Although the Green Bay Packers had three players named to the 2017 Pro Bowl, they had several other players who are arguably deserving of that same honor. A handful of these players are listed as alternates for the game, so there is still a chance that they end up making it to Orlando in January.
However, a couple players in particular are ones whom we feel were snubbed and should have been named to the team outright. Here are a couple of the players that we believe either belong on the team or at least deserve (but did not receive) alternate status.
LT David Bakhtiari
Like T.J. Lang, who was named to his first Pro Bowl today, Bakhtiari has made a name for himself as a pass-blocker, but has done so protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blind side over the past four years. He signed a big contract extension just before the start of the season, and has backed it up with terrific play all season long. Bakhtiari is a first alternate, however, so if any of the NFC tackles are unable or unwilling to play, he’ll be the first one up.
WR Jordy Nelson
Like Bakhtiari, Nelson is a first alternate. However, he certainly qualifies as a snub. One of the top contenders for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, Nelson leads the entire NFL in touchdown receptions and is in the top ten in both catches and receiving yards despite recovering from the torn ACL that cost him the entire 2015 season. His 60-yard catch from Rodgers at the end of the Bears game put him over the 1,000-yard mark. If he does eventually make the team, it would be his second Pro Bowl honor, as he made the team in 2014. Ahead of Nelson are four players: Odell Beckham, Jr., Mike Evans, Julio Jones, and Larry Fitzgerald. Nelson leads Fitzgerald in every major category except receptions, as Fitz elads the league with 98.
DT Mike Daniels
Over the past four years, Daniels has become one of the most dominant interior linemen in the NFL, but is only an alternate on the team behind Fletcher Cox, Gerald McCoy, and Aaron Donald. Although he has recorded just three sacks this season, Daniels continues to get consistent penetration through opposing offensive lines and is the anchor of the Packers’ top-ten run defense. It continues to be confounding that Daniels cannot break through with a Pro Bowl honor, despite playing at a consistently high level for his entire career.
FB Aaron Ripkowski
In just his second season, Rip has picked up right where John Kuhn left off, but is an alternate along with his other teammates. He has 25 carries, the most of any NFL fullback, which have gone for 89 yards and two scores. He has also been a punishing lead blocker and special teams player. Carolina’s Mike Tolbert was named as the NFC’s lone fullback.
RT Bryan Bulaga
The only player we view as a bit of a snub who is not listed as an alternate is Bulaga, and he probably has an argument for being an alternate rather than being named to the team outright. Like his linemate Bakhtiari, Bulaga has held up great in pass blocking throughout the season on Rodgers’ right side.