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Don't Call It a Comeback: Unexpected Pro Bowler?

If making up trade scenarios wasn't enough for you, how about projecting a guy that is less than a year removed from backup status to the Pro Bowl? Remember, I am forcing all the writers to make a case for someone, so try not to assume we are all on crack for predicting some of these guys are Pro Bowl-bound.

I suppose we should first acknowledge the very real chance that the Pro Bowl is dead. Some would argue it has been dead for years. I am sure the players will breathe a collective sigh of relief when they can avoid needless injury in an actual football game--after all, there are pickup basketball games for that kind of thing.

But I digress...

We'll go ahead and call it the Pro Bowl for the purpose of this series of posts, but it could very soon be nothing more than an All-Star list. I suppose you could make the case that Roy Helu was a backup last year, but even if you did, he would have a lot of work to do to best the very healthy group of NFC backs. I went back and forth between two guys. DeJon Gomes was going to be my pick. I hope one of the other writers picks him, since we have nothing but upside at the safety position it would seem (are we calling it "upside"?) these days.

Since I already take a load of heat from the crew for my unabashed support for him, I am going with none other than Leonard Hankerson. You have to believe that defensive coordinators are going to do everything they can to take away a rookie quarterback's warm blanket: his tight ends. I do think Pierre Garcon is going to benefit from Robert Griffin III's ability to extend plays. I do think that Garcon and Josh Morgan will have enough time to get open. I do think secondaries will be on to us.

If Hank the Tank can win the slot job in camp--and it says here that if he is healthy, he has the inside track--he would be a very difficult fifth option for defenses to contain (assuming Fred Davis, Chris Cooley, Garcon and Morgan are the first four).

Given his size, Hankerson would be a great intermediate target. Griffin would have no problem locating him. Again, if he can stay healthy and on the field for sixteen games, Hankerson could realistically haul in five or six catches per game. He does not have blazing speed, but if he can just get a moderate amount of YAC, he would be in line for consideration for Pro Bowl honors.

Even for me...that is a lot of if's.