Friday, December 21, 2018

2018 Pro Bowl Alternates—and Some Guesses

By John Turney
With the Pro Bowl picks there always is some consternation as to who should have gone who didn't (snubs) or some picks that were not deserving (reputation selections). However, when the Pro Alternates are released it does shed some light on the subject.

Unfortunately, not all teams release their alternates and some, when they do release of them they do not release what order they are listed, i.e. first alternate, second alternate, etc.

We will et more information over the next few weeks are the injured players are officially replaced and the Super Bowl is set. Until then, this is the time we like to take some guesses about who the alternates are and in what order they come.

Wide receiver: DeAndre Hopkins*, Houston Texans; Tyreek Hill*, Kansas City Chiefs; Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers; Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pit (?);  T.Y. Hilton, IND (??); Jarvis Landry, Cle (3), A.J. Green, Cin (4), Emmanuel Sanders, Den (5)

Landry, Green, and Sanders are confirmed, as is Hilton but we are not 100% sure if he was a first alternate or second alternate. We are speculating that he's the second alternate and that Smith-Shuster is the first alternate. The Steelers sometimes release their alternates, sometimes they don't. This year they didn't but looking at the numbers it's a safe bet that Smith-Shuster is an alternate and is at the top of the list.

Tackle: Taylor Lewan*, Tennessee Titans; Alejandro Villanueva*, Pittsburgh Steelers; Eric Fisher, Kansas City Chiefs
Russell Okung, LAC (1), Ronnie Stanley, Bal (2); Mitchell Schwartz, KC (??)

Okung and Stanley are the top two and Schwartz is an alternate, but we assume he's the third alternate. We don't know of any other AFC tackles that are alternates.

Guard: David DeCastro*, Pittsburgh Steelers; Marshal Yanda*, Baltimore Ravens; Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
Joel Bitonio, Cle (1), Kelechi Osemele, Oak (??); Kevin Zeitler, Cle (4)

With Zeitler a confirmed fourth alternate and Bitonio a first there are two in between one is Osemele. The Patriots don't release their alternates but we are reasonably sure that Joe Thuney or Shaq Mason is one between and maybe the other is a fifth alternate.

Center: Maurkice Pouncey*, Pittsburgh Steelers; Mike Pouncey, Los Angeles Chargers
Ryan Kelly, Ind (??); Rodney Hudson, Oak (??)

We don't know the order of the alternates of if there are more than two, but Kelly and Hudson are confirmed alternates.

Tight end: Travis Kelce*, Kansas City Chiefs; Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts
Jared Cook, Oak, (??)

It's possible Rob Gronkowski is an alternate that he didn't have his best year.

Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes*, Kansas City Chiefs; Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers; Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Andrew Luck, Ind (??); Deshaun Watson, Hou (??);  Baker Mayfield, Cle (4); Marcus Mariota, Ten (??);

Mayfield is a confirmed fourth alternate and we think Ben Roethlisberger is one of the three in front of him and we are speculating that Mariota is the fifth alternate. We also are speculating that Luck is the first alternate.

Running back: James Conner*, Pittsburgh Steelers; Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers; Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
Derrick Henry, Ten (??); Lamar Miller, Hou (??); Joe Mixon, Cin (3)

Mixon is a definite third alternate and Miller and Henry are ahead of him but we are not sure what order they come in.

Fullback: Anthony Sherman*, Kansas City Chiefs
James Develin, NE (1?),     Derek Watt, LAC (3)

Watt is the third alternate and we are speculating that Develin is the first alternate. We are not sure who the second alternate is.

Defensive end: J.J. Watt*, Houston Texans; Myles Garrett*, Cleveland Browns; Melvin Ingram, Los Angeles Chargers
Chris Jones, KC (1); Calais Campbell, Jax, (?);  Jerry Hughes, Buf (4)

Jones is a confirmed first alternate. Hughes is the fourth. We think Campbell is second and we are not sure who might be the third. Our best guess is Trey Flowers.

