Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, with 168,222 votes, leads all players in balloting for the 2022 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon.
Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (158,633 votes) ranks second overall, while Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (156,176 votes), Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady (151,305 votes) and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett (150,268 votes) round out the top five.
Now, the Pro Bowl voting is arbitrary and arguably a sham—see Colts’ reigning First-Team NFL All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner making the NFL’s first-team in 2020, but being shockingly snubbed from the AFC Pro Bowl roster last year. (*The same thing also happened to 3x NFL All-Pro Colts linebacker Darius Leonard back in 2018).
However, it’s still a neat feat for Taylor—to lead all NFL players, and one has to tip their cap to what’s been a stellar season for the 22 year old breakout Colts’ superstar.
During his unworldly 2nd-year campaign, Taylor has rushed for 1,348 rushing yards on 241 carries (5.6 ypc. avg.) and 16 rushing touchdowns in 13 starts. His total rushing yards, carries, and rushing touchdowns all rank first most in the entire league respectively—while his rushing yards per carry average is 7th most despite a heavy, heavy workload.
However, he’s shown no signs of slowing down late in the season.
While no non-quarterback has won NFL MVP honors since 2012—when former Minnesota Vikings great Adrian Peterson accomplished the rare honor for a running back, it looks like it could be a two-man race down the stretch between Taylor and legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
If the league and national media can overlook its customary quarterback biases, it should be Taylor’s actually on the merit and the complete body of work, who’s had a monster 2021 season for the Colts—and is the motor that drives their offensive attack.
As it stands, first it should be Pro Bowl—as the current consensus frontrunner, NFL First-Team, and then ‘J.T. for 2021 NFL MVP’—if we’re actually being fair and objective.