Earlier this week, NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal wrote an article listing nine players who are primed to make their Pro Bowl debut in 2016. While no Colts made his list, it got us thinking: which Colt is primed for his Pro Bowl debut?
Obviously, this rules out those players who have already made a Pro Bowl. There are eleven players on the Colts' 90-man roster who have made the all-star game, combining for 28 appearances between them: Robert Mathis, Frank Gore, Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Vontae Davis, Trent Cole, Mike Adams, D'Qwell Jackson, Pat McAfee, and Matt Overton. That leaves plenty of players who haven't participated, however, so which one stands the best chance at getting the nod this year?
I think we can narrow the discussion down to several options: Henry Anderson, Kendall Langford, Jack Mewhort, Anthony Castonzo, Ryan Kelly, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen, and Patrick Robinsion. There are others you might wish to include, but I think that group is a good one to narrow the discussion down to.
It's hard for offensive linemen to get voted to the Pro Bowl outside of name recognition, as there aren't exactly statistical measurables for them like there are for other positions. That doesn't mean that one of the Colts' linemen can't make it, but just that they will need to be especially good. The best candidate might be Jack Mewhort, but I still don't think he's the most likely player on the roster to make his Pro Bowl debut next year.
Donte Moncrief and Dwayne Allen are both grouped together here because they both can be measured by statistical receiving production. Moncrief is firmly established as the Colts' number two wide receiver and could be poised for a nice year. With so many great wide receivers throughout the NFL and only a few of them making the Pro Bowl each year, however, it's a long shot for Moncrief to actually make it. Allen is also a long shot, as the Pro Bowl tight ends are often those who produce a ton in the receiving game. Allen is a well-rounded tight end and could have a good year in 2016, but he likely will need to produce much more in the receiving game to actually make the Pro Bowl. He's capable of doing so, but it would probably necessitate at least double the production of his best receiving season, so it's not likely.
That leaves the two defensive linemen, Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford. Like with the offensive linemen, it sometimes can be harder for defensive linemen to make the Pro Bowl outside of name recognition, perhaps especially for 3-4 defensive linemen who don't rack up the numbers as much. That would hurt Langford and Anderson's cases, though both were great in 2015.
So who is the Colt most likely to make his Pro Bowl debut in 2016? I'll go with Henry Anderson, but there are several options. This doesn't mean any Colts will neccessarily make their Pro Bowl debut next year, but rather the discussion is just who the most likely player to do so is. Who's your choice?