Every National Football League player wants to be selected to the Pro Bowl even if very few actually want to play in the game. Rarely does the league get the most deserving players at each position as fans, coaches and players vote and there are certain biases. We are going to look at the Pro Bowl rosters and point out some of the defensive players who should be making the trip to Hawaii but aren't.
AFC Defensive Ends- Andre Carter, Dwight Freeney, Elvis Dumervil
Without a doubt Elvis Dumervil has had a great season, as had Andre Carter. Dwight Freeney's selection seems to be purely a reputation pick and Texans rookie J.J. Watt has been as good as any AFC end this season. Jacksonville's Jeremy Mincey has been a major part of the Jaguars defensive resurgence and Baltimore's Cory Redding has had a great year.
NFC Defensive Ends- Jason Babin, Jared Allen, Jason Pierre-Paul
It's virtually impossible to argue with any of the NFC selections at defensive end, as all three players have been fantastic this season. Rams defensive end Chris Long and Seahawks DE Chris Clemons have had a nice years and deserve notoriety, as does 49ers rookie Aldon Smith who should win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
AFC Defensive Tackles- Vince Wilford, Haoli Ngata, Richard Seymour
All three players have had solid years but it's obvious that their veteran/star status gained them the nod over some very deserving players. Bills rookie Marcel Dareus has been great, as had Cincinnati's Geno Atkins and New York's Sione Pouha.
NFC Defensive Tackles- Jay Ratliff, Justin Smith, B.J. Raji
We're glad that Justin Smith made the roster, even if it's at a position he doesn't play all that often. There were any glaring omissions to this group although Atlanta's Corey Peters and Chicago's Henry Melton have played very well.
AFC Outside Linebackers- Von Miller, Terrell Suggs, Tamba Hali
Rookie Von Miller has gained a lot of attention this season and rightfully so, but Texans outside linebacker Connor Barwin has been excellent. Jaguars outside linebacker Daryl Smith has been a great player for quite a while and has never received much notoriety.
NFC Outside Linebackers- DeMarcus Ware, Clay Matthews, Lance Briggs
All three players selected have had very good seasons but we question the selection of Briggs over Atlanta's Sean Weatherspoon.
AFC Inside Linebackers- Ray Lewis, Derrick Johnson
Ray Lewis is a Hall of Famer but he didn't deserve this particular honor. Jacksonville's Paul Posluszny has been excellent as has New York's David Harris and Houston's Brian Cushing.
NFC Inside Linebackers- Patrick Willis, Brian Urlacher
Patrick Willis is the game's best linebacker, but he has been hurt over the past month. Teammate Navarro Bowman has been stellar, as has the Cowboys Sean Lee.
AFC Cornerbacks- Darrelle Revis, Champ Bailey, Jonathan Joseph
It's about impossible to make an intelligent argument against these three players. Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers has been very good and Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan has had a quietly good season.
NFC Cornerbacks- Carlos Rogers, Charles Woodson, Charles Tillman
All three players are very deserving so arguments are difficult. Seattle's Richard Sherman, New York's Corey Webster and Atlanta's Brent Grimes have all had nice seasons.
AFC Safeties- Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Eric Weddle
Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu have been Pro Bowl fixtures, but the long-haired Steeler hasn't had a season deserving of the honor. Bills safety Jairus Byrd has been excellent, as has Houston's Glover Quin.
NFC Safeties- Earl Thomas, Adrian Wilson, Dashon Goldson
All three players selected are very deserving, as are Seattle's Kam Chancellor and New York's Kenny Phillips.
AFC Punter/Kicker/Specialists- Shane Lechler, Sebastian Janikowski, Antonio Brown, Matthew Slater
It's impossible to argue with Lechler, Janikowski and Brown's selections as they are the best at their positions. Every team has a solid special teams specialist and Jacksonville's Montell Owens and Kassim Osgood are every bit the player Slater is.
NFC Punter/Kicker/Specialists- Andy Lee, David Akers, Patrick Peterson, Corey Graham
Again, you can't argue with any of these selections. Atlanta rookie Akeem Dent has been an excellent special teams cover man.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie
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