Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice held the first round of the inaugural Pro Bowl Draft on Tuesday, with each selecting defensive and offensive interior lineman, fullbacks, special teams players, and punters.
After several years of fans calling the NFL’s all-star game a farce with little on the line and players "phoning in performances," it was believed a new selection process would add some intrigue to the event.
By way of coin toss, Rice had the choice of team captains first and selected New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn.
Sanders picked Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt as his captains.
Employing a snake draft format that’s become the norm for fantasy football league owners, the sides began with DTs and Sanders first chose Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh and Rice Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy.
On Wednesday night, the rest of the rosters will be filled out in a three-hour show live on the NFL Network beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
From there the former San Francisco 49ers teammates will divvy up top skill players, with the league’s biggest names awaiting their selection in a green room much like when many of them were drafted out of college.
DT: Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions; Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneeers; Dontari Poe, Kansas City Chiefs
G: Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens ; Logan Mankins, New England Patriots; Kyle Long, Chicago Bears
C: Mike Pouncey, Miami Dolphins; Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns
FB: Marcel Reese, Oakland Raiders
ST: Matthew Slater, New England Patriots
P: Brandon Fields, Miami Dolphins
LS: J.J. Jansen, Carolina Panthers
DT: Jason Hatcher, Dallas Cowboys; Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills; Kyle Williams, Buffalo Bills
G: Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints; Ben Grubbs, New Orleans Saints; Evan Mathis, Philadelphia Eagles
C: Ryan Kalil, Carolina Panthers; Nick Mangold, New York Jets
FB: Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers
ST: Justin Bethel, Arizona Cardinals
P: Johnny Hekker, St. Louis Rams
LS: Matt Overton, Indianapolis Colts