Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas is a fine player who will be making his second straight Pro Bowl appearance, but to me there is no way he deserves that Pro Bowl nod over fellow NFC West safety Quintin Mikell.
I usually don't get too up in arms over Pro Bowl selections, mainly because players like Jeff Saturday and Champ Bailey get in on name recognition alone. Shoot, Saturday led all centers in voting numbers for the NFC and was benched just a week ago in favor of his backup.
Also, I cover the NFC West for Bleacher Report, so it's not fair to me to want to replace a guy from my division with a guy from another division. Chances are I've seen more tape on an NFC West safety in comparison to an NFC East safety, which is why my argument for Mikell over Thomas has validity.
Sure, St. Louis is out of the playoff hunt and they are sitting at 7-7-1 heading into Week 17, but that doesn't mean a player should be overlooked because of it. Plenty of good players play on bad teams. Running back Steven Jackson is a good player who has played on a bad team his entire career practically.
According to the analysts at Pro Football Focus, Mikell is the second-highest graded safety in the NFC behind only Kerry Rhodes of the Arizona Cardinals. No. 27 has excelled as a box safety, just exactly where coach Jeff Fisher has wanted him.
No safety in the NFL has more quarterback sacks (three) or quarterback hurries (nine) than Mikell. Not to mention he is also incredible against the run. Heading into Week 17, he has three tackles for loss in the run game and 36 defensive stops.
There's no question his coverage skills could use some help and St. Louis would probably prefer that he didn't miss as many tackles as he does, but I'm afraid Mr. Thomas has the same problems.
Let's toast to the day where the Pro Bowl is either replaced or chosen by the scouting departments of all 32 NFL teams.
It might not be a fail safe method, but it couldn't be any worse than the current selection process.
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