Interior lineman: Geno Atkins*, Cincinnati Bengals; Jurrell Casey*, Tennessee Titans; Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kyle Williams, Buf (1);  Denico Autry, Ind (??)

Williams is reported as the first alternate. Autry is an alternate but we don't know if he's the only defensive interior player to have such status.
Outside linebacker: Von Miller*, Denver Broncos; Jadeveon Clowney*, Houston Texans; Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs
Darius Leonard, Ind (1); Bradley Chubb, Den (2), TJ Watt, Pit (???)

Leonard and Chubb are confirmed first and second alternates. We strongly think Watt is a third alternate.

Inside linebacker: C.J. Mosley*, Baltimore Ravens; Benardrick McKinney, Houston Texans
Wesley Woodyard, Ten (??) Anthony Hitchens, KC (?); Avery Williamson, NYJ (4)

There are three inside linebackers in front of Williamson. Woodyard and Hitchens are alternates but we don't know what order. It's possible Hightower of the Pats is the missing one.

Cornerback: Xavien Howard*, Miami Dolphins; Jalen Ramsey*, Jacksonville Jaguars; Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots; Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
Chris Harris Jr, Den (1), Casey Hayward, LAC (2); Kareem Jackson, Hou (4)

We think the Steelers Joe Haden is the third alternate but at this point cannot be 100% sure.

Free safety: Derwin James*, Los Angeles Chargers; Eric Weddle, Baltimore Ravens
Kevin Byard, Ten (??); Tyrann Mathieu, Hou (??)

Strong safety: Jamal Adams*, New York Jets
Reshad Jones, Mia (??)

We don't have good information on the AFC safeties.

Kicker: Jason Myers*, New York Jets
Justin Tucker, Bal (1); Harrison Butker, KC (?)

Tucker is first, Butker is an alternate but we don't know if he's the only one.

Punter: Brett Kern*, Tennessee Titans
Dustin Colquitt, KC (?) ;  Britton Colquitt, Cle (2)

The Colquitts are two alternates, but we don't know if there are other punters with alternate status.

Return specialist: Andre Roberts*, New York Jets
Cordarrelle Patterson, NE (?); Tyreek Hill, KC (??);  Alex Erickson, Cin (3)

Erickson is third, deduction and numbers suggest Patterson and Hill are the first and second.

Special teamer: Adrian Phillips*, Los Angeles Chargers
Clayton Fejedelem, Cin (1)

We don't know if there are other alternates, we think the Patriots likely have one.

Wide receiver: Julio Jones*, Atlanta Falcons; Michael Thomas*, New Orleans Saints; Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings; Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Mike Evans, TB (1), Odell Beckham, NYG (2); Larry Fitzgerald, Ari (3?); Robert Woods, LAR (4)

Fitzgerald is an alternate, but the Cardinals didn't release what number he was but he fits between the confirmed second and fourth alternates.

Tackle: Tyron Smith*, Dallas Cowboys; Terron Armstead*, New Orleans Saints; Trent Williams, Washington Redskins
Andrew Whitworth, LA (1);  David Bakhtiari, GB (2?); Ryan Ramczyk, NO (??); Lane Johnson, Phi (??); Charles Leno, Chi (??)

Whitworth is a confirmed first alternate. We don't know the order of the others, though they are confirmed alternates.

Guard: Zack Martin*, Dallas Cowboys; Brandon Brooks*, Philadelphia Eagles; Trai Turner, Carolina Panthers 
Rodger Saffold, LAR (1), Andrus Peat, NO (??); Larry Warford, NO (??) ; J.R. Sweezy, Sea (??)

Same as the NFC tackles.

Center: Alex Mack*, Atlanta Falcons; Max Unger, New Orleans Saints
Jason Kelce, Phi (1); Cody Whitehair, Chi, (?) Corey Linsley, GB (?)

