8 Detroit Lions Who Deserve a Pro Bowl Appearance

1 of 9

8 Detroit Lions Who Deserve a Pro Bowl Appearance

Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA Today Sports

There is much talk lately of the Pro Bowl and just about every NFL website I visit asks me to vote for my favorite players. The Detroit Lions are on pace to win the NFC North and have a legit chance of making a run at the NFC. There´s got to be a reason why they are performing so well. As I sit getting ready to cast my vote, I've taken the time to analyze the team and select a few players who in my opinion should earn a trip to Hawaii.

Four games are left to conclude another exciting regular season in the NFL, and it has been a superb ride for the Lions as they are looking for a playoff appearance. Winning a division is a task the Lions have not been able to accomplish since 2003 when they used to play in the NFC Central under the direction of head coach Wayne Fontes.

There are a few players on the 2013 Lions' roster who have delivered a superb performance and deserve both credit and praise for making this year a memorable one in Detroit Lions' history. At the individual level, they have also established themselves as part of the league's elite by producing outstanding numbers. Not taking into account the popularity factor and judging solely on a performance basis, there are eight Detroit Lions in my Pro Bowl ballot who I think belong in the NFL's cream of the crop. After careful consideration, I leave you with a list of obvious picks and a few surprises!

Luis Vilanova is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. Follow him/her on Twitter, “Like” him/her on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

2 of 9

8. Rob Sims

Rob Sims
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Sims has been essential in the re-building of the offensive line. Compared to the rest of the line, he keeps a lower profile and most of the time his hard work goes unnoticed. His veteran leadership and work ethic have helped the offensive line become the league's best. The Lions' left guard has played through 12 games so far and has yet to allow a sack.

3 of 9

7. Dominic Raiola

Dominic Raiola
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

At 34 years of age, Dominic Raiola is the heart and soul of the Detroit Lions' offensive line. Despite playing alongside many players since 2001, his performance has only gotten better and delivers superb run blocking and pass protection. He has been influential in the development and success of the younger linemen.

4 of 9

6. Larry Warford

Larry Warford
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Warford was considered a steal during April's NFL Draft. Detroit selected Larry during the third round and only saw potential in him. During the preseason there was still much speculation about his abilities. As we near the end of the regular season, Warford has played like a seasoned veteran and is a strong candidate for a Rookie of the Year award. He is the most powerful blocker on the line.

5 of 9

5. Riley Reiff

Riley Reiff
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Last season's top pick is the guy in charge of security for the Lions; he does a perfect job of protecting Matt Stafford's blindside. Not only is he one of the younger guys of the offensive line, but he has been absolutely dominant this year in keeping Stafford clean in the pocket. He is the future leader of the offensive line and is living up to those expectations.

6 of 9

4. Ezekiel Ansah

Ezekiel Ansah
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Ansah did not have much football experience coming into the NFL, but the Lions decided to take a risk with Ziggy drafting him fifth overall. Despite missing two games due to a high ankle sprain, Ziggy Ansah has been the most productive member of the defensive line racking up seven sacks in 10 games. Ziggy's display of power and speed has had a positive impact on the defensive line, allowing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley to take advantage of single coverage situations more effectively as they deliver great plays. Ansah is on pace to finish the year with more than 10 sacks and is my choice for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

7 of 9

3. DeAndre Levy

DeAndre Levy
Rick Osentoski-USATODAY Sports

Before the 2013 season when I made reference to DeAndre Levy, I used to get odd replies like "DeAndre who?" Levy has six interceptions to date, one returned for a touchdown and 93 total tackles. He is the NFL's best at pass defending linebacker, and there is no other player better at the weak-side linebacker position.

8 of 9

2. Matthew Stafford

Matt Stafford
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions' leader, captain and commander is Matt Stafford. Ever since an injury-plagued rookie season, Stafford has gone on to lead the Lions and to break every passing record in team history. He is second in the NFL in passing yards and third in passing touchdowns. He currently ranks amongst the NFL's elite and deserves a first-class ticket to Hawaii.

9 of 9

1. Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson
Andrew Weber-USATODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson is a strong candidate to win Most Valuable Player honors. It has been another year of Megatron heroics, and he is on pace for the best scoring season of his career. This year he became the Lions' all-time receiver and had a career best 329 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. There is absolutely no doubt that Calvin Johnson deserves to be in the Pro Bowl; or is there Dez Bryant?

Around the Web