Grading Deion Sanders’ 2014 Pro Bowl Team

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Grading Deion Sanders' Team

deion
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

For the past few years, the NFL and their players were caught taking the Pro Bowl for granted. It was to the point where viewers could tell that the participants were more into the event for the free family vacation than the competition. After all no one who made it through a healthy season wants to breakdown in an exhibition. So Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to cancel the game.

Then the Pro Bowl’s ratings shot through the roof last season and Goodell had a change of heart. And in the end, the league came up with this year’s part fantasy football, part playground pick inspired matchup which borrowed from the NBA’s Rising Stars showcase.

But instead of Charles Barkley or Shaquille O’Neal pretending to be GMs, Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice get to pick from a pool of players that eliminates the old AFC vs. NFC format.

It was a great idea that gave the event a fresh enough feel to have Deion teasing the thought of dusting off his cleats -- and possibly pulling a hamstring. However, cooler heads prevailed and Prime kept his duties to wrangling players for Team Sanders.

And just like Prime at cornerback, his selections came off looking like an A-plus combination of showmanship and skills. In other words, the perfect mix of guys who match everything the Florida State alum embodies. Plus he’ll get the chance to watch a pair -- wide receiver Dez Bryant and cornerback Patrick Peterson -- that he affectionately calls his “babies.”

So rather than focus on Rice’s less exciting team, we compiled a group of slides to grade Prime’s picks at the seven major positions.

Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.

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The Front Line

watt
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

On face value alone, Team Sanders has two of the most fared defensive linemen to ever grace the league (J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh).

Grade: A+

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The Middle Men

linebackers
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Terrell Suggs, Tamba Hali, Brian Orakpo, Luke Kuechly and Paul Posluszny have combined for 503 tackles and 36 sacks, but Team Rice seems to have the lesser named, better overall group.

Grade: B+

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The Back Line

secondary
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Team Sanders’ secondary is highlighted by Primetime mini-mes -- Patrick Paterson and Darrelle Revis -- who literally scare opposing quarterbacks from throwing the ball. Add in Kansas City Chiefs hard hitting safety Eric Berry and we may see team Rice sticking to the run.

Grade: A+

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Special Teams

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Without Devin Hester in the Pro Bowl, the Minnesota Vikings' Cordarrelle Patterson is the closest thing to being the most explosive player on the Hawaiian football field. And that’s obvious by looking at the rookie’s four touchdowns as a receiver, three as a rusher and another two on kickoff returns.

Grade: A+

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The Diva Position

receivers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

While Team Sanders and Team Rice are nearly equal at the wide receiver spot, Deion’s crew of Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, A.J. Green and Antonio Brown are literally one play away from taking it to the house.

Grade: A

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The Grinders

running backs
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Team captain Jamaal Charles is a great runner, but Team Rice trumped him with the picks of LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and DeMarco Murray.

Grade: B

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The Franchise

quarterbacks
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

According to NFL Network’s Marcas Grant, Deion drafted three of fantasy football’s top 11 quarterbacks. Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Nick Foles were also three of the league’s hottest signal-callers for the year.

The only way Team Sanders’ glamor position could have been better is if they had Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

Grade: A+


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