Same as the tackles and guards, we know the first alternate but the order we don't know after Kelce.

Tight end: Zach Ertz*, Philadelphia Eagles; George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Jordan Reed, Was (?); Trey Burton, Chi (??); Austin Hooper, Atl (???)

We have no information as to the order of the tight ends.

Quarterback: Drew Brees*, New Orleans Saints; Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams; Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Matt Ryan, Atl (?); Russell Wilson, Sea (??); Mitchell Trubisky, Chi (???)

We don't know the order, but we think it's how we listed them

Running back: Todd Gurley*, Los Angeles Rams; Saquon Barkley, New York Giants; Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Alvin Kamara, NO (1); Christian McCaffrey, Car, (2); Adrian Peterson, Was (??)

Peterson is an alternate but we don't know if he's third or if there are other running backs that are alternates.

Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk*, San Francisco 49ers
C.J. Ham, Min (2)

Ham is reported to be a second alternate. We don't know whi is first or if there are others behind Ham.

Defensive end: Cameron Jordan*, New Orleans Saints; DeMarcus Lawrence*, Dallas Cowboys; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings
Chandler Jones, Ari (?); Frank Clark, SEA (??); Jason Pierre-Paul, TB (3); Brandon Graham, Phi (??)

Other than Pierre-Paul we don't know the order.

Interior lineman: Aaron Donald*, Los Angeles Rams; Fletcher Cox*, Philadelphia Eagles; Akiem Hicks, Chicago Bears
DeForest Buckner, SF (1), Kawann Short, Car (2) Sheldon Rankins, NO (??);  Kenny Clark, GB (?)

Rankins and Clark are alternates but we don't know the order.

Outside linebacker: Khalil Mack*, Chicago Bears; Ryan Kerrigan*, Washington Redskins; Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings
Olivier Vernon, NYG (1), Leighton Vander Esch, Dal (??); Demario Davis, NO (??); Leonard Floyd, Chi (??); K.J. Wright, SEA (??)

Aside from Vernon, we don't know the order.

Inside linebacker: Luke Kuechly*, Carolina Panthers; Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks
Roquan Smith, Chi (??);  Danny Trevathan, Chi (??)

We don't know the order and if there are more NFC inside linebackers with alternate status.

Cornerback: Kyle Fuller*, Chicago Bears; Patrick Peterson*, Arizona Cardinals; Darius Slay, Detroit Lions, Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Marshon Lattimore, NO (?); Xavier Rhodes, Min (2); Marcus Peters, LAR (3); Josh Norman, Was (??); 

We know the status of Rhodes and Peters. We are relatively sure Lattimore is first.

Free safety: Eddie Jackson*, Chicago Bears; Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings
D.J. Swearinger Sr, Was (?)

Strong safety: Landon Collins*, New York Giants
Malcolm Jenkins, Phi (1); Bradley McDougald, Sea (??); Budda Baker, Ari (3); Quandre Diggs, Det (4)

We are guessing that McDougald is second, but cannot be sure.

Kicker: Aldrick Rosas*, New York Giants
Robbie Gould, SF (?); Dustin Hopkins, Was (??); Wil Lutz, K, NO (??)

We  don't know the order of the kickers but feel strongly that Gould is first.

Punter: Michael Dickson*, Seattle Seahawks
Tress Way, Was (?); Johnny Hekker, LAR  (2)

Hekker is second, Way is an alternate but we don't know if he's first or if there is someone else that is first and Way is further down. However, our best estimate is Way is first.

Return specialist: Tarik Cohen*, Chicago Bears
Tyler Lockett, Sea (?); Marcus Sherels, Min (2)

We think Lockett is first, Sherels is second. We don't know if there are any others.

Special teamer: Cory Littleton*, Los Angeles Rams
Michael Thomas, NYG (1), Justin Bethel, Atl (???); Mark Nzeocha, SF (??); Justin Hardee, NO (???)

Thomas is first, the others we don't know.

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