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Team Rice Pro Bowl roster: Drew Brees leads stacked offense

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Team Rice loaded up on offense during the Pro Bowl Draft.

If nothing else, the NFL Pro Bowl Draft produced some interesting rosters.

Jerry Rice was joined by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn, whom Rice made team captains. The roster they picked is definitely stronger on the offensive side of the ball, but plenty of defensive talent was still left for them to add.

The game may not count for anything, but that doesn't mean it's not worth taking a closer look at these rosters. Here's a preview of Rice's team.

Team Rice Offense


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Captain)
Philip RiversSan Diego Chargers
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

Rice already had his top quarterback in Brees when selecting his team captain. He also managed to get Philip Rivers, one of the top quarterbacks in the AFC this season, forming a strong one-two punch at the position. In fact, it's the same one-two punch the San Diego Chargers had once upon a time. Alex Smith rounds out the quarterback depth chart for Team Rice.

Running backs

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
DeMarco MurrayDallas Cowboys
Matt ForteChicago Bears

Brees loves getting his running backs involved in the passing game, and Team Rice has the perfect set of backs to fit the role. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was arguably the league's best player at the position this season, while DeMarco Murray and Matt Forte are both dual threats coming off impressive 2013 seasons.

Wide receivers

Josh GordonCleveland Browns
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
Larry FitzgeraldArizona Cardinals

As if the offense wasn't explosive enough already, Team Rice added two of the most explosive, young wide receivers in the NFL. Between Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffrey, Brees and Rivers should be throwing plenty of jump balls on Sunday. Add Brandon Marshall and Larry Fitzgerald to the mix, and there should be plenty of mismatches to exploit with size alone.

Tight ends

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons

At tight end, Team Rice has the league's best tight end in Jimmy Graham and arguably the best tight end in the history of the NFL in Tony Gonzalez. The Pro Bowl will mark the last NFL game Gonzalez will play in his career, as he's already announced his retirement.

Offensive tackles

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns
Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys
Jordan GrossCarolina Panthers

Team Rice's offensive tackles combined to allow fewer than 10 sacks in 2013, so Brees, Rivers and Smith should be well protected come Sunday.


Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints
Ben Grubbs, New Orleans Saints
Evan Mathis, Philadelphia Eagles

Brees should be plenty comfortable with his offensive line. The quarterback played a part in drafting two of his guards to Team Rice to ensure his protection in the pocket.


Ryan Kalil, Carolina Panthers
Nick MangoldNew York Jets

Ryan Kalil and Nick Mangold only allowed one sack between them in 2013. It's easy to see how they landed in the 2014 Pro Bowl.


Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers

Mike Tolbert led all fullbacks with five touchdowns in 2013. He also has some pass-catching chops, so Brees and Rivers should enjoy finding him out of the backfield on Sunday.

Team Rice Defense

Defensive ends

Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams (Captain)
Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
Cameron WakeMiami Dolphins

Team Rice may have had to sacrifice a bit on defense to stack the offense like it did, but the pass rushers on Team Rice are still scary. Quinn is the obvious star of the group, but Cameron Wake had 10 sacks of his own in 2013 and may have been the next best 4-3 defensive end.

Defensive tackles

Jason Hatcher, Dallas Cowboys
Kyle Williams, Buffalo Bills
Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills had one of the best run defenses in the NFL this season, so Team Rice was wise to grab their dominant defensive tackle duo of Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus to anchor the defensive line.

Outside linebackers

Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
John Abraham, Arizona Cardinals
Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins

It's always tough to figure out what the defenses will look like in the Pro Bowl with so many players coming from so many different schemes. Justin Houston, John Abraham and Brian Orakpo all come from 3-4 schemes and had 34 sacks between them in 2013. It's safe to say Team Rice will be able to get after the quarterback.

Inside linebackers

Vontaze BurfictCincinnati Bengals
Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs

After going undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft, Vontaze Burfict is now one of the best linebackers in football. He will play in his first Pro Bowl on Sunday and was named second team All-Pro as well.


Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns
Brandon Flowers, Kansas City Chiefs
Antonio Cromartie, New York Jets
Alterraun VernerTennessee Titans

There is plenty of proven talent on Team Rice's cornerback depth chart, but other than Alterraun Verner and Joe Haden, these guys didn't play as well as they have in the past. It will be interesting to see if Team Rice can hold up in pass defense.


Eric ReidSan Francisco 49ers
Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills
Antrel RolleNew York Giants

A rookie and a late addition help make up Team Rice's safety depth chart. In a game that should feature plenty of passing from both sides, Team Rice may have some trouble limiting the big plays from Team Sanders.

Team Rice special teams


Johnny Hekker, St. Louis Rams


Stephen GostkowskiNew England Patriots


Justin Bethel, St. Louis Rams

Kick returner

Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs

"Need" player (e.g., long snapper)

Matt OvertonIndianapolis Colts

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