The NFL held the made-for-TV 2016 Pro Bowl Draft on Wednesday night, assigning the players for the game to either Team Rice, captained by Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, or Team Irvin, captained by Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin. Under the "unconferenced" rules to the Pro Bowl, a system that the league started in 2014, players are selected to the all-star game without regards to whether they play in the AFC or NFC; they are then assigned to a team through a "fantasy draft" style event, with two legends serving as the captains for the team.
The fantasy draft allows for situations where defenders and offensive players from the same team can face off against each other. It also allows for situations where college teammates who now play in opposite conferences can team up on one team in the Pro Bowl. Both of those situations played out on Wednesday, as Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry was selected to Team Rice while Dolphins safety Reshad Jones landed on Team Irvin. More importantly, at least when it comes to a game that is typically an offensive demonstration more than it is a real NFL game, is the teaming of Landry with his former LSU teammate Odell Beckham, Jr., now a member of the New York Giants.
Landry and Beckham both pride themselves on the one-handed catches they routinely make, catches they used to practice together at LSU. They still talk regularly and celebrate the absurd receptions they each make. Now, in an exhibition game against extremely limited defenses, the two could put on a show for the fans.
Landry finished the season fourth in the league in receptions (110) and thirteenth in league in yards (1,157). Beckham was eighth in receptions (96) and fifth in yardage (1,450).
Jones, who will have to tackle his teammate Landry at some point during the game. The two players finished the season as co-MVPs for the Dolphins. Jones was fourth in the league in tackles this year (135), sixth in interceptions (5), and first in interception returns for touchdowns (2).
The rest of the Dolphins' contingent at the Pro Bowl saw cornerback Brent Grimes join Landry on Team Rice and offensive tackle Branden Albert land on Team Irvin with Jones.
The Dolphins also had center Mike Pouncey selected for the Pro Bowl, but an injury prevented him from participating.
The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, January 31, with kickoff at 7pm ET. The game will be televised by ESPN.
The full rosters for the game are:
|Team Rice||Team Irvin|
|Odell Beckham, Jr.
|John Kuhn||FB||Patrick DiMarco|
|Josh Brown||K||Dan Bailey|
|Johnny Hekker||P||Sam Koch|
|Tyler Lockett||KR||Darren Sproles|
|Cedric Peerman||ST||Justin Bethel|