New England Patriots Land Seven Players on Pro Bowl Squad


The New England Patriots landed seven players on the 2016 Pro Bowl squad, but is that enough?

The players for the 2016 Pro Bowl were announced on Tuesday, and the New England Patriots showed up extremely well. Led by quarterback Tom Brady who was selected for the 11th time in his career, the Patriots landed seven players on the Pro Bowl squad.

Brady’s 11th Pro Bowl selection is more than any other player on the Pro Bowl roster this season, and the Patriots’ seven players selected is tied for the second most of all teams. The undefeated Carolina Panthers led the way with an impressive 10 players selected, while the Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks came in with seven players selected a piece.

Joining Brady as Patriots’ on the Pro Bowl roster is special teams ace Matthew Slater, who has been selected for the fifth consecutive year. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and kicker Stephen Gostkowski were both selected for the fourth time in their respective careers, while CB Malcolm Butler, LB Jamie Collins and DE Chandler Jones were all selected for the first time.

All seven players are extremely deserving of their selection, but I cannot help but think that a couple of Patriots’ players got snubbed on their selections. I am going to try to not sound like a homer here, but how the heck does Dont’a Hightower not get picked on the Pro Bowl roster.

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I understand injuries have held him back this season, but Hightower is probably the Patriots’ best defensive player. When he is out, their defense struggles, especially against the run. Hightower is their best run defender, a strong blitzer and good in coverage. He should have been chosen as an outside linebacker over DeMarcus Ware of the Denver Broncos.

I also think Patriots’ defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard has an argument to be on the roster. Sheard has been incredible in his first season with the Patriots, and I would have loved to see him get the recognition. Sheard is a versatile player who can line up anywhere up front, but he is naturally considered a defensive end.

Hightower definitely should be on the team, but considering there is not really a defensive end I think they should take off to replace with Sheard, I don’t have a huge problem with him missing out.

An argument for Sheard over Gerald McCoy or Calais Campbell at defensive tackle could probably be made, but considering Sheard a DT is a bit of a stretch. Sheard is worthy, but him missing out is not a huge snub.

Next: Patriots' Defense is Just as Good as Broncos'

The Patriots’ presence on the Pro Bowl team is just an easy way to show how good the team really is this season. Since it is one week before the Super Bowl, and players who play in the big game do not suit up for the Pro Bowl, hopefully, none of these Patriots’ players actually play in the 2016 Pro Bowl. However, their selections were a great honor. It is exciting to see their talent stacked up against the rest of the league.