NFL: 25 Most Surprising Pro Bowl Picks This Century: 24. 2021 Stephon Gilmore
Stephon Gilmore was the best defensive player in the NFL in 2019. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year after one of the best seasons by a cornerback in recent history. He was shutting opposing offenses down left and right. It’s no surprise that he was named to the Pro Bowl in 2019. In fact, he was named to the All-Pro team. However, it’s very strange he was able to make the team for his performance in 2020.
Gilmore was still good, but he arguably didn’t have the best stats on his own team. J.C. Jackson had nine interceptions and 14 passes deflected. Meanwhile, Gilmore only played in 11 games last season. How can he be one of the best players in the league at a premium position like cornerback when he wasn’t even available in five games?
It’s not even like Gilmore had the same kind of season he had in 2019. He had one interception and three passes deflected. Are these the stats of one of the best four cornerbacks in the entire AFC? It was a strange pick, to say the least.
As with a lot of awards voting, reputation plays a huge role. Gilmore was the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. That holds water when it comes to voters, even though it shouldn’t. Gilmore did not deserve to go to the Pro Bowl in 2021. It was always a strange pick, and it looks even stranger now after the weird season Gilmore had.