Although the Minnesota Vikings field a top-five defense and a number of different playmakers on offense, just one player was selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl — running back Adrian Peterson. His selection, the first since 2013, was an obvious choice, as Peterson leads the league with 1,314 rushing yards and has often been the cog in Vikings victories this season.
This marks Peterson’s seventh Pro Bowl appearance and ties him with Ron Yary for fourth-most all-time in franchise history. While Peterson was the easiest choice among voting fans, players, and coaches, others could definitely be considered snubs, including center Joe Berger, nose tackle Linval Joseph, free safety Harrison Smith, and linebacker Anthony Barr. According to Pro Football Focus’s recent mock Pro Bowl roster, those four made the list, with Cordarrelle Patterson (leads the league with 31.1 yards/return) joining them as one of two kick returners.
Berger is the analytics website’s second-highest ranked center, while Smith misses the Pro Bowl for the second straight year despite playing at an All-Pro level. Like Joseph and Barr, Smith has missed significant time with injuries, which may have hurt his case for the January 31 showcase. Barr is Pro Football Focus’s top-ranked outside linebacker, with 21 total pressures, a batted pass, and 35 defensive stops. While any of these players may be added at a later date — due to injuries or declined invites — they’re more-than-deserving at this point of the season.