Voting for the 2024 Pro Bowl Games officially opened Monday and can be done right here.
Last year, despite earning an AFC South title and a playoff win over the Los Angeles Chargers, the Jacksonville Jaguars had zero players make the initial Pro Bowl roster. Eventually, injuries and the Super Bowl opened up enough spots that quarterback Trevor Lawrence and return specialist Jamal Agnew earned the honors.
The 2023 season should probably be different, though.
Unlike last year, the Jaguars won’t need to win five straight games to claw back above .500 and into the playoff picture. Jacksonville is rolling with an 8-3 record and plenty of deserving candidates.
In a conference with quarterbacks like C.J. Stroud, Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert all putting up big numbers, it could take a lot for Lawrence to get another nod. But these seven Jaguars players deserve to get in when the rosters are announced later this season:
OLB Josh Allen
This is the easiest one. Allen is top five in the NFL in sacks (12), quarterback hits (22), and pressures (60). A spot among the three outside linebackers for the AFC along with T.J. Watt and Khalil Mack should be a no-brainer. There’s no other AFC linebacker besides that trio with more than 7.5 sacks.
RB Travis Etienne Jr.
Etienne is one of four running backs in the NFL, along with Christian McCaffrey, Josh Jacobs, and James Cook with more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage through the first 12 weeks of the season. His eight touchdowns are third most among AFC running backs behind Raheem Mostert and Gus Edwards.
TE Evan Engram
Only two tight ends make it per conference and the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce is a lock. While Engram’s zero touchdowns could make it tough, he’s second behind only Kelce in the AFC in receptions for a tight end with 64. One big day could be all it takes to distance himself from Dalton Kincaid, David Njoku, and Mark Andrews for the spot.
P Logan Cooke
Cooke’s 43.6-yard net punting average is second in the AFC behind only the Titans’ Ryan Stonehouse (44.3). It’s an especially impressive average when you consider that Cooke has the NFL’s highest percentage of punts downed inside the 20-yard line (56.1%), which means he hasn’t had many opportunities to boom it deep.
LB Foye Oluokun
Somehow leading the NFL in tackles in back-to-back seasons hasn’t been enough to get Oluokun in the Pro Bowl. He’s making a push for that title again (he’s eight off the lead through 12 weeks), but he’s also added 2.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, and a pick six.
CB Darious Williams
If defending pass catchers is a cornerback’s No. 1 responsibility, how can you ignore the NFL’s leader in passes defended? With Tyson Campbell in and out of the lineup, Williams has stepped up with 16 pass defenses, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
LS Ross Matiscik
How many other long snappers in the NFL have a forced fumble and a fumble recovery? Zero. Matiscik has done his job to allow Logan Cooke and Brandon McManus to put together stellar years, and he leads all long snappers in tackles to boot.