INDIANAPOLIS – As the Colts make a late-season playoff push, they have 7 Pro Bowlers in 2021, which is the most of any team in the NFL.
A reminder for how Pro Bowl voting works: it’s a combination of three groups—fans, players, coaches—each accounting for 1/3 of the voting process.
The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played on February 6 in Las Vegas.
Here are the 2021 Colts Pro Bowlers
- Jonathan Taylor: Duh. The league’s leading rusher, Taylor (1,518 rushing yards) has 424 more rushing yards than No. 2 on that list (Joe Mixon-1,094). That’s incredible. Taylor heads to his first Pro Bowl and better get used to being a mainstay in this game.
- Darius Leonard: Another no brainer, Leonard is making a strong push for Defensive Player of the Year. Leonard has 6 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries as he’s fully backed up the contract he signed before the start of this season. This is Leonard’s third straight Pro Bowl selection after he was snubbed in his 2018 rookie campaign.
- Quenton Nelson: Four for four. Now that we got the two obvious ones out of the way, Nelson remains a Pro Bowl caliber player even though his 4th season has seen some ups and downs. That’s mostly been in the health department though. On the field, Nelson is still a Pro Bowler. There’s little debate on that.
- Ryan Kelly: With a running back like Jonathan Taylor, you will often see those teams also send a couple of offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl, along with their stud running back. What helped Kelly’s cause is the fact that he made the Pro Bowl in each of the previous two years. That name recognition is important at the center position.
- Kenny Moore: An emotional Frank Reich saved Moore as the last name to announce to Colts teammates as a Pro Bowler earlier on Wednesday. Moore deserves this first-time Pro Bowl nod. His stats are certainly comparable to the other top corners in the AFC. Past worry about the lack of notoriety for Moore finally has ended. I think Moore getting some love on Hard Knocks also helped him receive the attention he deserves.
- DeForest Buckner: This might surprise some people, but this wasn’t as big of a lock as one would think. There are several defensive tackles in the AFC that have more impactful plays than Buckner. When you look at other notable stats for defensive tackles (sacks, tackles for loss, QB hits, forced fumbles), Buckner’s numbers are also not on that definite top tier. Now, Buckner has name recognition, and his team has won more games than some others ahead of him, so he’s going to the Pro Bowl for a second time.
- Luke Rhodes: A former linebacker under the previous regime, Rhodes has turned himself into a Pro Bowl long snapper. Oftentimes, you still see the linebacker tenacity in Rhodes covering punts. Also on the special teams front, Ashton Dulin is a snub. Dulin has more tackles than any other special teamer in the AFC.
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Trackside with Curt Cavin & Kevin Lee