With the Seattle Seahawks coming off a stellar year and poised to contend for the Super Bowl, a high number of Pro Bowlers would seem a certainty.
Last year, the Hawks got shafted. This year, they’ll be too good to ignore.
Here’s your 2014 Pro Bowl predictions, split into those named last year and those who will make their first appearance this season. Although, hopefully, not a single Seahawk will have to play in the Pro Bowl.
In his first extensively healthy season, Russell Okung was easily one of the best left tackles in football. A Pro Bowl Starter, Okung deserved the spot and will only be better this year.
He’ll start on the blind side again.
Center Max Unger is so reliably good, I can forgive him for having gone to Oregon. Justifiably one of the highest-paid centers in the league, Unger has earned his money.
He started last year, and like Okung, is doing so again. (I smell a career all-pro)
Beast Mode had a career season last year. Marshawn Lynch torched NFL defenses for 11 touchdowns and 1,590 yards — a career high. But it wasn’t enough to pass All-Universe Adrian Peterson, who put up one of the best seasons in NFL history.
Lynch will deservedly make the Pro Bowl again, but as of now, I don’t see him beating out AP for the starting spot.
The Earl of Century Link will return to the Pro Bowl this season, this time as a starter.
Last year, Dashon Goldson beat out Thomas as the starting Pro Bowl free safety, shortly before the Seahawks plowed the Niners 42-13. That was funny. If he can replicate his exceptional coverage skills and awareness this season, Thomas is set to start.
Starting in the Pro Bowl last year at kick returner, the dearly departed Leon Washington was released by Seattle when Percy Harvin was signed and was quickly snapped up by the Patriots. We wish him all the best in New England.
New To The Party
You knew this was coming. You wanted this noise.
The NFL’s newest star and his exceptional playmaking and trash talking reminds me of a young Deion Sanders. Arguably the best cornerback in the league (he certainly thinks he is), only PED allegations kept him from starting at cornerback for the NFL last season.
Nothing will get in his way, or over his head, this year.
Being a Pro Bowl third alternate is a good achievement for most rookie quarterbacks. For Russell Wilson, who dreams of winning multiple super bowls (I highly recommend that in-depth look at the Seahawks unique training camp methods for any Seattle fan), it’s not close to enough.
Last season, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Robert Griffin III beat out Wilson for Pro Bowl spots. Wilson outplayed RG3 easily and has the potential to be way better than Ryan.
He’s hungry and motivated, and at the end of the season, his Pro Bowl spot (albeit maybe not as a starter) will reflect that.
The less-vaunted, but almost as good Brandon Browner will be Seattle’s other starting cornerback and a likely Pro Bowler as well. The 6’4” Browner has the size to handle any NFL receiver and the speed and skills to capitalize.
You only had to watch the Seahawks’ recent 40-10 thumping of the Broncos to get a glimpse at his playmaking potential.
The other half of the best safety duo in the league, the hard-hitting Chancellor will anchor the Legion of Boom at strong safety. He and this defense will be too good to ignore. Chancellor can start in Hawaii.
Chris Clemons and Percy Harvin
I’m lumping these two in the same category for one big reason: They’re both some of the best in the NFL at their positions, but are currently injured.
Conservatively, the Seahawks could be looking at eight Pro Bowlers, easily the most the team has had in recent years. Deeper and healthier offense to defense, top to bottom, this team has a real chance to rack up the Pro Bowl nominees, but make an appearance in the only bowl that really matters.