Former Wisconsin Football stars J.J. Watt and Melvin Gordon continue to make Badger Nation proud, as both were picked to play in the 2019 Pro Bowl.
Once again, Wisconsin will be well-represented at this season’s NFL Pro Bowl.
Last year, Joe Schobert (Cleveland Browns), Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks), and Travis Frederick (Dallas Cowboys) represented the Badgers at pro football’s all-star showcase, but neither of the three were selected to this year’s event. Keep in mind, Frederick has not played this season as he goes through treatment for Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
Instead, Badger Nation will have the privilege of watching two of the most iconic players in the proud history of our program suit up for AFC squad. J.J. Watt (Houston Texans) and Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) are both in the midst of career seasons and have been rewarded for their efforts with roster spots at this year’s Pro Bowl, which will take place on January 27 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
This is Gordon’s second Pro Bowl selection, with the last coming in 2016. The former All-American and Doak Walker Award winner at Wisconsin has emerged as one of the best running backs in the NFL this year and has been one of the biggest reasons why the Chargers are currently sitting at 11-3 and are poised for a deep playoff run.
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Gordon has sat out four games this season with injury but has still managed to rack up 802 rushing yards (5.2 yards per carry), 453 receiving yards, and 13 total touchdowns.
After a few years of disappointing injury setbacks, it has been a joy to watch Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, return to form for the 10-4 Texans this season and remind everyone that he is still one of the league’s most dominant players. He is back to creating havoc this season, as he is currently tied for second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks to go along with four defended passes, 24 quarterback hits, and six forced fumbles. This is the fifth Pro Bowl selection for the future Hall of Famer.
While it is exciting to see Watt and Gordon get their due, they should not be the only former Badgers at the event.
How on earth Ryan Ramczyk did not get selected is beyond me. According to Pro Football Focus, the New Orleans Saints star has been the No. 3 tackle in the entire NFL. Thanks in large part to him, the Saints’ offensive line has allowed just 16 sacks all season. While it’s certainly disappointing to see him snubbed, Ramczyk is a young, budding superstar in the league and has many Pro Bowls in his future.
Drew Brees and Jared Goff are deserving of two of the three quarterback spots on the NFC roster, but, as all Packers fans are aware, Aaron Rodgers is not. You know who is? Russell Wilson.
Wilson has the Seattle Seahawks contending for an unexpected playoff berth thanks largely to his career season. He has thrown for a career high 31 touchdown passes (good for third in the league) and also boasts a sparkling 111.6 passer rating (fourth-best in the league). You could argue that no quarterback has been more crucial to his team’s success this season than Wilson.
While he clearly deserved a roster spot, Wilson at least was listed as an alternate, so he could still end up appearing in the game.
All stats courtesy of ESPN.com