The 2014 NFL Draft class has been well received by critics and fans alike. Many rookies have made an impact in their inaugural seasons but making the Pro Bowl as a rookie appears to be a major challenge.
The top rookies being talked about - the Giants' Odell Beckham, Jr., Tampa's Mike Evans, the Raiders' Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins of Buffalo and the Bengals' Jeremy Hill - made major debuts this fall but all are on the outside looking in when it comes to the upcoming Pro Bowl.
Only three players selected last April were named to the Pro Bowl this week. Two of them, Dallas OL Zach Martin (No. 16 overall) and Rams DT Aaron Donald (No. 13), were both penciled as possible Giants during the mock draft season and many others felt the third rookie Pro Bowler, Alabama LB CJ Mosely, taken 17th overall by Baltimore, would fit nicely as well.
The Giants had Beckham rated higher and selected him at 12. In the beginning, Beckham was shelved with a tricky hamstring. He missed all of training camp and the preseason and then sat out the Giants' first four games. Fans were wondering if the Giants had made the right choice in bypassing Martin, who stepped right into a starting position with the hated Cowboys and Donald, who would have helped stabilize the middle of their defensive line.
But Beckham turned out to be the right move by GM Jerry Reese. He is as productive as he is electrifying. In just 11 games, OBJ has 79 receptions for 1,120 yards and 11 TDs. Tops of the 2014 draft class.
Beckham and Mack have been named as alternates and will likely participate in the game. As for the more experienced Giants' players, none were named to the roster, which is no longer determined by conference. DE Jason Pierre-Paul was also chosen as an alternate.