2 Vikings Snubbed via Pro Bowl Voting

Revamp in Order
Ezra Cleveland and Christian Darrisaw

Seemingly every year, the NFL Pro Bowl loses legitimacy as a game or event.

But the title Pro Bowl attached to players’ resumes matters to contractual dealings and, for a few, Hall of Fame consideration down the road.

2 Vikings Snubbed via Pro Bowl Voting

Pro Bowl voting was announced Wednesday night, and two Minnesota Vikings made the cut — outside linebacker Danielle Hunter and long snapper Andrew DePaola. The process worked regarding those men. The Vikings also have a handful of Pro Bowl alternates who could be made official if true-blue Pro Bowlers bow out of the game because of injury or a Super Bowl appearance:

1st Alternate:
FB C.J Ham and TE T.J. Hockenson

2nd Alternate:
S Josh Metellus

3rd Alternate:
C Garrett Bradbury

4th Alternate:
T Christian Darrisaw and S Harrison Smith

And although these two men were classified as alternates, both can be considered “snubs.”

T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson tallied 95 receptions for 960 yards and 5 touchdowns in his second season with the Vikings. His season was cut short versus the Detroit Lions in Week 16, tearing his ACL and PCL. His status for 2024 is up in the air, though most hope he’ll be back sometime next season.

2 Vikings Snubbed
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

It is unclear if Hockenson would get the formal Pro Bowl title if two other NFC tight ends dip out of the game: George Kittle and Sam LaPorta. Hockenson is a first alternate and would be the next man up if Kittle, for example, reaches the Super Bowl. But Hockenson is hurt; that’s the kicker.

The 26-year-old should’ve been named a non-alternate Pro Bowler, as he banked 100 more receiving yards than LaPorta, a rookie. But LaPorta secured 4 more touchdowns, which was evidently the special sauce for Pro Bowl voting.

for 2 Injured
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Hockenson fired up a Pro Bowl-worthy season with a hodgepodge of quarterbacks. It should’ve been a no-brainer for the five-year veteran over LaPorta. Hockenson, as second Pro Bowler with Kittle, with LaPorta as the alternate, would’ve made more sense.

Christian Darrisaw

Another year, another Pro Bowl no thanks for Darrisaw.

could thwart
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s always the same situation for the Virginia Tech alumnus who has established himself as a premiere left tackle. Trent Williams, Lane Johnson, and Peneii Sewell received the honor over Darrisaw, and as a fourth alternate, Darrisaw is a longshot to achieve his first Pro Bowl.

But the man deserves it. He ranks fifth leaguewide per Pro Football Focus grade among all offensive tackles, ahead of Lane Johnson by four spots. Like Hockenson above, Darrisaw should’ve been a primary Pro Bowl inductee, with Johnson as the alternate. Yet Johnson has been in the NFL since 2013 — Darrisaw joined in 2021 — so this feels like a lifetime achievement award.

Christian Darrisaw's Return Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Every summer and early autumn, Vikings fans chant that Darrisaw should alas gain Pro Bowl notoriety for the first time. That slogan will now bleed into 2024.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.