(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
To no surprise, outside linebacker T.J. Watt and defensive tackle Cameron Heyward were selected for the 2022 Pro Bowl. Both Watt and Heyward are elite players and are having incredible seasons. Watt is currently the favorite for Defensive Player of the Year.
Among defensive tackles in the NFL, Heyward ranks first in tackles (73), first in solo stops (41), first in stuffs (seven), first in passes defended (seven), tied for second in tackles for loss (11) and tied for fifth in sacks (7). With those type of numbers, Heyward should be named first-team All-Pro after the season, as well. Heyward is a Pro Bowl selection for the fourth straight year, and the fifth time overall.
This is the third Pro Bowl nomination for Watt. With 1.5 sacks in Sunday's win over the Titans, T.J. Watt surpassed James Harrison (16) for the most sacks in a single season in franchise history. Harrison set the record in 2008.
According to Michael Bertsch of the Steelers public relations department, Watt leads the NFL in sacks (17.5), quarterback hits (30), fumble recoveries (3), and ranks tied for second in tackles for losses (17) and tied for fourth in forced fumbles (4). Like Heyward, Watt should be for sure named first-team All-Pro.
Watt's 67 career sacks are also the third-most by a player in his first five seasons since 1982. Watt surpassed Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (66) this past Sunday. Only Reggie White (81) and his brother, J.J. Watt (74.5), have more. Watt needs 5.5 sacks in the last three games to break Michael Strahan's all-time single-season sack record (2001).
While it was a no-brainer that Watt and Heyward were going to make the Pro Bowl. Diontae Johnson somehow didn't make it. Tony Romo even said during the CBS broadcast on Sunday that he thought Johnson was a lock for the Pro Bowl. The consensus votes of fans, players and coaches thought otherwise, however.
Tyreek Hill, Ja'Marr Chase, Stefan Diggs and Keenan Allen were the four wide receivers named to the Pro Bowl for the AFC. Johnson currently has 86 receptions for 1,028 yards (12.0 average) and six touchdowns. Johnson's numbers are comparable to Diggs and Allen, but the Pro Bowl is a popularity contest, and Diggs and Allen are definitely more well known than Johnson.
Johnson recently told Pro Football Focus that making the Pro Bowl was one of his goals heading into the 2021 season. Johnson came up just short. I bet, he'll make it as an alternate if one of the four receivers end up playing in the Super Bowl or are injured.
Johnson appears to be frustrated by the news that he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl. as he posted a sleeping emoji on Twitter. Johnson is certainly being slept on.