The Vikings now have four Pro Bowl players, two of whom are deserving. Adrian Peterson earned his trip outright, of course. But it took injuries and Super Bowl drop out for the other three to get in.
Though he didn’t get voted in straight up, Antoine Winfield deserves to be there based on his play this past season. He was his usual outstanding self.
Kevin Williams, who got in but will not play because his wife is expecting, got in but I don’t think he deserved the distinction based on his play this year; Williams was pretty much invisible for the first half of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player; I just don’t think he earned a trip this year based on his play.
The same, I think, can be said of E.J. Henderson. Henderson is a Pro Bowl-caliber player, I don’t think his performance this season was Pro Bowl-worthy. I realize that’s practically sacrilege to say so, given his remarkable return from his snapped femur, but there it is. I think E.J. was a step slow this year and had his usual difficulty covering the seam route.
I’m sure you can put down his slowness to not being 100% after coming off rehab (I suspect this type of injury is akin to Tommy Johns surgery, where it takes two seasons to really get back to 100%), but if he wants to join the truly elite linebackers in the NFL, E.J. needs to improve his pass coverage.
All that said, I’m glad he made the Pro Bowl because he’s earned it in the past and yet had not be recognized for his stellar play.
The Pro Bowl, if you’re interested, will be broadcast at 6 PM CST on Fox tonight in Hawaii at Aloha Stadium. I’ll probably have it on but it’s more practice than it is football.
Funny thing is Adrian Peterson will probably win game MVP because he is apparently the only player in the NFL who takes the game seriously.
Just stay healthy, Adrian.
TOP 5 DRAFT CORNERBACKS
If we learned anything from last season, it’s that you cannot have enough cornerbacks on the roster. Brad Childress trades Benny Sapp to Miami for Greg Camarillo and Chris Cook goes down with a meniscus tear. Early in the season Cedric Griffin goes down with another ACL injury after spending the entire offseason rehabbing from the ACL tear he suffered in the NFC Championship game against the Saints. Cook goes down with a meniscus tear on the other knee, comes back too soon and gets burnt over and again, and finally is shelved. Lito Sheppard and Frank Walker are pressed into duty and Asher Allen is thrown to the wolves.
What was once thought a position of strength on the defense ended being one of our biggest liabilities.
Don’t be surprised, then, if the Vikings look to the draft for some corners. The top five are Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara, Brandon Harris, Aaron Williams and Jimmy Smith. [WATCH HIGHLIGHTS of the Top Five 2011 NFL Draft Cornerbacks.]