In a release show on NFL Network Monday evening, the NFL released its 2021 Pro Bowl rosters, honoring the best players for the league’s 2020 season. Although the Pro Bowl game itself will not be taking place this season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the rosters are still notable, even if for no other reason than player contract incentives.
This year, the Green Bay Packers have landed seven players on the NFC’s roster for the 2021 Pro Bowl, six of whom are starters.
The list begins (of course) with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This is Rodgers’ ninth Pro Bowl appearance in his career and his third in a row. In fact, Rodgers has made the Pro Bowl in every season since 2011 except for 2013 and 2017, the two seasons in which he suffered a broken collarbone. This year, he leads the NFL in passing touchdowns (40), interception rate (0.8% of attempts), passer rating (118.0), QBR (83.6), and Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt or ANY/A (8.66).
Rodgers will be joined by his blind side protector, left tackle David Bakhtiari, who led all offensive tackles in the NFC in the fan vote. This is Bakhtiari’s third Pro Bowl appearance, though he also has one first-team and two second-team All-Pro honors to his credit.
Davante Adams, the Packers’ number one wide receiver and Rodgers’ favorite target in the passing game, has also been named to the NFC Pro Bowl team. This is the fourth straight year he has earned that honor, as he leads the NFL in receiving yards per game through week 15. Adams also currently sits second in the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns, trailing only Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs, who has 15.
The Packers have one other repeat Pro Bowler on this year’s team, as Za’Darius Smith made the NFC roster once again this year. He makes his second straight appearance in his second season as a Packer, following up his 13.5-sack campaign in 2019 with 11.5 through 14 games of 2020. Like Bakhtiari, Smith led all NFC players at his position in fan voting this fall.
Green Bay also has three first-time Pro Bowlers on their roster. One, cornerback Jaire Alexander, is on the upswing and may earn All-Pro honors for his tremendous season. Although Alexander has recorded only one interception, he has rarely been thrown at all year and has shut down several number one receivers this season.
The Packers also get one of the members of the 2019 Draft class onto the team, as former second-round draft pick Elgton Jenkins made the roster as one of the starting guards. Despite that designation, Jenkins has also started games at right tackle and center this season and in year two has quickly become one of the NFL’s rising stars among interior linemen. Instead of Corey Linsley, the two centers on the NFC team are the Eagles’ Jason Kelce and Detroit’s Frank Ragnow.
According to the Packers’ website, each of those six players are starters on the NFC team. The only player elected to the team as a backup is running back Aaron Jones, who also makes his first Pro Bowl team in 2020 after being snubbed a year ago. Jones has had a tremendously successful last month, with over 400 rushing yards over the past four games. He currently sits fourth in the NFL in rushing yards despite missing two games earlier this season, and this honor comes on the heels of him being ranked #33 on the NFL’s Top 100 players countdown this summer. Jones is the only player chosen to the team as a backup.
This is the largest number of Packers players voted to the Pro Bowl since 2014, when seven players represented the organization.
The 2021 Pro Bowl will not take place as a football game on the field, but will instead be replaced by a series of events that will include a Madden NFL Football video game tournament. Stay tuned as that approaches for more updates on the events of Pro Bowl week.