FLORHAM PARK, N.J.-- The Jets have gotten quite the return investment on their 2015 fifth-round pick.
After shipping the 142nd selection to the Bears in exchange for Brandon Marshall, the receiver has rewarded the Jets with not only 93 receptions for 1,261 yards and 11 touchdowns, but now also a Pro Bowl invitation. On Tuesday, Marshall joined teammates Darrelle Revis and Muhammad Wilkerson as the three Jets voted into the all-star game.
"I’m just so honored to make my sixth Pro Bowl," Marshall said. "I think this one is the most special one because it’s really a testament to the success of everyone on offense."
Throughout the course of this season, Marshall has been the dominant receiver New York's offense has been lacking since Keyshawn Johnson left. He's tied the franchise's record for receptions in a season and 100-yard games, and is within striking distance of breaking the receiving yardage and touchdown mark, too.
Marshall isn't the only one on the offense having success, though. Running back Chris Ivory leads the AFC in rushing yards, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is four touchdown passes away from setting the Jets single-season record, and fellow receiver Eric Decker has caught 10 touchdowns himself. Decker and Marshall have more combined touchdown receptions this season than any other Jets receiving duo in franchise history.
"Something I learned early on in high school is if you want to be a successful wide receiver, you have to have a guy on the other side that is also successful," Marshall said. "Deck’s done a great job this year. Like I said all year, our offense starts with our running game. So Ivory and Bilal Powell, those guys have done an amazing job as well as our offensive line.
"I’m just so thankful for them and also the fans who voted me in and obviously FitzMagic. I wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for FitzMagic."
While Marshall came to the Jets this offseason via trade, Revis was the team's prized free-agent acquisition In his first year of his return tour with New York, the cornerback is headed back to Hawaii.
Despite missing a few games due to a concussion, Revis has been a staple in the Jets secondary. The former first-round pick has intercepted four passes, recovered a career-high three fumbles, and has six passes defensed.
"I’ve been privileged, I think this is my seventh, so hard work pays off," Revis said. "I couldn’t without a lot of people that helped along the way. I want to give congratulations to my teammates Brandon Marshall, Mo Wilkerson, Nick Mangold (first alternate) and Chris Ivory (first alternate). I just want thank those guys for this year and what we’ve accomplished as a team."
While for Marshall and Revis the Pro Bowl has become a bit of a yearly vacation, this is the first selection of Wilkerson's career. Few, the argument can be made, are more deserving.
Originally selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Wilkerson is enjoying a career year in his fifth season in the NFL. The defensive end has recorded 12 sacks, to go along with 56 tackles and two forced fumbles. His sack total ranks second among 3-4 defensive ends. Just the Texans J.J. Watt, with 13.5, has more.
"I’m happy that I made it, it’s my first Pro Bowl," Wilkerson said. "But, I wouldn’t be able to make it if it wasn’t for my teammates, who are out there doing their job with me, and the coaches that prepare me for these different games each and every week and put me in a position to make plays and help out the team."
There's a very good chance Revis, Marshall and Wilkerson won't be the only Jets in Hawaii come January. While not voted in as starters, Ivory and center Nick Mangold are first-alternates. If any player at their respective positions opts out of the Pro Bowl because their team makes the Super Bowl, injury or personal reasons, Mangold and Ivory will be given the call.
The Pro Bowl will be played on January 31st at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.