The NFL announced this week that this season's Pro Bowl will be held in Orlando, FL, and will go back to the old format of AFC vs NFC. The last 3 Pro Bowls have featured a "draft" between two team captains, and featured players from both conferences on each team. The return to the AFC/NFC format could help certain players get voted in this year.
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal published a list of nine players who are primed to make their Pro Bowl debuts this year.
8. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins tight end: The new Pro Bowl setup should help Reed quite a bit. With Jimmy Graham coming off serious injury, Greg Olsen is the only truly established NFC tight end favorite at the position. Reed put up 675 and six touchdowns in his final eight games last season, including his monster outing in the playoffs against the Packers. There are a lot of wide receivers for Kirk Cousins to feed in Washington, yet Reed should be his top option.
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed had his breakout season last year, and was considered a Pro Bowl snub by many people. Reed was 2nd in receptions, 5th in yards, 4th in yards/game, 2nd in TDs, and 1st in 1st downs in 2015 among tight ends. He finished the year with 87 receptions for 957 yards, and 11 TDs. James Dorsett did an excellent, detailed breakdown of Jordan Reed compared to other TEs in the league last season.
But that was not enough to get Jordan Reed into last year's Pro Bowl. Four tight ends played in the game, Gary Barnidge, Travis Kelce, Tyler Eifert, and Delanie Walker. Rob Gronkowski and Greg Olsen were also selected but didn't participate. Out of those 6, only Olsen plays in the NFC as Rosenthal points out. This will make Reed's path to being a top 2 TE in the conference easier if he can continue putting up the impressive stats from last season that earned him a 5 year, $46.75 million extension last month which included $600k in salary escalators for Pro Bowl appearances.
Will Kirk Cousins' favorite target make it to the Pro Bowl this year?