- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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A lot of fans were upset that the NFC South didn’t have a slew of guys selected to the Pro Bowl.
But there’s an upside to that. USA Today just put out its annual “All-Joe Team’’, which is a 53-man roster of guys that have never been to the Pro Bowl. Eight NFC South players were named to this year’s team.
New Orleans receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore, Carolina tight end Greg Olsen and Atlanta tackle Sam Baker were selected to the offense. Carolina defensive end Charles Johnson, Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David and Carolina linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly were selected to the defense.
This might be the last time David and Kuechly make this team. The rookie linebackers each had outstanding seasons, and I can easily see them becoming Pro Bowl regulars.
Colston and Moore have been in the league a long time and haven’t made any Pro Bowls, largely because the Saints spread the ball around so much that no individual receiver ends up with overwhelming statistics. Davis was one of the feel-good stories of last season as he came back and played at a high level after his third torn ACL.
Olsen is a guy that finally is getting used the right way, and that could lead to a future Pro Bowl berth. Johnson has been putting up some sacks, but needs the Panthers to become a winner to get to the Pro Bowl.
It once seemed inconceivable to even mention Baker in the same sentence as the Pro Bowl. But he stayed completely healthy for the first time ever in 2012, and played every offensive snap. If Baker can continue to stay healthy, a future Pro Bowl berth isn’t out of the question.