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INDIANAPOLISAs the Colts make a late-season playoff push, they have several deserving players for the Pro Bowl.

A reminder for how Pro Bowl voting works: it’s a combination of three groups—fans, players, coaches—each accounting for 1/3 of the voting process.

Pro Bowl voting concludes later this week with the teams announced next week.

Let’s gauge the Colts and the Pro Bowl hopes:


Should/Will Make It

-Jonathan Taylor: Duh.

-Darius Leonard: Obviously. 

-Quenton Nelson: Now that we got the two no brainers out of the way, Nelson remains a Pro Bowl caliber player even though his 4th season has seen some ups and downs. That’s mostly been in the health department though. On the field, Nelson is still a Pro Bowler. There’s little debate on that.

-Ryan Kelly: With a running back like Jonathan Taylor, you will often see those teams also send a couple of offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl, along with their stud running back. What will help Kelly’s cause is the fact that he’s made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two years. That name recognition is important at the center position.

-Ashton Dulin: It was George Odum last year and the Colts have another special teamer who needs to be a Pro Bowler this season. Dulin’s 14 special teams tackles are 3 more than any other AFC player. He has been a huge part in the Colts once again controlling field position on a consistent basis. Dulin should be the AFC’s special teamer to go.


Could (Likely Won’t) Make It

-DeForest Buckner: This might surprise some people, but this isn’t as big of a lock as one would think. There are 4 defensive tackles in the AFC that have more sacks than Buckner. When you look at other impactful stats for defensive tackles (tackles for loss, QB hits, forced fumbles), Buckner’s numbers are also not on that top tier. Now, Buckner has name recognition and his team has won more games than some others ahead of him, but this is no slam dunk. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. I still think he has a legit shot to make it.

-Braden Smith: What hurts Smith is that the offensive tackle group for the Pro Bowl isn’t split up ‘left tackle’ and ‘right tackle.’ Would the Colts really get 3 offensive linemen into the Pro Bowl without being a division leader? That would surprise me, even though Smith is stout and worthy of mention.

-Kenny Moore: Sadly, Moore still lacks the notoriety in the NFL to likely garner a Pro Bowl spot. That’s seen in the fan voting for sure. Now, Moore deserves the Pro Bowl nod. His stats are certainly comparable to the other top corners in the AFC. But my worry comes down to if the NFL/fans see that side of Moore. So far, they haven’t.

-Michael Pittman: While Pittman has blossomed in this second year and is garnering some attention from fan voting, he’s still likely a year away from being a true Pro Bowl candidate. If you look at the other AFC wideouts, you will find a handful of wideouts all with more compelling resumes than Pittman (i.e. Jamar Chase, Tyreek Hill, Diontae Johnson, Stefon Diggs, etc). Still, it has been a really nice Year 2 for Pittman (67 catches for 882 yards and 5 touchdowns).