Detroit Lions: Was Romeo Okwara snubbed of a Pro Bowl spot?

Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The elder Romeo Okwara has had himself a fine season for the Detroit Lions

A few days ago, the Pro Bowl rosters were announced for both conferences and among the NFC roster, three Detroit Lions were named to the team. They were tight end T.J. Hockenson, center Frank Ragnow and punter Jack Fox.

All three were deserving of being named to the team for their play. Hockenson has had a breakout season and seems to be on the verge of stardom, Ragnow did a great job of snapping the ball to Stafford and protecting him while Fox was one of the best punters in the league in his rookie season.

There’s one player on the team that may have deserved to be named to the Pro Bowl roster as well and that is defensive end Romeo Okwara. Heading into Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the elder Okwara has recorded 41 tackles (29 solo) with 10 of those going for a loss of yards, eight sacks, 16 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery along with a pass deflection and a safety.

The defensive ends that did get selected to the Pro Bowl from the NFC are: Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints, Chase Young of the Washington Football Team and Brandon Graham of the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s take a look at how each of those three players have done so far this season.

Cameron Jordan

  • 47 tackles (31 solo)
  • 11 tackles for loss
  • 6.5 sacks
  • 15 quarterback hits
  • One pass deflection

Chase Young 

  • 38 tackles (27 solo)
  • Eight tackles for loss
  • 5.5 sacks
  • Eight quarterback hits
  • Three forced fumbles
  • One fumble recovery
  • One pass deflection
  • One touchdown

Brandon Graham 

  • 42 tackles (33 solo)
  • 12 tackles for loss
  • Seven sacks
  • 14 quarterback hits
  • Two forced fumbles
  • One fumble recovery

Okwara got more sacks and quarterback hits than Jordan did while getting the same amount of pass deflections. Compared to Young, Okwara recorded more tackles, tackles for loss, sacks and quarterback hits. Meanwhile, Graham got less sacks and quarterback hits than Okwara did. Of all three, Okwara got the most sacks and quarterback hits. There’s also one thing that he got that none of the other three did which was a safety.

Despite that, there’s one thing that might have held him back from being named to the Pro Bowl and that is how much he’s been on the field. Despite appearing in every single game, he’s only been a starter for half of those and has combined to appear in under 70% of defensive snaps all season. Meanwhile all of Jordan, Young and Graham has started every game they’ve appeared in and with the exception of the latter, they are all used on the field more than Okwara is.

This could be one of the few reasons why Okwara was not selected to the Pro Bowl but it also could be because of fan voting and marketing purposes. Jordan and Graham play for a much more popular team than the Lions are while Young is set to be a future superstar and is more of a known commodity among casual football fans than Okwara is.

In regards to the voting process, fans are able to vote for players on their favorite team and some even abuse the system. For example, fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars were attempting to mass vote their former defensive end in Yannick Ngakoue as if he made the Pro Bowl, they would have gotten a better pick. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, he didn’t make the Pro Bowl which impacts their conditional draft pick.

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To get back to the point, did Okwara get snubbed? I think he did or at least he should have gotten a lot more consideration. He shouldn’t fuss over it too much though. The Pro Bowl game isn’t happening this year and he should just use it as motivation to be selected to the team next season.