The "real" Pro Bowl teams will be announced next week.
|The safe pick? Bob Sanders is the best in the game. (Getty Images)|
The fans' vote is a total joke, but it counts a third, with the coaches' and players' votes each counting a third as well.
So to get a head start on the Pro Bowl selections, here are my teams. They've been compiled from talking to scouts, coaches and players and using my own eyes. Unlike the real Pro Bowl teams, I designate left and right for the guard, tackle and defensive end spots to give a truer team.
Hopefully, my team is more accurate than the one with the guys who will actually be going to Hawaii.
The only thing is, I promise no days on sandy beaches when you make this team. Just notice from one Internet NFL scribe.
QB -- Starter: Tom Brady, Patriots. Reserves: Peyton Manning, Colts; Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers.
Just missed: Derek Anderson, Browns.
Comment: Brady as the starter is a no-brainer, as is Manning. But the last spot came down to Roethlisberger and Anderson, and I went with Roethlisberger by a hair.
|Fred Taylor should be carrying the ball in Hawaii for the first time. (Getty Images)|
Just missed: Chad Johnson, Bengals.
Comment: Moss was an easy choice, but I went with Wayne over the other two because he has become the go-to guy with Marvin Harrison out. Johnson missed out because Houshmandzadeh has 96 catches and more touchdowns.
RB -- Starter: LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers. Reserves: Willie Parker, Steelers; Fred Taylor, Jaguars.
Just missed: Joseph Addai, Colts.
Comment: Tomlinson has a better per-carry average and more touchdowns than Parker, which is why he starts. Taylor edges out Addai in part because of his 4.9-yard-per-rush average.
TE -- Starter: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs. Reserve: Kellen Winslow, Browns.
Just missed: Antonio Gates, Chargers; Dallas Clark, Colts.
Comment: Gonzalez has more catches than Winslow (79-69) but Winslow has more yards. They both have five touchdown catches. Gates is just off this season.
T -- Starters: Jason Peters (LT), Bills; David Stewart (RT), Titans. Reserve: Michael Roos (LT), Titans.
Just missed: Tony Pashos (RT), Jaguars; Matt Light (LT), Patriots.
Comment: Peters solidified his spot as a premier left tackle. Stewart is a mauler in the Jon Runyan mold and gets the nod over Pashos at a weak position.
G -- Starters: Logan Mankins (LG), Patriot; Mike Goff (RG), Chargers. Reserve: (tie) Alan Faneca (LG), Steelers; Eric Steinbach (LG), Browns.
Just missed: Kris Dielman (LG), Chargers.
Comment: Mankins takes the top spot at a crowded left guard position. Right guard is a really weak position so Goff takes it.
C -- Starter: Jeff Saturday, Colts. Reserve: Nick Hardwick, Chargers.
Just missed: Kevin Mawae, Titans; Dan Koppen, Patriots.
Comment: Saturday is the key to the Colts' line calls. He's smart, not powerful. Hardwick missed four games, but when he's in the lineup, he's one of the best.
FB -- Starter: Lawrence Vickers, Browns.
Just missed: Lorenzo Neal, Chargers.
Comment: Vickers is a heck of a blocker for Jamal Lewis.
|Mario Williams is a super sophomore but not a Pro Bowl player, yet. (Getty Images)|
Just missed: Rob Bironas, Titans.
Comment: Brown takes it because he has made a higher percentage of his kicks (89 percent to 87 percent) and has made all five from 50 yards or longer.
DE -- Starters: Jared Allen (RE), Chiefs; Aaron Smith (LE), Steelers. Reserve: Kyle Vanden Bosch (RE), Titans,
Just missed: Mario Williams (RE), Texans; Jarvis Green (RE), Patriots; Elvis Dumervil (RE), Broncos.
Comment: Allen is tied for the AFC lead in sacks with 11½, while Smith was a force before going out for the season last week with a biceps injury.
T -- Starters: Albert Haynesworth, Titans; Vince Wilfork, Patriots. Reserve: Kelly Gregg, Ravens.
Just missed: Nobody.
Comment: Haynesworth has been the most dominant lineman in the league, and Wilfork has been the best on a good New England line.
ILB -- Starters: Ray Lewis, Ravens; DeMeco Ryans, Texans. Reserve: Kirk Morrison, Raiders.
Just missed: Mike Peterson, Jaguars.
Comment: Don't believe the talk that Ray Lewis isn't any good anymore. He is third in the league in tackles. Ryans is a force. Morrison gets the final spot over Peterson, who would be on the team if he didn't get hurt.
OLB --Starters: Shawne Merriman, Chargers; Keith Bulluck, Titans. Reserve: Mike Vrabel, Patriots.
Just missed: Thomas Howard, Raiders; James Harrison, Steelers.
Comment: Merriman leads all outside linebackers with 11½ sacks. Bulluck is just as steady as they come. Vrabel is having a career year and edges out Howard.
|Josh Cribbs' electrifying play should earn him a trip. (AP)|
Just missed: Champ Bailey, Broncos.
Comment: Samuel has been the AFC's best, while Cromartie leads the NFL in interceptions with nine. Bailey didn't play as well as in recent years.
S -- Starters: Bob Sanders (SS), Colts; Ed Reed (FS), Ravens. Reserve: Sean Jones (FS), Browns.
Just missed: Antoine Bethea (FS), Colts.
