When Eli Manning found out Odell Beckham Jr. was in charge of drafting players for the Pro Bowl, the quarterback told his wide receiver there was no pressure to pick him. But if he didn’t, Beckham shouldn’t expect any passes to come his way next season.
He did. The Pro Bowl duo won’t be split up.
During the Pro Bowl Draft on Wednesday night, the NFL all-stars were divvied up between Team Rice and Team Irvin under the new “unconferenced” format. Manning was taken second overall behind Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, and the two-time Super Bowl MVP will play alongside Beckham and kicker Josh Brown on Team Rice in the 2016 Pro Bowl, which kicks off in Hawaii this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN). Cornerback Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie will try to slow them down on Team Irvin.
Leading up to his second Pro Bowl appearance in as many seasons in the league, Beckham was named one of four player captains, along with Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, and Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins. They helped determine the rosters for Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, who are serving as “legends” captains.
Beckham received 502,241 fan votes in balloting for the 2016 Pro Bowl, the highest total among wide receivers, second-highest among non-quarterbacks, and seventh-highest overall. Manning, Rodgers-Cromartie, and Brown were initially alternates before making the all-star game.
This is the Giants’ largest contingent since Manning, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, guard Chris Snee, and wide receiver Victor Cruz played in the 2013 Pro Bowl together. The Giants had one representative in each of the last two games: safety Antrel Rolle in 2014 and Beckham in 2015.
This is the fourth Pro Bowl selection for Manning (2008, 2011-12, 2015), first for Brown (2015), and second for both Beckham (2014-15) and Rodgers-Cromartie (2009 with Arizona, 2015).