It appears that Green Bay Packers fans are putting forth a concerted effort to get their team’s left tackle to the Pro Bowl this year. David Bakhtiari has been elected to a single Pro Bowl in his career — back in 2016 — despite being an All-Pro each of the past three seasons.
Bakh was a second-team All-Pro in 2016 and 2017 before taking a step forward as the first-team left tackle in 2018. However, he still was not selected as a Pro Bowler in an inexplicable decision by the NFL. But perhaps 2019 will be his time for a return engagement, though he would surely rather have the week off to play in the Super Bowl instead.
According to the NFL’s final tally of fan votes for the 2019 Pro Bowl, Bakhtiari is the top vote-getter among all offensive tackles in football. He led the NFC with 194,207 votes, beating the top AFC representative, Baltimore’s Orlando Brown, but about 5,500 votes. And although fan voting is only one part of the Pro Bowl selection process, this makes it a good bet that Bakhtiari will finally get back on to the roster.
Joining Bakhtiari as a leader at his position is outside linebacker Preston Smith. The Packers’ sack leader currently ranks sixth in the NFL in that statistic with 11.5, leading his teammate Za’Darius Smith by 1.5 sacks. Smith led NFC outside linebackers in voting with a bit over 188,000 votes. However, he does trail T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the top-grossing AFC player at the position with over 251,000. Smith has never been to a Pro Bowl, and this is a good sign that he may be headed there when the season concludes.
All of these players trail the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, who is atop the overall leaderboard with over 700,000 votes as the AFC representative at quarterback. However, the Packers received the third-most total votes as a team, trailing only the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
But Bakhtiari and Smith, players who have been consistently overlooked for this honor for different reasons, both look like good bets to make the initial Pro Bowl roster for the 2019 season.