The 2016 Pro Bowl Draft gets underway Wednesday night as Hall of Fame receivers Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin pick through the NFL’s best players in search of their second victories as head coaches in the league’s all-star game.
The two-hour selection process will be held at Wheeler Army Airfield in Wahiawa, Hawaii, on Wednesday night, less than 20 miles from Sunday’s matchup at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu between Team Rice and Team Irvin.
Both Rice and Irvin have been successful in the Pro Bowl. Two years ago Rice won after the NFL changed up the old format that pitted the NFC against the AFC, and Irvin would win the following year.
But success this year will come down to how well each drafts, and they certainly won’t be short of talent. According to ESPN, the total number of players either voted to the Pro Bowl or selected as an alternate for an injured player has reached a record high of 133. The previous record was 119 back in 2009.
However, the record number of Pro Bowlers has more to do with players skipping the event rather than playing. Specifically at quarterback, Seattle’s Russell Wilson stands as the only passer voted in who will be in attendance, while Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, Arizona’s Carson Palmer, and New England’s Tom Brady have all opted to sit out. Carolina’s Cam Newton is the only quarterback with a good enough excuse, he’s prepping for Super Bowl 50.
The draft will be hosted by ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden, with Irvin and Rice joining them and selecting their teams in the same format as the NFL Draft. The group will sit around a table and discuss each of the available players and highlights from the 2015 season will roll for each star’s selection.
The full list of available players for the draft can be found here.
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN2
Live Online: Watch ESPN