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INDIANAPOLIS – It’ll be a far cry from last year.

But that’s what happens when you are a 4-8-1 football team.

The Colts will not sniff the NFL-leading 7 Pro Bowlers they had from last year.

Before we get into Colts who deserve Pro Bowl consideration, let’s go over a few things on Pro Bowl voting.

With voting ending later this week, guys are voted into the game (it’s a skills challenge in 2023) via 1/3 fan vote, 1/3 coach vote and 1/3 player vote.

Let’s slot Colts into two categories—-“deserving Pro Bowlers + could be voted in; deserving + not likely to be voted into the game.”


Deserving, Could Be Voted In

DeForest Buckner: You can again make a strong case for Buckner to be a Pro Bowler. What hurts him (and Grover Stewart) is the fact the AFC has some great, great defensive tackles. Still though, Buckner ranks in the top-5 of DTs in tackles and top-10 in sacks. Filling out those 3 AFC DT spots though gets crowded though when you factor in Chris Jones (Chiefs), Quinnen Williams (Jets), Jeffery Simmons (Titans) and Christian Wilkins (Dolphins).

Stephon Gilmore: I’m not sure any other Colt fits the mold of a deserving player, plus strong name recognition, than Gilmore. At the age of 32, Gilmore has been really solid for the Colts, sprinkling in some big-time moments. What should help Gilmore is he’s made some clutch moments in primetime (Broncos, Raiders) and/or against great opponents (Chiefs).


Deserving, Not Likely To Be Voted In

Grover Stewart: It’s almost like they should have a group for guys like Stewart to earn a Pro Bowl nod. Stewart absolutely deserves to be one in 2022, but won’t be. Again, his name and college background isn’t going to drum up the same general sentiment around the league and/or with fans. But only one defensive tackle has more solo tackles in the NFL this season than Stewart. He’s been a menace and is absolutely worthy of a Pro Bowl selection.

Zaire Franklin: What a year it’s been for Franklin. He’s gone from constant special teamer to tackling demon, which has been needed due to Shaquille Leonard’s limited season. Franklin’s 130 tackles rank 5th in the NFL. What will hurt Franklin’s candidacy is a lack of a name recognition and the fact he has just 1 sack and 1 turnover forced this season. Still, it’s been a great year for Franklin after re-signing with the Colts this past offseason.


Others To Consider

Jonathan Taylor ranks 4th in the AFC in rushing, but it’s a pretty big gap from him and the top-3 of Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb.

-You ask many around the NFL and they will acknowledge a regression for Quenton Nelson in 2022. Still though, his name recognition could garner enough attention to make yet another Pro Bowler. Nelson’s play hasn’t been awful, but nowhere near the slam dunk All-Pro caliber he was in prior years. Still, when you play on a position group who has been as poor as the Colts offensive line, it’s hard to slot you into any ‘deserving’ category.

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