Predicting Pro Bowl futures

Originally Published: December 15, 2004
Pro Football Weekly

Predicting greatness is not an exact science.

But history shows the NFL's elite players generally are recognizable at the very outset of their pro careers, going back all the way to draft day.

Of last year's Pro Bowl starters, 23 of 44 were first-round picks. While this season's Pro Bowl starters won't officially be announced until Jan. 8, we do know who has been voted to the honors squads, and 54 percent of the players who already know they have earned a trip to Hawaii are former first-round picks.

So it should come as no surprise that when Pro Football Weekly polished off its crystal ball to help predict which of today's young NFL players could be next in line to earn Pro Bowl invites, a great number of them are recent high draft picks.

In the following team-by-team rundown, we considered players who have yet to earn a Pro Bowl berth other than as an alternate. We also took into consideration the competition a player might face at his respective position.