Pro Bowl 2014: Potential Value Picks on Day 2 of Team Rice vs Team Sanders Draft

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2014

Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, right, reacts to comments made by fellow Hall of Famer Deion Sanders during a news conference for the NFL Pro Bowl Draft, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, Kapolei, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
MARCO GARCIA/Associated Press

The first day of the Pro Bowl draft between Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders was pretty straightforward. Both legends, who are helping revitalize the fading event, selected team captains for each side of the ball and then grabbed some linemen and specialists.

Rice opted for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn as his foundation. Sanders countered with Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

For a complete look at how the rosters are shaping up heading into Day 2, check out the official Pro Bowl draft site. Looking ahead, let's examine some players who should provide good value in the latter stages of the remaining rounds.


Tony Gonzalez

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 23:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a two yard touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park on December 23, 2013 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Gonzalez returned to the Atlanta Falcons for one more season in hopes of winning a Super Bowl. Things didn't go according to plan for the Falcons, who finished 4-12, but the legendary tight end said he's ready to suit up one more time after being selected to replace Vernon Davis.

The fill-in selection marks the 14th time the longtime Kansas City Chiefs star made the Pro Bowl. He's certainly deserving of the honor after finishing his final regular season with 83 catches for over 850 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since the group of tight ends is deep, led by Jimmy Graham, Gonzalez could stay on the board for awhile. Yet, even at age 37 with fading physical tools, he's still got the ability to post up smaller defenders in the red zone and that's where a lot of time is spent during the high-scoring exhibition.


Vontaze Burfict

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 17:  Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates during the NFL game against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on November 17, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Even though the Pro Bowl is often a defense-free zone, there are some players who simply can't turn off their competitive juices. Every time they step on the field they are eager to perform at a high level, and Burfict certainly plays like he belongs in that category.

The second-year linebacker was all over the field for the Cincinnati Bengals. He racked up a league-leading 171 total tackles to go along with eight passes defended, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Defensive players who can make plays all over the field like that are perfect for the wide-open playing style of the Pro Bowl. Burfict is in a solid group of inside linebackers, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him outplay them all in Hawaii.


Jairus Byrd

Gary Wiepert/Associated Press

A ball hawk like Byrd is also built perfectly for the Pro Bowl. He can roam freely in the secondary, looking for chances to pick off passes and take them the other way. It doesn't matter if he gets beat over the top because so will just about everybody else.

Byrd intercepted four passes during the regular season, which brings his career total to 22 through five seasons. He's been a stalwart member of the Bills defense over that span, but with his future up in the air, the safety is heading to Hawaii for some fun:

All told, he's one of those players who could be a sleeper pick for Pro Bowl MVP because he could easily end the game with a couple interceptions and maybe even take one back for a touchdown. That will make him a good addition to Team Rice or Team Sanders.