We were asked to vote for our favorite Miami Dolphins to go Hawaii...oh wait, not Hawaii, sorry. What I meant to say was, we were asked to vote for our favorite Miami Dolphins to go to the desert in Arizona and play in the highly-regarded, highly...boring(?) annual NFL Pro Bowl. Well now the votes have been counted, and we've found that two of the Dolphins players have indeed made it to this battle of elites, and they aren't exactly surprising choices.
Defensive end Cameron Wake and cornerback Brent Grimes have both been voted to the Pro Bowl on previous occasions, including last year's Pro Bowl. This will be the fourth Pro Bowl appearance for Wake, and third for Grimes as he was voted as an alternate for the 2010 Pro Bowl.
While Wake and Grimes are the obvious choices to represent the Miami Dolphins because they're the biggest "names" on the team, there are several individuals who quite arguably were given snubs in favor of more popular players.
The man who pass-rushes on the opposite end of Wake, Olivier Vernon, while not as big a name as Wake, has an amazing amount of talent and still merely entering the prime of his career. Vernon has accumulated 6.5 sacks, forced two fumbles and has made 30 tackles. But what makes Vernon more deserving is that he succeeds where Wake fails. Defending against the run. Unfortunately, Vernon hasn't made it yet.
Another name who - while admittedly is no surprise - is rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The argument could be made that Mike Wallace is the better choice for this spot, but in all honesty, I feel that Landry is more deserving because of how valuable he's been to the team, and he wasn't even a starter right away. Since becoming a starter, he has already passed up retired running back Terry Kirby for the Dolphins rookie record for receptions in a season. Landry currently has 79, and he's likely to get more in the final game against the Jets.
There are a lot of talented players on this team that are worthy of Pro Bowl nods, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who despite having a mediocre offensive line once again, is putting up career numbers. Of course, Tannehill isn't likely to make a Pro Bowl as long as players like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers are still in the league, because votes will always go to players like them first.
The Pro Bowl is - at its worst - a glorified popularity contest. While many players who make it really are deserving, there are often those who get in mainly because fans just like them. It doesn't appear that's happened this year, but nevertheless, it will likely continue to be very difficult for Dolphins to break into the Pro Bowl roster for years to come unless the team as a whole comes together to break out of the mediocrity they've found themselves in the past few years.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Latest Dolphins News