It’s about that time of yer to start voting for the pro bowl, which means, in most cases, the guys with the gaudy stats on winning teams will get all of the fan votes. However, there are a lot of good football players that are stuck on bad teams and never get the national publicity that most guys of their caliber get, and thus, never get the recognition they deserve.
So, I have decided to take a unique approach to the Pro Bowl this year. My all-star squad will consist of players exclusively of players on last-place teams as of Week 15 (in their divisions).
Without further adieu, here is you 2011 All-Last Place team:
Quarterback: Matt Moore, Dolphins; Cam Newton, Panthers
Not a whole lot of other options here. The Panthers may not finish last in the division, but these guys are two of the best quarterbacks of the group. Moore may have played himself into a starting role next season, and Newton is dripping with potential.
Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Vikings; Roy Helu, Jr. Redskins
AP is obvious; he is still the best back in football. I went with Helu because of how impressive he has been just on tape. His stats are not overly impressive because it took Mike Shanahan way too long to name him the starter, but he has a lot of ability.
Tight End: Kellen Winslow, Buccaneers; Fred Davis, Redskins
Fred Davis is the real star of this group, even though he was just pegged with a suspension. Winslow isn’t anything spectacular, but he’s a reliable target and the second-best player from this group.
Offensive Tackles: Trent Williams, Redskins; Joe Thomas, Browns
I kept Jake Long off this list because he’s had a sub-par year, and gave it to two other more worthy candidates. But outside of those three, the pickings are slim.
Guards: Vernon Carey, Dolphins; Davin Joseph, Buccaneers
Not a whole lot to pick from, but these guys are both part of strong running games at right guard, which is actually a more difficult position than left guard because they see more one-on-ones.
Center: Alex Mack, Browns
This was pretty easy. The former first round pick is living up to his billing, and is one of the few solidified position on that Browns offense.
Wide Recievers: Brandon Marshall, Dolphins; Percy Harvin, Vikings
Marshall is up and down, but there is no denying his talent and physicality. Harvin is one of the most explosive players in the league, and we have seen what he can do when he has a top-level quarterback throwing to him.
Defensive Ends: Jared Allen, Vikings; Chris Long, Rams
Allen is having a spectacular season, and was, at one point, set to break the sack record. Long has been a part of a bad defense, but he is playing at a high level. He basically single-handedly stopped the Saints offense a few weeks ago.
Defensive Tackles: Kevin Williams, Vikings; Barry Cofield, Redskins
Cofield has been one of the biggest reasons for the improvement in the Redskins defense this season so far. The other spot was a bit of a toss-up, but I went with the guy who has been doing it well for so long in Kevin Williams.
Middle Linebackers: Derrick Johnson, Chiefs; London Fletcher, Redskins
Johnson is having a career year, and is the second-best player on that defense (behind Tamba Hali). London Fletcher continues to amaze with his production, despite his age.
Outside Linebackers: Tamba Hali, Chiefs; Brian Orakpo, Redskins
Hali is one of the best pass rushers in football with his power moves. Orakpo is flourishing as an outside linebacker over the past two years.
Cornerbacks: Vontae Davis, Dolphins; Joe Hayden, Browns
Suprinsingly enough, there were a lot of good options here. Hayden is knocking on the door of being one of the best in football, as he is starting to draw comparisons to Darrelle Revis. After a slow start, Davis has really turned it around in Miami.
Safeties: O.J. Otogwe, Redskins; T.J. Ward, Browns
Otogwe has been a nice additions to the Redskins back end, especially with LaRaon Laundry missing a lot of time due to injury. Ward hasn’t had quite the same season he had his rookie year, but he is still the next best player out of the group.