Pro Bowl Selections Show Which Teams Draft Best
For the Green Bay Packers to have no players going to the Pro Bowl is a sure sign the team is not producing star players like they used to. Maybe we can learn something from four teams that are doing much better: the Steelers (8 Pro Bowlers), the Eagles and Saints (6 each), and the NFC North champs, the Vikings (4).
The following stats are from 2006 through 2017, starting with the no-Pro-Bowler home team. All five teams, due to their many wins, similarly have had few late overall draft picks over this 12-year period.
Packers – 2 losing seasons, 8 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 5th in 2006, 9th in 2009
Steelers – no losing seasons, 8 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 15th in 2007 and 2014
- QB Ben Roethlisberger – Rd. 1/2004
- RB Le‘Veon Bell – Rd. 2/2013
- WR Antonio Brown – Rd. 6/2010
- T Alejandro Villanueva – U/2010
- G David DeCastro – Rd. 1/2012
- C Maurkice Pouncey – Rd. 1/2010
- LB Ryan Shazier – Rd. 1/2014
Eagles – 3 losing seasons since 2006, 6 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 2nd in 2016, 4th in 2013
- QB Carson Wentz – Rd. 1/2016
- TE Zach Ertz – Rd. 2/2013
- T Lane Johnson – Rd.1/2013
- G Brandon Brooks – Rd. 3/2012
- DL Fletcher Cox – Rd. 1/2012
- SS Malcolm Jenkins – Rd. 1/2009
Saints – 5 losing seasons since 2006, 6 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 11th in 2017, 12th in 2016, 13th in 2015
- RB Alvin Kamara – Rd. 3/2017
- RB Mark Ingram – Rd. 1/2011
- WR Michael Thomas – Rd. 2/2016
- DE Cameron Jordan – Rd. 1/2011
- CB Marshon Lattimore – Rd. 1/2017
Vikings – 5 losing teams since 2006, 5 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks 4th in 2012, 7th in 2007
- WR Adam Thielen – U/2013
- DE Everson Griffen – Rd. 4/2010
- OLB Anthony Barr – Rd. 1/2014
- CB Xavier Rhodes – Rd. 1/2013
Without a doubt, first-round draft success is essential to having a star-studded roster.
Pittsburgh’s seven PB’ers (I didn’t include their kicker) include four first-rounders, a second rounder, and one of two undrafted players out of these 23. Six of seven were drafted from 2010-14.
Philadelphia in just 2012 and 2013 drafted four PB’ers. Overall they’ve hit on four first-rounders.
Three of New Orleans PB’ers came from round one, two in round two, and one in round three.
Three of Minnesota’s PB’ers were drafted in 2013 or 2014, including undrafted phenom Thielen.
While these four teams were excelling on that first draft day, the Packers last six top picks, all defenders, have to date failed to possess star quality – however, Kenny Clark (2016) is a potential future All-Pro. Justin Harrell (2007), Derek Sherrod (2011), and Datone Jones (2013) produced little or no value whatsoever.