Way-Too-Early 2015 Pro Bowl Outlook: Would Any St. Louis Rams Get An Invite?


January 26, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; NFL cheerleaders pose with the Pro Bowl trophy after the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Twitterverse exploded with proclamations that J.J. Watt should immediately be handed a number of end-of-the-year awards, like Defensive Player of the Year and, according to some, the Most Valuable Player. Despite just starting Week 6 of the regular season, many are have already shifted their eyes towards the NFL superlatives, including which players might get an invitation to Hawaii for the 2015 Pro Bowl.

With those way-too-early thinkers in mind, we turn our attention to a St. Louis Rams roster bursting at the seams with talent. So much so that, even with a third-string quarterback running the offense and a new defensive coordinator working out the kinks, the Rams lost by a mere nine combined points to two of the arguable Top 10 teams in the NFL.

Despite the overall team record, is there a case to be made for a Pro Bowl invite for anyone on the St. Louis Rams roster this season?

RT Joe Barksdale 

On an offensive line that has been inconsistent, at best, this season, Joe Barksdale has been the one rock up front. Through four games, the one-time Oakland Raider draftee has allowed zero sacks, three hits on the quarterback, and five hurries. He is also graded as the top run blocking offensive tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, and is currently ranked No.2 overall at the position, trailing only the Giants’ William Beatty. While lack of name recognition will certainly not be in Barksdale’s favor, his shear dominance on the right side should at least put him in the race… assuming he continues at this pace.

P Johnny Hekker

Hekker might not be able to repeat his record setting performance from last season, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been impressive so far this year. In 13 punts, the “Red Rifle” of the special teams world and his coverage unit have allowed only 29 return yards on the season, and have downed 53% of their attempts inside the opposing 20 yard line. While the offensive success of Austin Davis, Brian Quick, and the newly energized Rams offense might limit Hekker’s kicks, if he continues his current trajectory, there is no reason he shouldn’t be considered for another Hawaii invite.

Other Considerations:

DT Aaron Donald – 5 pressures, 7  defensive stops, 3rd-highest run defense grade among defensive tackles.

WR Brian Quick – Top 10 in receiving yards/game. 21 catches for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns in one fewer game than most receivers this season. No.4 overall wide receiver rating, according to Pro Football Focus.