Predicting first-time Pro Bowlers in 2016 for all 32 teams

Titans QB Marcus Mariota and Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower both look primed to earn Pro Bowl nods in 2016. AP Photo

Who will make their Pro Bowl debuts next season? NFL Nation picks out one candidate from each team.


Buffalo Bills: Kansas City's Marcus Peters has received a lot of attention as one of the NFL's best cornerbacks from the 2015 draft -- he was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday -- but it would hardly be a surprise if Bills cornerback Ronald Darby joined him in receiving that honor next season. Darby has fewer interceptions (2) and passes defensed (21) than Peters (7 INTs and 23 passes defensed), but Darby is ranked as the fifth-best NFL cornerback by Pro Football Focus, compared to 62nd for Peters. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: Second-year wide receiver Jarvis Landry has already shattered the franchise's single-season record with 96 receptions this season. His next step is getting more big plays and yards after the catch. Landry also has the potential to develop into one of the league's top kick returners, which doubles his chances to make a future Pro Bowl roster. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: Linebacker Dont'a Hightower is due. The fourth-year linebacker is a physical presence in the run game and has also shown the ability to rush effectively and cover when called upon. His intelligence makes him one of the top choices to lead the Patriots' defensive huddle, as well. Few are as versatile and physical at the position in the NFL. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: Nose tackle Damon Harrison is an ascending player who will be in the Pro Bowl conversation next year. His reputation around the league is growing. On Wednesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Harrison "has had a great season." The question is where he'll be playing next season; Harrison will be a free agent. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: Defensive tackle Brandon Williams is quickly establishing himself as one of the top interior defensive linemen in the league. Williams, Detroit's Ndamukong Suh and Dallas' Nick Hayden are the NFL's only defensive tackles with at least 30 solo tackles, two sacks and two passes defensed this season. Williams is the anchor of the line that has held teams to 3.8 yards per carry, which is tied for fifth-best in the league. The Ravens have had 19 homegrown players (either draft pick or undrafted free agent) reach the Pro Bowl. Williams should be the 20th. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: Yes, he'll be 33 next year. And yes, he may be wearing another team's uniform by that time. But none of that matters. If there's a player on the Bengals' current roster who has a good chance to make his Pro Bowl debut next year, it's Adam Jones. The cornerback has been playing at a high level the past three seasons, and he is arguably in the middle of his best season in that stretch. Although he has had a nagging foot injury this year, he doesn't show signs of slowing down. Perhaps 2016 will be the year he finally convinces the public he's worthy of an honor that has eluded him for too long. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: Guard Joel Bitonio did not have as good of a second season as expected coming off his terrific rookie year, but Bitonio's ability, work ethic and drive should help him rebound. He has been a natural since he arrived in Cleveland. It's natural that one day he'll go to Hawaii. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers teammates and coaches were bummed that right tackle Marcus Gilbert didn't make this year's Pro Bowl. He has given up one sack all season. With Pro Bowl tackles Joe Thomas and Joe Staley approaching 10 years in the league, perhaps their play will drop off in 2016 and Gilbert can take an open spot. Defensive end Cameron Heyward also played his way into Pro Bowl consideration, but his position is loaded with Pro Bowlers. Heyward might need a double-digit-sack season to secure his first appearance, which is possible. As it stands, Gilbert has an easier track to Hawaii. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: Former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has found himself as a pass-rusher in the past month. He's drawing double teams and beating them. He has 4.5 sacks this season, but three of them have come in the past three games. He has always been strong against the run, but he's becoming more disruptive there, too. That bodes well for him taking another step forward next season. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: With two games remaining, second-year receiver Donte Moncrief has already surpassed his receiving total from his rookie season by nearly 300 yards and doubled his touchdown total. T.Y. Hilton still remains the Colts' go-to receiver, but Moncrief is closing the gap, and he should put up even better numbers next season when QB Andrew Luck is healthy. