming Lions offense receiving the love. On the defensive side, Mike Giddings for The 33rd Team would replace Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander with Jeff Okudah.
“Okudah is the Lions’ most consistent corner, and he’s finally playing healthy. If you remember, Detroit’s defense was so bad the first half of the year the coordinator was fired. But Okudah has stayed on the field, has a great attitude and is playing like a shutdown cornerback. In fact, he’s been playing matchup corner and playing it well.”
And onto the rest of your notes.
- “One reason the Lions can move him around is that he wants to move around, even though it means fewer opportunities to pad his sack total, which is how the public will judge him.” Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg with a detailed profile on Aidan Hutchinson and how his unique versatility is lifting the Lions’ playoff hopes.
- Hear from RB Justin Jackson as he goes one-on-one with Fox 2’s Dan Miller, breaking down his key block in the game-winning play against the Jets.
WATCH - @DanMillerFox2 sits down this week with @lions running back Justin Jackson. They touch on a lot of things including the roll this team is on, the fans support and a very key block he had on the game winning score last week against the #Jets.https://t.co/s2niRBAarw— FOX 2 Sports (@FOX2Sports) December 23, 2022
- “Credit coach Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes for adding a group of rookies who fit the Lions’ brand.” Over on NFL.com, Bucky Brooks evaluates the league’s rookie classes of 2022, ranking the Lions’ at No. 3.
- Along the same lines, in an article for The 33rd Team, NFL executive Jeff Diamond lists two Lions rookies among his list of top eight draft steals — players playing above their picks.
- In case I haven’t made it clear, I love the Lions social media team.
- 5:00 - solve world hunger, tell no one— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 23, 2022
- 5:30 - fly to Charlotte for Panthers game
- 6:30 - dinner with me—I can’t cancel that again… pic.twitter.com/Fd8WlcUkS0