After him come offensive targets, WR Demaryius Thomas (3rd selection) and TE Julius Thomas (2nd selection), as well as blind side protector, LT Ryan Clady (4th selection). The rest came on the defensive side of the ball.
Pass rushing duo, DE DeMarcus Ware (8th selection) and LB Von Miller (3rd selection), followed by cornerbacks Chris Harris (1st selection) and Aqib Talib (2nd selection), and finally safety T.J. Ward (2nd selection). Emmanuel Sanders and C.J. Anderson are the second and sixth alternate, respectively, for their position.
Manning is more than deserving of his Pro Bowl bid. He continued to break records this year. He also accumulated 4,459 yards, while completing 374 of his 560 passes, to go along with 39 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.
Demaryius Thomas is also more than deserving of his Pro Bowl selection. He started off slow, but turned his season around in a record-setting way. He posted seven straight 100+ yard receiving games, with nine total on the season. He sits at 1,504 yards receiving, with 11 TDs.
Julius Thomas, was not undeserving of his Pro Bowl selection, by any means, but had he not been selected, he would not have been a "snub" either. The tight end play this year has been rather consistent around the NFL and hard to select just four who deserve the honor. A good number of tight ends could have made it over Thomas.
Ryan Clady is the first player who does not deserve his Pro Bowl selection. He made it due to name/team recognition. He was not one of the sixth best offensive tackles this season, but most who have had a better year than him, are not known among the fan base. There are a good number of offensive tackles way more deserving than Clady this year.
Ware is in the same boat as Julius Thomas. He is not undeserving of his Pro Bowl selection, but the defensive end play has been strong this year. Multiple players could have made it over him. He has racked up 51 pressures on the season, which is tied 13th most in the NFL. His run defense helped him earn a position as well.
Miller is more than deserving of his selection. He is one of the most dominant defenders in the NFL today. He has had some down games, but tends to bounce back with excellence. He has been so dominant, he is only second in the NFL in quarterback pressures from the linebacker position.
Harris finally makes it to the Pro Bowl, with a more than deserving season. He has consistently been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL this year, in coverage and run support. He does whatever is asked of him and covers whomever is in front of him. He has allowed the fewest receiving yards among cornerback who have played 50% of their team's defensive snaps.
Talib made his second Pro Bowl in as many years. However, he has been inconsistent this year, and could be considered undeserving of his Pro Bowl selection. There have been cornerbacks who have been better than him, but again, it comes down to name recognition. Some of those better than Talib, are unknown to fans, who make up 1/3 of the voting.
Ward is like Talib. Neither of them were undeserving of their Pro Bowl, by any means. They just were not clearly at the top of their position groups, but not at the bottom either. Ward has been great when it comes to defending the run, but inconsistent, at best, in coverage.
Now onto the snubs. When thinking about snubs, you have to consider players who made it and if the snub is more deserving than one of those players. With that in mind, let’s take a look at possible snubs.
Emmanuel Sanders first comes to mind. He has been one of the best offensive players in the NFL. Players like Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Julio Jones made it ahead of him. There's that name recognition again. Green and Johnson have been hurt too much this season, and when they did play, it was not at their normal level. As for Jones, he had more yards than Sanders, but more fumbles and less touchdowns, as well. Sanders is instead an alternate.
The next possible snub is Terrance Knighton. The issue here is, how he impacts the game, does not show up on the stat sheet. That makes it hard for Pro Bowl voters to vote for him. However, what he does, is among the best in the NFL. Another factor is that those who made it ahead of him, were certainly all deserving of their selection. Is Knighton a snub? Yes, but he is not the worst, given the circumstances.
The final possible snub is Brandon Marshall. Marshall stepped up for the Broncos in a big way this season, before getting hurt and missing their last game. The issue with Marshall is, he is a coverage linebacker and a tackling machine. The linebackers that get into the Pro Bowl either get a lot of turnovers, or sacks. Marshall was stout vs. the run and in coverage, but did not tally up a number of sacks or turnovers. While he is a snub and deserved to be elected, it is understandable that he did not make it.
The fact that this is Marshall's first productive season also plays a factor. For example, Wesley Woodyard played at a Pro Bowl level in 2012, but because it was his first blip on the big screen, he was overlooked. Snubbed, although he deserved to be there. The same goes for Marshall.
Getting nine players to the Pro Bowl is second highest in Broncos franchise history and leads the NFL this year. That is no easy task and should be celebrated by Broncos fans. It's also impressive that seven of the nine Pro Bowlers were either drafted or signed by John Elway.
Congratulations to those who made it to the Pro Bowl. Broncos Country hopes that none of the Broncos actually play in the Pro Bowl, because it would mean they were preparing for the Super Bowl in Arizona.
The league’s annual All-Star Game that will be played on Sunday, Jan. 25, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (6 p.m. MST kickoff, ESPN). Here is the complete 2015 Pro Bowl Roster.