2018 Pro Bowl: The top 10 snubbed NFL stars and reactions

By Alex Butler  |  Updated Dec. 21, 2017 at 6:07 PM
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Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The usual suspects will participate in the 2018 Pro Bowl, but several notable names were left off of this year's roster.

While players can still be chosen as alternates, some snubs for football's version of the All-Star Game aren't sitting well with fans.

The NFL released the top-10 vote getters on Saturday, with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell receiving the most votes. The rest of the results were revealed on Tuesday night.

Here is my list of 10 players who were snubbed for the contest.

10. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins wide receiver

The Miami Dolphins wide receiver missed out on his third consecutive Pro Bowl bid, despite already having a career-high eight touchdown receptions and pulling in 98 catches for 844 yards. He should become the NFL receptions leader in 2017 after this weekend - with Antonio Brown sitting out. Landry, 25, is the only player in the league with at least five catches in every game this season. In November, he broke Anquan Boldin's record for the most receptions for an NFL player in his first four seasons.

"Of course it's a goal of mine," Landry told the Miami Herald. "But again, what can do, what can you say? It's not like I can just initiate myself in there. It is what it is. I respect everybody that made the Pro Bowl and is playing in it. I'm not saying this guy shouldn't be in and I should be. I respect all of those guys.

Landry is considered a top alternate.

9. Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos cornerback

Denver Broncos defensive stars Von Miller and Aqib Talib each received the tap for the Pro Bowl. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. missed the cut. The three-time Pro Bowler has low interception numbers, because he is rarely targeted. He allowed just 0.72 yards per cover snap through the first 15 weeks of the season, according to Pro Football Focus. That ranks No. 9 among 120 qualifying cornerbacks. Harris was a first-time All-Pro selection last season.

"That's just part of it. We're still the 'No Fly Zone'. The guys over at Jacksonville had an incredible year, those guys are winning and going to the playoffs," Miller said of Harris when he talked to reporters Wednesday. "He's right behind. Somebody's going to drop out and Chris will be right there. We'll have Chris and [CB Aqib] Talib in the Pro Bowl. [NT Domata] Peko will be there too. It's great. I feel like Peko had a phenomenal year. He's never been to a Pro Bowl. [He had a] phenomenal year. I'm happy for all of those guys."

Harris was chosen as an alternate for the game.

8. Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins defensive tackle

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh always demands double and sometimes triple teams from opposing offensive linemen. He is still rated as an elite player by Pro Football Focus. Suh ranks No. 3 among interior defenders with a 91.4 overall rating and No. 2 with a 92.3 grade as a run defender. His 40 pressures and five sacks are both top-10 among interior defenders, according to the site. Suh made his fifth Pro Bowl last season and is a three-time All-Pro. This season, he has a career-high two forced fumbles.

Geno Atkins, Jurrell Casey and Malik Jackson were chosen as interior defensive linemen from the AFC for the Pro Bowl roster.

"We haven't played to our best abilities," Suh told reporters Wednesday, referring to the Dolphins. "Until we do that and really put it in the forefront of people's minds that we're an elite team, then they're going to have their right to have their own opinion. At the end of the day, we have our opportunities to make our own noise and we failed to do that in a lot of cases."

Suh could also go to the game as an alternate.

7. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker

Linebacker Lavonte David was a snub for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 27-year-old made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and was an All-Pro in 2013. He is on pace to have more tackles than he did last season and has a career-high five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Chandler Jones, Ryan Kerrigan and Anthony Barr made the team for the NFC from the outside linebacker position. David was chosen as an alternate.

"54 - it's happened to him again," David's teammate Gerald McCoy told reporters Wednesday. "He is the best in the league. Lavonte David is the best at what he does in the league. It's just my personal opinion. I think it goes unrecognized a lot. It's the system. I think the system needs to change. This is to take no credit away from the guys who made it - you have two different styles of defenses, 3-4 and 4-3. We play a 4-3 and he is an outside linebacker. He just gets put in the same category as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, which does a lot of pass rushing."

6. Melvin Ingram, Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker

Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram missed out despite piling up 10 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble for the Los Angeles Chargers. He also missed the Pro Bowl in 2015 after piling up 10.5 sacks for the Chargers.

"Hopefully we get some more because we have some alternates who deserve it as well," Chargers Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward told the team website. "It just shows the direction that the organization is going."

Ingram has been named an alternate.

5. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers wide reciever

Wide receiver Davante Adams maintained a high level of play even after Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone and landed on injured reserve. Adams' 10 touchdowns trail only Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and lead the NFC. He also ranks No. 7 in receiving yards in the conference. The Packers' leading pass catcher is currently in the concussion protocol following a big hit he took in Week 15 from Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. The hit caused his second concussion of the season and third in 14 months.

"He's pissed off, he's irritated, he's angry," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Green Bay's leading pass catcher. "He wants to be out there. He's our best perimeter player. He was knocked out of the game at a critical time in the game and now he can't play. It's only natural. He's irritated that he's in this spot."

Adams is an alternate selection.

4. Blake Martinez, Green Bay Packers linebacker

Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez is tied for the league-lead with 127 combined tackles. He also has seven passes defensed, an interception, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

"It's one of those things," Martinez told reporters Wednesday. "You kind of have those individual goals lined up for you. You want to achieve those things. I'm not going to look down on it or be negative about it. I'm just going to make it as more motivation going forward."

3. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears running back

Chicago Bears sophomore running back Jordan Howard made the Pro Bowl in 2016 after rushing for 1,313 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 298 receiving yards during his rookie campaign. This year he has 1,069 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground. Howard is ranks No. 2 in the NFC and No. 4 in the NFL is rushing yards. Still, he missed the nod for the contest, trailing Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Howard is also an alternate for the contest.

"It would mean a lot because it would be my second one in a row, and not a lot of people even get to one," Howard told the Chicago Tribune last week. "It would be a big honor."

2. Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles center

Center Jason Kelce is literally in the middle of one of the most dominant running games in football this season. The Philadelphia Eagles also own the No. 3 offense in the league. But the two-time Pro Bowler was left off of the roster in favor of Alex Mack and Travis Frederick. Pro Football Focus pegs the offensive lineman as the best center in football, with a grade of 94.4.

"It's good just being back in the...people think I deserved it and stuff like that," Kelce told reporters Wednesday. "I think that obviously I've had a much better year this year than last year. That was the whole emphasis. The fact that I'm just playing at that caliber level feels good, for myself."

Kelce has also been chosen as an alternate.

1. Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end

Seven-year veteran Cam Heyward is having perhaps his best season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Heyward has 10 sacks, three passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He is arguably the best player on one of the NFL's best defenses. But he is stuck in a rut covered up by a Pro Bowl voting flaw. Heyward is listed as a defensive end, but does his work as an interior defensive linemen. He was going up against players who don't really play his position.

"Obviously, I care," Heyward told reporters Wednesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You want to be recognized, but it's not my choice. I'm just worried about football. I'll focus on that and get back to business."

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