The NFL announced Friday the players selected for the 2014 Pro Bowl. This will be the first year that the exhibition game will be “unconferenced” with players selected by fans, coaches and players with no regard to conference affiliation. The actual rosters will be “drafted” fantasy football-style by alumni team captains: Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders. The Pro Bowl Draft will be televised live on the NFL Network at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
The format is silly, but one snubbed player is surely not amused: Evan Mathis.
Guard Evan Mathis has elevated the Philadelphia Eagles’ run blocking capabilities into the league’s elite ranks and paved the way for LeSean McCoy to soon claim the league’s rushing title. Mathis has been the best offensive guard in football each of the past three years and is currently having one of the finest seasons by a guard in NFL history. Per profootballfocus.com, his overall grade (pass blocking and run blocking) is 38.8, which is 12.7 more than the second ranked guard, Josh Sitton, who has compiled a 26.1 overall grade and was also snubbed from the 2014 Pro Bowl. Furthermore, Mathis’s run blocking has graded out significantly better than any other guard in the league. Despite consistently awesome production, he has inexplicably never made a Pro Bowl, and will continue to sit at home while his inferior peers play in his place.
Most egregiously, San Francisco 49ers guard Mike Iupati will be making the trip. As one of the worst pass blocking guards in the NFL, Iupati’s selection is simply a mistake. Per profootballfocus.com, he received a -5.9 isolated run blocking grade while only playing 654 snaps this season, compared to Mathis’s 36.5 run blocking grade and 1,061 snaps. The chasm between Mathis’ and Iupati’s production is shocking and can be held up as the most blatant oversight on the Pro Bowl roster.