It's yet to be seen if any Minnesota Vikings will be selected to the NFL's official Pro Bowl in Hawaii, but a pair of defensive stars were named to stats-based website ProFootballFocus.com's Pro Bowl team.
Harrison Smith was picked as a starting safety and Everson Griffen was named one of PFF's eight "edge rushers." The site uses the term edge rusher to blend the best pass-rushing defensive linemen and linebackers together. Here's how the site defined the term.
"Criteria change alert! The NFL’s ballot mixed players who do fundamentally different jobs, so we’ve turned their 4-3 DE category into one for Edge Rushers. That’s a mix of 4-3 defensive ends, 3-4 outside linebackers along with odd 3-4 DEs (who play a lot outside the tackles) and 4-3 OLBs (who rush the passer a lot). After that long-winded explanation, the guys above where the best of the bunch, with the starters all dominating their official position in large part to their excellent pass rushing."
According to 247 Sports, Griffin's career-high 12 sacks ranks eighth in the NFL. Smith is PFF's third-rated safety.
Joining Smith as PFF's Pro Bowl safety picks are:
- Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers
- Tashaun Gipson, Cleveland Browns
- Glover Quinn, Detroit Lions
- Devin McCourtney, New England Patriots
- Antoine Bethea, San Francisco 49ers
Joining Griffen as PFF's Pro Bowl edge rusher picks are:
- Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins
- J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
- Von Miller, Denver Broncos
- Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
- Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
- Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens
- Michael Bennett, Seattle Seahawks
Vikings defensive end Brian Robison on Wednesday lobbied for Smith and Griffen to go to the real Pro Bowl.
The NFL will unveil Pro Bowl selections on Tuesday, Dec. 23 live on NFL Network at 7 p.m. CT.