2015 Pro Bowl: Browns' Tashaun Gipson, Joe Thomas, Joe Haden selected


Tashaun Gipson, FS, first Pro Bowl selection: Gipson becomes the Browns' first undrafted defensive player since 1991 to be honored. Gipson came out of Wyoming and earned the starting job with the Browns last season, when only a lack of publicity kept him unknown. This season, he led the NFL in interceptions much of the year with six (he's now second) and made the Pro Bowl despite missing the final five games with a knee injury. That alone is testament to how well he plays.

Who he beat out: The New England Patriots' Devin McCourty is the biggest name not to go at free safety.

Joe Thomas, LT, eighth Pro Bowl: Thomas has become an annual no-brainer at left tackle, as his play puts him among the best in the league at the position every season. Thomas becomes the first offensive lineman in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first eight seasons -- and he has not missed a snap since he was drafted. Critics will snipe that Thomas had too many penalties (nine) to merit consideration, but that oversimplifies the position. Thomas gave up one sack, three hits and nine hurries this season, and ranks among the top two tackles in the AFC, according to Pro Football Focus. As one offensive line guru said this season, the Browns can start every game plan with the idea that Thomas will handle his man in a one-on-one matchup. Jim Brown and Lou Groza (nine each) are the only Browns to go to more Pro Bowls than Thomas. Soon enough, Thomas will be speaking in Canton when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Who he beat out: It’s silly to say that Thomas doesn’t deserve to go, but guys such as New England’s Sebastian Vollmer and Cincinnati Bengals' Andrew Whitworth will have their day. Whitworth being left off the team is a major surprise.

Joe Haden, CB, second Pro Bowl: Haden overcame a slow start to play some of the best football of his career in the final games before he hurt his shoulder. Haden regularly drew the best receiver on the opposition -- A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton -- and more than held his own with his aggressiveness and quickness. Quarterbacks have a 74.6 rating throwing at Haden. Haden gave up three touchdowns, but intercepted three and broke up eight. He deserves to be among an impressive group of corners.

Who he beat out: The Kansas City Chiefs' Sean Smith had a strong and unheralded season, as did the Buffalo Bills' Leodis McKelvin.