The Miami Dolphins had defensive end Cameron Wake and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh named as starters for the 2017 Pro Bowl during the league’s announcement telecast on Tuesday night. The problem is, those two also are currently the only representatives the Dolphins are sending to the all-star game in Orlando this year. While injuries and the Super Bowl teams will change the rosters some, the fact that a few more Dolphins did not make the roster feels like a snub for a team in playoff contention and that has been battling all year.
The problem with snubs are, they may have been worthy of making the team, but there just may not be space for them in the top few players at the position. There are times where a player absolutely is having a Pro Bowl caliber season, but there is no one who is on the roster that can easily be said is the player who should come off the roster. It is tough sometimes.
The top snub for the Dolphins - and maybe one of the top snubs for the league - is wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The third-year wide receiver has more receptions over his first three years in the league than any other player in league history. He has 1,031 receiving yards this year, good enough for fourth in the conference. He has 82 receptions, also fourth most in the conference this season. He has three touchdown receptions this season. Landry made the Pro Bowl last year, but was left off this year in favor of Antonio Brown (96 receptions, 1,188 yards, 11 TDs), Amari Cooper (74 receptions, 1,038 yards, 4 TDs), A.J. Green (66 receptions, 964 yards, 4 TDs), and T.Y. Hilton (81 receptions, 1,248 yards, 6 TDs).
Miami also should have seen running back Jay Ajayi on the Pro Bowl roster this year. There have been three 200-yard rushing performances this season - and two of them belong to Ajayi who became just the fourth player in league history to reach that milestone in back-to-back games. He is currently sixth in the conference with 1,007 rushing yards, seventh with seven rushing touchdowns, and fourth in the conference in yards per attempt at 4.8 yards. His 212 carries are ninth in the conference. Not bad for a player who was inactive in Week 1 and platooned through the next three games before finally being given a chance to be a feature back. Making the Pro Bowl were Le’Veon Bell (241 carries, 1,146 yards, 6 TDs, 4.8 yds/att), DeMarco Murray (268 carries, 1,224 yards, 9 TDs, 4.6 yds/att), and LeSean McCoy (205 carries, 1,129 yards, 12 TDs, 5.5 yds/att).
Linebacker Kiko Alonso could also be made a case for inclusion on the Pro Bowl roster. He has 103 tackles this season, ninth in the conference, with two interceptions, tied for 18th in the conference and the second most for a linebacker, and his touchdown return on a interception is tied for the third most in the conference and the most for a linebacker. He has one forced fumble on the season and leads the conference with four fumble recoveries. Dont’a Hightower (64 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble) and C.J. Mosley (72 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble) were listed as the middle/inside linebackers.
Safety Michael Thomas absolutely should be in the Pro Bowl this season as a special teams player. He leads the league with 16 special teams tackles, and he has been an all-everything option for the team in coverage. Matthew Slater was selected over Thomas.
Finally, Dolphins punter Matt Darr could also have been a consideration for the all-star roster. He has 80 punts, the most in the conference (which is not a good thing for the team, come to think of it), a 44.7 yards per kick average (12th), 26 kicks inside the 20 (4th), and just a 7.9 yards per return average (6th). Pat McAfee (49 punts, 49.1 yards per kick, 17 in 20, 9.5 return yards average) was named the Pro Bowl punter.
Anyone else you think should have made the roster? Anyone included above that should not have been a “snub” for this year?