Pro Bowl 2013: Young Stars Who Make Game a Must-Watch

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJanuary 26, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 06: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 6, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

While the NFL's Pro Bowl has been under intense scrutiny for its lack of relevance in recent years, this year's version is a must-watch thanks to all the young stars that will be participating.

Let's take a look at some of the up-and-comers that will be showcased in Sunday's game.


Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks enjoyed a sensational season in 2012, and Wilson was responsible for much of his team's success.

Wilson was just one of many dual-threat quarterbacks to make a significant impact this year and it's clear he is apart of a new era in the NFL at the position.

Seattle's signal-caller threw for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns, while completing an impressive 64 percent of his passes. On top of that, Wilson gave opposing defenses massive headaches because of his ability to run the ball, compiling 489 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Wilson can do it all, both with his arm and legs, so there's no telling just how he will attack an opposing defense. It will be very interesting to see Wilson have the opportunity to throw the ball to receivers the likes of Julio Jones, Victor Cruz and Larry Fitzgerald.


Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

The tight end position has undergone quite the makeover in the past decade as more and more players at the position are sensational athletes.

Gresham is a perfect combination of speed and strength and creates matchup nightmares for opposing linebackers.

For the Bengals in 2012, Gresham caught 64 passes for 737 yards and five touchdowns. His longest catch of 55 yards was a perfect example of just how athletic this big man is.

Gresham has become an ideal target both over the middle and in the red zone for Andy Dalton, and his improvement each and every year in the league ensures he'll be a star for years to come.


Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Colts fans often dreaded the day Peyton Manning would leave the team, but Luck's presence behind center in 2012 made them forget all about the future Hall of Famer.

Luck stepped in and successfully filled the biggest shoes known to man, breeding new hope in an organization that had none during the 2011 season.

Indy's signal-caller threw for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns, while also scoring another five with his legs. Also, Luck led his team on seven game-winning, fourth-quarter drives that easily turned the Colts into a playoff team.

The future is bright for the Colts and Luck should have a field day with all the great receivers he can throw to at this year's Pro Bowl.


Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin is the perfect example of hard work paying off as the Bucs running back made some major noise in the NFL after being the 30th overall selection in last year's draft.

The rookie Pro Bowler compiled 1,454 yards on the ground and crossed the goal line 11 times. To show his incredible versatility, Martin also caught 49 passes for 472 yards and a score.

In a normal year without Luck, Wilson and Robert Griffin III, Martin would have been an easy choice for Rookie of the Year.

Unfortunately he will be overshadowed by those three great quarterbacks, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he is certainly deserving of being in the conversation as one of the best young talents in the NFL.