NFL: 25 Most Surprising Pro Bowl Picks This Century: 18. 2002 Sammy Knight
At the turn of the millennium, the New Orleans Saints hadn’t shaken a past in which they still hadn’t won much of anything. After an awful run with Mike Ditka as head coach, the Saints moved on with Jim Haslett. He actually won Coach of the Year in 2000, and it looked like the Saints were ready to shake off the cobwebs and become a decent team.
That didn’t happen. They went back to under .500 in 2001, but they did have a corner who had a nice season. Sammy Knight had himself a nice career. He was good for the Saints for a few seasons, but was he going to be one of the best in the league? His name just seems to stand out amongst cornerbacks who made it to Pro Bowls this century.
Knight was a big-play maker. Before the 2001 season, he had two seasons with multiple defensive touchdowns. However, he never made the Pro Bowl in those seasons. He made it the year he had six interceptions, but he didn’t run any of them back for a score. Also, it was a below-average season for the Saints overall.
This one is strange due to the timing. Knight wasn’t good enough to make the Pro Bowl in his best seasons, but this random season in the middle is when he made it to the upper echelon of his position. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but when you let humans vote on these types of awards, you get some decisions like this.