This year, five Buccaneers players are headed to the Pro Bowl. On offense RB Doug Martin was voted in, while QB Jameis Winston and G Logan Mankins were later promoted to replace the absent Patriots QB Tom Brady and Panthers G Trai Turner. On Defense DT Gerald McCoy was voted in while Lavonte David finally gets his day in Hawaii by getting promoted to replace one of the three Super Bowl Bound Denver Broncos LBs in Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and Panthers LB Thomas Davis.
The problem is that many, players and fans alike, have become seemingly less interested in the NFL Pro Bowl. This is represented by the fact that for this years’ game, a total of 133 players have been invited to the game. Originally 86 were invited. Players decline invitations for a variety of reasons, including injuries and whether they are a member of a Super Bowl contender. But this year has produced an increased number of players who were simply uninterested. So beginning in the 2013-2014 season, NFL executives decided to try to make the Pro Bowl more “fan-friendly” and instead turn it into a real life (sort of) fantasy football game where former players and Hall of Famers such as Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Cris Carter, and Michael Irvin to be the honorary alumni captains of each team. This year the competing captains will be Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice.
With the new fantasy football like twist on Honolulu’s annual event, this leaves much room for speculation that our very own players could likely be drafted by separate teams, resulting in Bucs players potentially playing against each other. Gerald McCoy making a tackle on Doug Martin? Lavonte David intercepts Jameis Winston? While the many rule changes could affect these chances, they are valid possibilities. Then again, blitzing is not allowed so we shouldn’t see many sacks if any. Find out tonight which team your favorite Buccaneers Pro Bowler will play for on Sunday, January 31st, 2016 on ESPN at 7:00 pm ET.
How to watch Pro Bowl draft
Where: Wheeler Army Airfield, Wahiawa, Hawaii
When: Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The Pro Bowl begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday and will be televised on ESPN.
Quarterbacks: Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor, Jameis Winson
Running backs: Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman, Todd Gurley, Doug Martin, Latavius Murray, Chris Ivory
Wide receivers: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, Julio Jones, Amari Cooper
Fullbacks: Marcel Reece, Patrick DiMarco
Tackles: Tyron Smith, Joe Staley, Joe Thomas, Andrew Whitworth, Trent Williams, Kyle Long
Guards: David DeCastro, Richie Incognito, Josh Sitton, Logan Mankins, Marshal Yanda, Zack Martin
Centers: Travis Frederick, Eric Wood, Mike Pouncey, Alex Mack
Defensive ends: Ziggy Ansah, Michael Bennett, Chandler Jones, Khalil Mack, J.J. Watt, Carlos Dunlap
Defensive tackles: Geno Atkins, Calais Campbell, Fletcher Cox, Aaron Donald, Gerald McCoy, Jurrell Casey
Inside linebackers: NaVorro Bowman, Derrick Johnson, Clay Matthews, Bobby Wagner
Outside linebackers: Anthony Barr, Elvis Dumervil, Tamba Hali, Sean Lee, Julius Peppers, Lavonte David
Cornerbacks: Vontae Davis, Desmond Trufant, Marcus Peters, Adam Jones, Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, Brent Grimes, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Free safeties: Malcolm Jenkins, Reshad Jones, Harrison Smith
Strong safeties: Eric Berry, Mike Adams, Charles Woodson
Punters: Sam Koch, Johnny Hekker
Kickers: Dan Bailey, Josh Brown
Return specialists: Tyler Lockett, Darren Sproles
Special teamers: Justin Bethel, Cedric Peerman