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: This is an easy one: WR Allen Robinson, who should have made it this year. He has been one of the best receivers in the NFL this season (13 TDs, 16.5 yards per catch, 26 receptions of 20 or more yards), and the Jaguars are confident he'll be even better in 2016 because of his dedication and work ethic. He already owns the team record for TD catches in a season and is the first Jaguars receiver to surpass 1,000 yards since Jimmy Smith in 2005. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: We don't yet know who will be coaching him or what type of system he will be running. But after a successful rookie campaign, I expect a solid second year for QB Marcus Mariota. There are a lot of quality quarterbacks ahead of him right now, but if he has a big second-year campaign, fans will be eager to vote for him. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: It should be linebacker Brandon Marshall. The question will be whether those voting recognize what Marshall has done. He has been the do-it-all leading tackler for one of the league's best defenses for the past two seasons. Marshall was an alternate this year, so he could still make the Pro Bowl. But even if he's left out, his high-motor, sideline-to-sideline play should land him in Hawaii soon. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: Rookie CB Marcus Peters stole my thunder. He was going to be my pick here, but he made this season's Pro Bowl. Now I'll go with center Mitch Morse, who is also having a solid rookie season. He has the look of a lineman who will have a long, successful career. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: Rookie receiver Amari Cooper could end up in the Pro Bowl this year because he is an alternate. Either way, I expect Cooper to earn a true Pro Bowl nod next year. He is already a top 10-12 receiver in the NFL. At just 21, Cooper is scratching the surface of his ability. Cooper has been somewhat inconsistent and ranks near the top of the league in drops despite being so productive. I expect him to clean up his issues next year and become an elite receiver. -- Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers: WR Keenan Allen was second in the NFL in receptions with 67 before suffering a lacerated kidney that ended his season in Week 8. The Cal product has proved he can consistently beat man coverage on the perimeter. And with Philip Rivers at quarterback for the foreseeable future, Allen should record enough targets on a consistent basis to put up Pro Bowl-worthy numbers. But he has to stay healthy. Allen has finished the season on the injured reserve the past two seasons. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: Snubbed this year, linebacker Sean Lee (career-high 138 tackles in 13 games) will earn his first Pro Bowl berth next year. This season, Lee also has two sacks, nine tackles for loss, six QB pressures, one interception and five pass deflections. Lee has been productive when healthy, but injuries have kept him from playing a full season. It can take time for a player to get rid of that label. Carolina's Thomas Davis had to go through that and earned his first Pro Bowl bid this year. Lee will get there next year. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: Weston Richburg is Pro Football Focus' highest-graded center this year, and if he improves his consistency as a run-blocker week-to-week, he could get Pro Bowl recognition next year. This is only Richburg's second year in the NFL and his first at center (he played left guard as a rookie and moved to center this year after veteran J.D. Walton was released). He has worked especially well with left guard Justin Pugh, the former first rounder who moved from right tackle this year, and that tandem is one the Giants feel good about going forward. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: Tight end Zach Ertz sought guidance from Tony Gonzalez and legendary offensive line coach Hudson Houck during the offseason. Then, Ertz tore a core muscle in his abdomen, had surgery and missed the preseason. Ertz played in pain through the first month of the season. Since then, he has averaged five catches for 53 yards per game. He currently has more catches (53) and yards (579) than Pro Bowl selection Tyler Eifert. Given a fully healthy season, Ertz's drive and dedication could raise him to the elite level among NFL tight ends. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: Tight end Jordan Reed was a fourth alternate this season, but next year he should be on the roster. You can make a strong case he could have been on there this season; few tight ends are as dangerous in the open field or can run the variety of routes he does. But staying healthy and putting up big numbers -- his 74 catches are second in the NFL for tight ends and his nine touchdowns are third -- will garner Reed attention. A playoff game or two wouldn't hurt either. That way, he can start 2016 in position for a strong season and Pro Bowl berth. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: Linebacker Pernell McPhee is on the cusp of stardom in Chicago. McPhee, who signed a lucrative five-year contract in March, is a ferocious pass-rusher, when healthy. He began the year with a bang, recording five sacks and one interception over the opening seven weeks. However, McPhee has not been the same kind of impact player since early November, when a lingering knee issue robbed him of his trademark burst and quickness. But with an entire offseason to repair McPhee's knee, the Bears expect him to be a force next year. