Lions field three first-time Pro Bowlers in lost season

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions will be well represented in the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl

The 5-9 Detroit Lions once again find themselves in the basement of the NFC North division. This will be the third year in a row the Motor City will post a losing record to end their season. And both head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn are now unemployed as a result.

And while Lions’ owner Shelia Ford Hamp and her leadership group consisting of team president and CEO, Ron Wood, his newly-hired assistant, Chris Spielman, plus Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders help hire the next regime in the Motor City, a few players on Detroit’s current roster have earned some well-deserved accolades of their own.

Whoever takes the reins of the Lions’ front office and coaching staff in 2021 will have three new Pro Bowlers as a foundation to build upon. On Monday, the NFL revealed the rosters for the 2021 Pro Bowl. And that prestigious list included tight end T.J. Hockenson, center Frank Ragnow, and punter Jack Fox.

For Hockenson, it’s a bit of redemption after being the eighth overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. To earn his first Pro Bowl nod in only his second season in the league should calm fan concerns following the previous run of bad luck the Lions have had with first-round tight ends in the past. Hockenson has almost doubled the production of his rookie year, recording 60 receptions for 675 yards and six touchdowns through 14 games.

Ragnow is another former first-round pick for Detroit, selected 20th overall out of Arkansas back in 2018. Following a rookie season spent at guard, the Lions shifted him back to his natural position of center and the former Razorback flourished. Pro Football Focus has given Ragnow a career-high 80.6 overall grade in his third season, noting he’s allowed zero sacks in 871 snaps.

Fox spent last season on both the Lions and Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squads. The 24-year old has been the best punter in the NFL for much of the season and was an obvious choice to be nominated to his first Pro Bowl. His gross punt average of 49.3 yards per kick is currently the third-highest in the league.

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Due to COVID-19 concerns, the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl game will be entirely virtual this season and played within the popular videogame, Madden NFL 21. Fans will be able to watch the simulation across a variety of platforms according to the league’s official website.