Pro Bowl Voters Love the Vikings

Pro Bowl Voters Love the Vikings
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The NFL starts the Pro Bowl voting process halfway through the season each year. That’s a big deal for fans who want to have their colors represented at the event, and they also want to get their favorite players the honors they deserve.

For players, it’s significant because the Pro Bowl honors are valuable in the next contract negotiations. Pro bowlers have it written down on paper that they are amongst the best players at their position, which helps their cause.

In addition to that, to be named a Pro Bowler is one of the best ways to earn respect around the league which will help to increase the popularity of the players, which will lead to better marketability and, therefore, more money, and it may even increase the chances to land in the Hall of Fame.

Fans can vote for the players on the Pro Bowl website and by mentioning the player’s name on Twitter with the hashtag “#ProBowlVote.” Fan voting counts as one-third of the process. The other two-thirds are players and coaching votes.

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The Pro Bowl will again occur in Las Vegas one week before the Super Bowl. If the Vikings make it to the Super Bowl, their players would not be a part of the festivities, but the players would still be names Pro Bowlers.

Every now and then, the NFL releases the highest vote-getters, and a few Vikings are on top of their position.

On Monday, the list was shared of the most popular votes of each position in NFC and AFC. No team received more total votes than the Vikings, a feat that comes with a passionate fan base and an unforeseen 9-2 record.

Who’s on the List?

Justin Jefferson is leading all players with 90,313 votes and is, of course, a sure bet to become a Pro Bowler. He’s currently second in the league in receiving yards with 1,232, trailing Tyreek Hill by just a single yard. Hill leads the AFC receivers in votes and is fifth of all players. In addition to that, Jefferson is one of the brightest stars in the game and apparently even the most popular.

Since he came into the league in 2020, Jefferson has led the league in receiving yards, and he even broke the record of Randy Moss with the most yards in the first three career seasons. He needs 384 more yards in the final six games to set a single-season career-high and is well on pace to set the Vikings franchise record for most in a season.

T.J. Hockenson received 69,749 votes and is leading all NFC tight ends. His AFC counterpart is Travis Kelce, the unanimous best tight end in the game. Hockenson’s lead is no accident because he is the top tight end in the conference in receiving yards after Dallas Goedert and George Kittle missed a couple of games.

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The Vikings acquired the receiving threat right before the trade deadline from the Detroit Lions for a couple of pick swaps, which equals a second or third-round selection, depending on which trade chart is used. He has instantly become one of the top targets of Kirk Cousins and is a huge part of the passing offense. On third downs, especially, he is a reliable player to throw to.

The other three top NFC vote-getters at their positions are all special teamers. 32,926 people voted for Kene Nwangwu to be the NFC’s kick returner.

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During the last game against the Patriots, Nwangwu returned a 97-yarder for a touchdown and already has three scores in his first two career seasons. Former Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson and Ravens wideout Devin Duvernay are the only other two players that returned a kick for six points in the 2022 season.

Gunner on punts and a valuable player in kick return coverage, Kris Boyd is at the top of the ‘special teamers’ category with 16,568 votes. Boyd is in his fourth season and used to be a backup cornerback in addition to his special teams wizardry.

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Despite the numerous injuries in the secondary, Boyd has not been getting the opportunity on defense. He has played two snaps so far. However, Vikings fans acknowledge his value on the improved special teams and continuously vote for the fan favorite.

Long-snapper Andrew DePaola is the final Viking on top of his position group. He has played in 100 career games, 35 of them with the Vikings.

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His position is not a glamorous one, but it’s vital for a functioning punting and kicking operation. And in addition to making a perfect snap every time, they have to be good in coverage and make tackles. It would be the first Pro Bowl in the career of the 35-year-old.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt