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NFL Pro Bowl mock draft: Shady McCoy goes No. 1

The first Pro Bowl Draft got underway Tuesday in Honolulu, but the real fun starts Wednesday night.

Before Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice select their teams, Marc Sessler and I held the inaugural "Around The League" Pro Bowl mock draft at multiple undisclosed Los Angeles locations Tuesday evening.

The selections are below, but first a few rules reminders. Players already drafted include interior linemen on both sides of the ball, punters, fullbacks and special teams players. We also assigned team "captains" Drew Brees, Robert Quinn, Jamaal Charles and J.J. Watt to our teams. (Sessler got Brees and Quinn.)

With that out of the way, let's do this:

  1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles running back (Team Sessler)
    1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts quarterback (Team Rosenthal)
    2. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns wide receiver (Team Sessler)
    3. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver (Team Rosenthal)

You'll notice that we don't draft teams as if this was real football. It's the Pro Bowl. Offense and playmakers are a lot more important than defense and blocking, which tend to be suggestions in Hawaii for most of the game. Andrew Luck might not be the best quarterback in the league, but I'll take him in a "make the most ridiculous improvised plays" competition.

  1. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver (Team Sessler)
    1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers quarterback (Team Rosenthal)
    2. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears wide receiver (Team Sessler)
    3. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints tight end (Team Rosenthal)
    4. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns tight end (Team Sessler)
    5. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals cornerback (Team Rosenthal)

Peterson is the first defensive player off the board, which is appropriate because he can play offense and return punts. I spent the next 10 rounds believing that Marc chose Cameron Jordan in the top 10 before realizing he predictably chose a Cleveland Browns player way too early.

  1. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears running back (Team Sessler)
    1. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers linebacker (Team Rosenthal)
    2. Darrelle Revis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback (Team Sessler)
    3. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver (Team Rosenthal)
    4. Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns cornerback (Team Sessler)
    5. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers quarterback (Team Rosenthal)

Rivers' selection points out the unique nature of the Pro Bowl draft. There are only six quarterbacks available, and Rivers was my third quarterback taken after Luck and Newton. So I chose to close out the position, sticking Sessler with Nick Foles and Alex Smith as his backups to Brees.

By rules, Sessler then doesn't need to "draft" Foles and Smith. They are assigned to him. Sessler's response: "Brees is playing the entire game."

  1. Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers defensive end (Team Sessler)
    1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers running back (Team Rosenthal)
    2. Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills defensive end (Team Sessler)
    3. Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins defensive end (Team Rosenthal)
    4. Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts linebacker (Team Sessler)
    5. Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns offensive tackle (Team Rosenthal)
    6. Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle (Team Sessler)
    7. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings punt returner (Team Rosenthal)
    8. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears wide receiver (Team Sessler)
    9. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins running back (Team Rosenthal)

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Sessler closes out wide receivers, meaning that Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Brown join my team. I'm not complaining. Still, his wide receiver group is pretty scary: Gordon, Green, Jeffery and Marshall. ... It took 22 picks, but we finally have a tackle drafted. ... I plan to play Patterson at every position on the field, including long snapper. Sessler winds up with Dexter McCluster as a punt returner. ... My selection of Morris means that Sessler was "assigned" DeMarco Murray.

  1. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills safety (Team Sessler)
    1. Duane Brown, Houston Texans offensive tackle (Team Rosenthal)
    2. Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker (Team Sessler)
    3. Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker (Team Rosenthal)
    4. T.J. Ward, Cleveland Browns safety (Team Sessler)
    5. Brent Grimes, Miami Dolphins cornerback (Team Rosenthal)
    6. Alterraun Verner, Tennessee Titans cornerback (Team Sessler)
    7. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs safety (Team Rosenthal)
    8. Trent Williams, Washington Redskins offensive tackle (Team Sessler)
    9. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots kicker (Team Rosenthal)

I closed out inside linebackers, which means that Sessler has Derrick Johnson and Paul Posluszny. My choice of Gostkowski was met with derision. Sessler gets Justin Tucker.

Sessler: "I won't blame you if you change your picks when you write this up."

I couldn't stand to see Gonzalez go undrafted in his last appearance as a pro. Sessler was assigned Jason Witten. Cromartie was somehow one of Dan Hanzus' top three Pro Bowl picks on our latest "Around The League Podcast," but he's the final player taken here. Still, it's better to be the last pick than not selected at all. Tim Jennings, Antrel Rolle, Brian Orakpo, Terrell Suggs, John Abraham and Eric Reid were among the other players assigned after their positions were filled out.

Tune in next year, when we start releasing these mock drafts months in advance, create a new section on the site devoted to them and start the new NFL Network show: "Path to the Pro Bowl Draft."

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