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: Darius Slay has been one of the better young cornerbacks in the league, shutting down his matchups in the second half of the season once he started traveling with the opponent's top outside receiver. His performance seemed good enough to earn him his first Pro Bowl nod, but he was not even named as an alternate. If he continues to progress, expect for that to change for Slay in 2016. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: Defensive lineman Mike Daniels has made steady improvements every year and appears to be on the verge of a Pro Bowl-type season. Packers general manager Ted Thompson is certainly gambling on that. He gave Daniels a four-year, $41 million contract extension earlier this month that made him the third-highest-paid 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. That deal includes a $125,000 bonus for making the Pro Bowl. Don't be surprised if he cashes that check next year. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: Safety Harrison Smith has missed out on the past two Pro Bowls -- even though he had five interceptions and three sacks a year ago. He should build enough name recognition for himself by next season to reach the Pro Bowl, provided he can stay healthy. He has missed the better part of three games with injuries this year but figures to earn a lucrative contract extension in the near future, and is a vital cog in the Vikings' coverage schemes, their blitz packages and their run defense. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback Desmond Trufant, who was named a Pro Bowl alternate, should be selected to his first Pro Bowl next year if he is not a late addition to this year's game. Opposing offensive coordinators game plan around Trufant, which is about as high of a compliment a cornerback can get. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: Free safety Kurt Coleman should have been in the Pro Bowl this season. He still may be, having been named a second alternate. But Coleman is having a career year with seven interceptions, which ties him for second in the NFL behind Cincinnati's Reggie Nelson. Coleman's 82 tackles rank third on the league's third-ranked defense. Another year in this defense, and there's no telling what he can do. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: It shouldn't be long before third-year left tackle Terron Armstead makes his first Pro Bowl. New Orleans' 5-9 record was probably the only thing holding him back this year. Armstead is a terrific athlete who holds the record for the fastest 40-yard dash by an offensive lineman at the NFL scouting combine (4.71 seconds). And he shows a good combination of power and athleticism as both a pass protector and run-blocker. Pro Football Focus has graded him as the third-best tackle in the NFL this year, with 19 total pressures allowed in 524 snaps -- even more impressive considering he has battled a nagging knee injury all year. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Linebacker Lavonte David is a Pro Bowl alternate, but assuming he doesn't make the team this season, I expect him to break through in 2016. Since entering the league in 2012, David leads the league in solo tackles, is second in total tackles, run stuffs and tackles for loss while also ranking second in the league among LBs in interceptions. This year, he is the only NFL player with 100-plus tackles, three-plus interceptions, two-plus sacks and one forced fumble. -- Rick Brown


Arizona Cardinals: If running back David Johnson keeps up his current pace, he'll make his first of many Pro Bowls next season. He's averaging 126 rushing yards per game since replacing Chris Johnson as the Cards' primary back and has 12 total touchdowns -- seven rushing, four receiving and one return. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: Outside linebacker Alec Ogletree looked to be well on his way to make his first Pro Bowl appearance this year before a leg and ankle injury cost him the majority of the season. Through his first three-plus games, Ogletree had 42 tackles and two sacks and was constantly around the ball. Assuming he is able to get back to 100 percent, he has a great shot to earn the nod next season. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: Second-year outside linebacker Aaron Lynch's learning curve was sped up tremendously in training camp when Aldon Smith was cut after his fifth arrest since 2011, and Lynch responded well. Opposing defenses have to scheme against him, and even though he has missed the past two games with a concussion, Lynch's 6.5 sacks still lead the team. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: Running back Thomas Rawls faces a challenge coming back from a season-ending ankle injury, but if he's healthy, he'll have a great shot to make the Pro Bowl. Rawls averaged a league-best 5.65 yards per carry as a rookie and totaled 830 yards despite starting only seven games. The Seahawks will have decisions to make at running back, but Rawls could get an opportunity to carry the load. -- Sheil Kapadia