Pro Bowl Possibilities

The Pro Bowl teams will be announced on Friday night at 9 p.m. in a televised special on the NFL Network, and conferences no longer are used to divide the teams. Thursday was the last day of fan voting, which makes up one-third of the selection process along with votes by players and coaches. So which Dolphins players have the best chances of earning a Pro Bowl invitation this year?

Here's how we break it down:


• CB Brent Grimes: Grimes is tied for 10th in the NFL with four interceptions and ranked fourth by Pro Football Focus among all NFL cornerbacks. Eight cornerbacks will be selected and Seattle's Richard Sherman seems like the only lock. It would be a major surprise if Grimes didn't get his second Pro Bowl invitation.

• P Brandon Fields: Only two punters will be selected, which obviously doesn't help. But Fields is second in the NFL in gross average behind Oakland's Marquette King and second in net average behind St. Louis' Johnny Hekker. Fields also is coming off a season where he averaged 50 yards, so he'll get the reputation vote.


• DE Cameron Wake: His total of 8.5 sacks is only good for 28th in the league, but he missed time because of a knee injury. What Wake has going for him is his reputation, a big play on national television in prime time (sack vs. Cincinnati), and it also should be noted that he's been the most consistent pass rusher on the team even though Olivier Vernon has more sacks.

• DE Olivier Vernon: Speaking of Vernon, his 11.5 sacks will be difficult to ignore. That total is tied for fourth among defensive ends, behind only Robert Quinn, Robert Mathis and Cameron Jordan. What will work against Vernon is the fact he was a relative unknown coming into the season and the fact some might view his sack total as being boosted by playing opposite Wake. Pro Football Focus, for example, ranks Wake third among all defensive ends, while Vernon is only 34th.


• TE Charles Clay: Clay has been an absolute revelation for the Dolphins as he's putting together one of the best seasons ever for a tight end in a Miami uniform. But will that be enough to earn him one of the four spots at tight end? The problem here is that Clay might fall in the pecking order, particularly since he came in with no reputation. The truth is it's difficult to envision Clay getting a spot in a deep pool of tight end candidates that includes Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis and Greg Olsen.

• C Mike Pouncey: Pouncey will be hurt by the high number of snaps given by the Dolphins and missing two games because of his illness, but he's got a strong reputation and the talent pool at center was diminished by injuries, namely to his brother Maurkice.

• DT Paul Soliai, DT Randy Starks, DT Jared Odrick: We lump all three together because they've all been effective at times and really not much separates them. Both Soliai and Starks have been selected to the Pro Bowl before, which will help their cause, but what's going to hurt is the Dolphins' showing in run defense this season. In the Pro Football Focus rankings at defensive tackle, Starks is fifth, Odrick is 13th and Soliai is 17th. A total of six defensive tackles will be named to the Pro Bowl team.

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