NEW YORK — The NFL announced the rosters for the 2014 Pro Bowl on Friday, with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning headlining the list of players that will be chosen in the first-ever Pro Bowl Draft.
For the first time in the history of the Pro Bowl, the league’s top players were selected without regard to conference and will be placed on teams that will be chosen by Hall-of-Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders. The draft will be held on Jan. 22, with the Pro Bowl set for Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.
Manning, fresh off breaking the record for touchdown passes in a season with his 51st of the campaign, will be appearing in his 13th Pro Bowl. The 37-year-old signal-caller was joined on the roster by fellow quarterbacks Tom Brady of the Patriots, Drew Brees of the Saints, Cam Newton of the Panthers, Philip Rivers of the Chargers and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.
Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs led a group of six running backs headed to Honolulu, with Chicago’s Matt Forte, San Francisco’s Frank Gore, Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch, Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson also earning Pro Bowl honors.
Eight wide receivers were selected to participate in the game, headlined by Cleveland’s Josh Gordon, who leads the league in receiving yards.
Antonio Brown of the Steelers, Dez Bryant of the Cowboys, A.J. Green of the Bengals, Andre Johnson of the Texans, Calvin Johnson of the Lions, Brandon Marshall of the Bears and Demaryius Thomas of the Broncos were the other wideouts picked to play in Hawaii.
Cleveland rookie Jordan Cameron joined San Francisco’s Vernon Davis, New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham and Denver’s Julius Thomas as the tight end’s available in the draft.
Sixteen offensive lineman rounded out the offensive side of the Pro Bowl rosters, with San Francisco’s Joe Staley and Mike Iupati, Cleveland’s Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, and New Orleans’ Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs highlighting the list.
As for the defense, Robert Quinn of the Rams and J.J. Watt of the Texans headline a group of six defensive ends, while Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh and Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata represent two of the six interior lineman bound for the Pro Bowl.
A trio of 49ers were selected to represent their squad at linebacker, with Ahmad Brooks, NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis all earning nods. Kansas City teammates Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry joined Seattle’s Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor as part of the defensive backfield for the Pro Bowl.
The special teams unit consists of punters Brandon Fields (Miami) and Johnny Hekker (St. Louis), kickers Matt Prater (Denver) and Justin Tucker (Baltimore), punt returner Dexter McCluster (Kansas City), and special teamers Justin Bethel (Arizona) and Matthew Slater (New England).