Comment: Sanders is the best safety in the game; Reed has bounced back from a so-so 2006 season to get six picks. Jones is young, rising player.
KR --Starter: Josh Cribbs, Browns.
Just missed: Leon Washington, Jets.
Comment: Cribbs gets the nod over Washington because his kickoff-return average is higher.
P -- Starter: Shane Lechler, Raiders.
Just missed: Dustin Colquitt, Chiefs.
Comment: He leads the NFL in gross average at 49 yards a punt and he has 19 downed inside the 20.
ST -- Starter: Kassim Osgood, Chargers.
Just missed: Darrell Reid, Colts; Larry Izzo, Patriots.
Comment: Did you see the play Osgood made last week downing a punt inside the 2?
|Tony Romo's been all smiles this season as he's bumped himself into elite company. (Getty Images)|
Just missed: Drew Brees, Saints.
Comment: Romo is the clear-cut starter. There is a real drop down after the top four.
WR -- Starters: Terrell Owens, Cowboys; Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals. Reserves: Torry Holt, Rams; Joey Galloway, Bucs.
Just missed: Marques Colston, Saints.
Comment: The starters are pretty obvious and the backups don't have much competition for their spots. Galloway gets the slight edge over Colston.
RB -- Starter: Adrian Peterson, Vikings. Reserves: Brian Westbrook, Eagles; Clinton Portis, Redskins.
Just missed: Nobody.
Comment: The first two are locks. Peterson has had a monster rookie year while Westbrook is the Eagles offense. The only knock on Portis is his 3.7 yards per carry.
TE -- Starter: Jason Witten, Cowboys. Reserve: Chris Cooley, Redskins.
Just missed: Jeremy Shockey, Giants.
Comment: Witten is an easy choice. He has been a force in the Dallas offense. Cooley edges out Shockey.
T -- Starter: Walter Jones (LT), Seahawks; Jordan Gross (RT), Panthers. Reserve: Flozell Adams (LT), Cowboys.
Just missed: Mark Tauscher (RT), Packers.
Comment: This is not a strong position in the NFC, especially on the right side. Gross gets the nod over a weak group.
|Clearing the way for Brian Westbrook earns Shawn Andrews a likely trip. (Getty Images)|
Just missed: Shawn Andrews (RG), Eagles; Mike Wahle (LG), Panthers.
Comment: Hutchinson bounced back to his Seattle form, and Evans has become a dominant player in his second season.
FB -- Starter: Leonard Weaver, Seahawks.
Just missed: Mike Karney, Saints; Tony Richardson, Vikings; Korey Hall, Packers.
Comment: Weaver has 29 catches and has scored three touchdowns. That's production for a fullback.
K --Starter: Jason Hanson, Lions.
Just missed: Robbie Gould, Bears; Lawrence Tynes, Giants.
Comment: Hanson gets the slight edge because he's 12-for-15 outside 40 yards, including 3-for-4 outside 50.
DE -- Starters: Aaron Kampman (LE), Packers; Trent Cole (RE), Eagles. Reserve: Patrick Kerney (LE), Seahawks.
Just missed: Osi Umenyiora, Giants.
Comment: Kampman is a force coming off the left side, and Cole has been a speed threat off the right.
|DeMarcus Ware has taken down quarterbacks 10 times this season. (Getty Images)|
Just missed: Pat Williams, Vikings; Ryan Pickett, Packers.
Comment: Kevin Williams has speed and power. Dockett leads all defensive tackles with eight sacks.
ILB -- Starters: Nick Barnett, Packers; Lofa Tatupu, Seahawks. Reserves: (tie) Patrick Willis, 49ers; Barrett Ruud, Bucs.
Just missed: E.J. Henderson, Vikings; Brian Urlacher, Bears.
Comment: Barnett has been a big reason the Packers are where they are on defense, and Tatupu has four picks, three in one game. Willis is a rookie sensation, and Rudd had played the key middle in the Tampa 2 with ferocity.
OLB -- Starters: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; Ernie Sims, Lions. Reserves: (tie) Michael Boley, Falcons; Lance Briggs, Bears.
Just missed: Derrick Brooks, Bucs; Greg Ellis, Cowboys; Julian Peterson, Seahawks.
Comment: Ware is a force off the edge; Sims might be the best run-and-chase linebacker in the league.
CB -- Starter: Charles Woodson, Packers; Marcus Trufant, Seahawks. Reserve: Al Harris, Packers.
Just missed: Nobody.
Comment: Woodson is the best corner in football. Trufant is tied for second in the NFL with nine picks.
|Charles Woodson's Packers rebirth should lead to a Pro Bowl invite. (Getty Images)|
Just missed: Deon Grant (FS), Seahawks.
Comment: Phillips really emerged as a force. Atogwe has been the Rams' best defensive player the past six weeks and edges out Hamlin.
KR -- Starter: Devin Hester, Bears.
Just missed: Nobody.
Comment: Hester was the easiest pick on the NFC team.
P -- Starter: Andy Lee 49ers.
Just missed: Donnie Jones, Rams.
Comment: He leads the NFC in net average and has a league-high 34 punts inside the 20.
ST -- Starter: Brendon Ayanbadejo, Bears.
Just missed: Keith Davis, Cowboys; Pat Watkins, Cowboys; Khary Campbell, Redskins.
Comment: Ayanbadejo is a special-teams star, no matter where he plays.