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Team Rice Breaks Up The Bengals At Pro Bowl Draft

But Bengals fans have a Pro Bowl team to cheer.

Bengaldom, get ready to root for Team Irvin, coached by former Cowboys wide receiving great Michael Irvin at the Pro Bowl.

The pro football hall of famer selected five of the seven Bengals available for his squad. He already had co-active-player team captain, defensive tackle Geno Atkins, on his side. Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is the other co-active captain for Team Irvin.

Joining Atkins on Team Irvin are Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, wide receiver A.J. Green, tight end Tyler Eifert, defensive end Carlos Dunlap and cornerback Adam Jones.

Team Rice, coached by former 49ers receiver and pro football hall of famer Jerry Rice, split up the Bengals by choosing special teams ace Cedric Peerman, who'll be playing against six Bengals teammates.

Dunlap and Peerman made the Pro Bowl as alternates. A total of 33 originally selected Pro Bowl picks won't be at the game. That's a record. A total of 14 are in the Super Bowl. The rest opted out because of injuries or personal reasons. A total of 34 players, mostly linemen and special-teams players, were pre-drafted Tuesday to fill so-called unconferenced rosters. Another 48 players were drafted or assigned Wednesday. The Pro Bowl Draft was held in a Wheeler Army Airfield hangar in Wahiawa on the island of Oahu.

This is the third year the game is being played using the unconferenced roster format, with no regard for conference affiliations as sides are chosen. The Pro Bowl is 7 p.m. ET Sunday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu and will be televised on ESPN. Following a one-year stay last season in Glendale, Arizona, the Pro Bowl has returned for a second consecutive year to Aloha Stadium, where it was played 30 straight years from 1980 to 2009, before a one-year stay in Miami, and again from 2011-13.

Irvin had the first pick in Wednesday's Pro Bowl Draft. The player pool contained all-stars voted into the game by fans, coaches and players, and player alternates who made the team after others dropped out. Irvin chose Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson No. 1.

Rice took Giants quarterback Eli Manning with the second pick, pairing him with his top receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for some handy team-to-team continuity. Manning and Beckham hooked up for 13 touchdowns this season. Beckham and Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald are active-player captains for Team Rice.

Team Irvin made Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones the third pick. Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack was drafted fourth by Team Rice. Irvin took defensive players with his next three picks -- Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. Then he snagged the Bengals' Green and followed with the selection of DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans.

Rice selected Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry with his third pick then doubled down on Raiders, selecting quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper. Rice then went with Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters before taking  the first running back, Adrian Peterson of the Vikings.

That can only mean one thing: Both teams plan to air it out in Hawaii.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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