With the anticipation of the 2018 Pro Bowl rosters being announced tonight, which Buffalo Bills do we think will get the nod? Pro Bowl selection is based off the votes of fans, coaches, and players. Each group receives a one third weight toward final roster selections.
SS Micah Hyde
As we’ve noted, Micah Hyde should be a safe bet. Fan votes have already been counted and the names of the players that received the most votes were released. Hyde received the most fan votes of any AFC player at his position which gives him a definitive lead in one-third of the race to get there. With five interceptions and plenty of eye-popping plays, it’s a safe bet many players will remember his name with their votes. Coaches are likely to follow suit as Hyde represents a known commodity that should be on their radar.
DT Kyle Williams
Hyde was the only player for the Bills who topped AFC fan voting. However, the names released only represent those with the top billing. While Kyle didn’t top the list, safe money is that Bills fans submitted his name a few times and he has a healthy score there. If an opposing coach mentions a Buffalo Bill by name, it’s likely Williams. Players have faced him more than any other Bills’ lineman this year. While his stats don’t jump off the page, players are more inclined to vote for who gave them a tough time and that’s still Kyle Williams.
CB Tre’Davious White
Rookies always deserve some hesitation, which is why White falls to option three on the list. If it weren’t for his legitimate shot at defensive rookie of the year, there’d be no expectation of seeing him in the Pro Bowl. There is often an element of player and coach votes skewing toward players that have paid their dues and that won’t help White. However, his pattern of sealing games with late picks has raised eyebrows, as have a plethora of defended passes. Between his excellent play and solid dance moves, White has been a fan favorite, and it should be expected that he’s not trailing too many players on the fan vote. The small market status of Buffalo isn’t ideal, but White has been central to some headlines this year that might have put his name out there further than expected.
RB LeSean McCoy
The only indispensable Buffalo Bill, LeSean McCoy has again been the backbone of the Bills’ offense. While arguably having a down year, McCoy hit a major milestone this year which has turned the Shady narrative toward all things positive. Fans, coaches, and players alike all recognize how much McCoy means to Buffalo which could lead to some favorable voting. The receiver carousel and QB drama this year have left him as the sole skill player with any consistent positive buzz which should help matters. It should be noted that the AFC has some tough competition for McCoy
OG Richie Incognito
With linemen, fan voting should be wonky as these players rarely attain superstar status. Richie Incognito has made a name for himself for numerous reasons, but currently stands tall as a tale of redemption. As a result, Buffalo fans likely gave him some love in the voting process. Incognito continues to be graded well by analysts and been a part of several most disrespectful block of the week awards handed out by Geoff Schwartz. It’s a safe bet this has translated into some recognition from opposing players and coaches, as well.
Taylor will likely once again play in the Pro Bowl. Tom Brady and Big Ben should be locked in toward the top and also locked in as players who will decide not to attend. Deshaun Watson would likely have gotten more votes than Taylor, but an early injury derailed his chances. Philip Rivers and Alex Smith should also both receive more votes than Tyrod, with decent cases for Derek Carr, Andy Dalton and one or two more QBs. However, if past years are any indication, there should be several “good reasons” for QBs to elect to stay home. There’s a good shot for a middle of the pack QB (in terms of voting) to attend. And to credit Taylor, while often polarizing, he has seen a fair share of supporters in the football community this year and in the past. It should be safely anticipated that he’ll run middle of the pack in voting.