Pro Bowl Prospects

WR Brandon Marshall

The AFC and NFC rosters for the 2012 Pro Bowl will be announced Tuesday night in a show on the NFL Network, and the question from the Dolphins' standpoint will be how many of their players will earn recognition despite the team's disappointing season. We break down the most deserving players on the team and evaluate their chances.

• T Jake Long — Long was voted to the Pro Bowl his first three seasons in the league, but this has not been a typical Jake Long season. He's battled injuries for the most part and really hasn't been his dominant self. On merit alone, the truth is he probably doesn't belong among the AFC all-stars, but reputation goes an awfully long way along the offensive line, so don't dismiss the possibility.

• WR Brandon Marshall — This is another tough one. Marshall ranks second among AFC wide receivers with 77 catches and he's third with 1,177 yards, so his numbers certainly suggest he should be on the team. What could keep him off it, though, are his highly publicized drops in the end zone. This is a really close call. What's going to help his cause is that there just don't seem to be any locks at this position in the AFC beyond Wes Welker, Marshall's competition should include Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson, Mike Wallace and maybe even Bengals rookie A.J. Green.

Reggie Bush — Bush has been playing as well as any running back in the league in recent weeks, and he's now one of seven players in the AFC to top 1,000 yards rushing. The only question is whether the Dolphins' record will hurt Bush, as well as the fact he didn't really explode until the final weeks of the season. But, really, the only one who looks like a slam dunk at the position is Maurice Jones-Drew.

• QB Matt Moore — Yes, really. Actually, I don't think Moore has a shot, but I felt he should be mentioned nonetheless. For the record, he's got the fourth-best passer rating in the AFC behind only Tom Brady, Matt Schaub and Ben Roethlisberger. And Schaub has been out for a month. So tell me why it would be so farfetched to think he deserves consideration.

• DE Randy Starks — We mention his name because he made the Pro Bowl last year and the Dolphins have been very good against the run this year. Realistically, though, he's probably got no shot.

• DE Jared Odrick — Odrick doesn't have great name recognition around the league, which means he's got no shot this year. But he's played very well and has set himself up for next year.

• OLB Cameron WakeWake has had a pretty solid season all around, but he's not been the dominant force he was in 2010. His 8.5 sacks also rank only eighth among AFC outside linebackers, which makes him less than 50-50 to get selected.• ILB Karlos Dansby — Dansby got himself a lot of attention when he declared himself the best linebacker in the NFL. What he did then was back up the talk by playing some very impressive football. Don't be surprised if that gets him his first Pro Bowl nod, especially with Pro Bowl regular Ray Lewis no longer being a dominant force.

• CB Vontae Davis — Davis also got a lot of attention when he called himself and Sean Smith the best cornerback tandem and his season got off to a bad start with a hamstring injury and a one-game team suspension. But he's been playing lights out in recent weeks and his four interceptions are tied for third among AFC cornerbacks. Darrelle Revis of the Jets is a lock to be selected, but nobody else is and Davis clearly has a good shot.

• SS Yeremiah Bell — Bell had an issue with unsportsmanlike penalties at some point this season, but he's been solid overall and he's already made a Pro Bowl. The competition, though, will be tough.

• P Brandon FieldsFields has had a great season, but any AFC punter has to deal with Shane Lechler, who's been the choice at punter the last four years. Lechler leads the conference with a 50.7-yard gross average, with Fields second at 48.9. When it comes to net average, New England's Zoltan Mesko leads at 41.4, followed by Fields at 41.1 and Lechler at 40.9. This may come to whether voters will go with habit or give somebody else a shot.

• LS John Denney — Made the Pro Bowl last year + hasn't had one bad snap all season = he should be in the mix.

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