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Odell Beckham Jr. among four Giants named to Pro Bowl

Posted Dec 20, 2016

Odell Beckham Jr., Janoris Jenkins, Dwayne Harris, and Landon Collins were selected to the 2017 Pro Bowl:


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants’ outstanding season has helped four players receive one of the NFL’s most cherished individual honors.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., cornerback Janoris Jenkins, safety Landon Collins and special teamer Dwayne Harris were today named to the NFC Pro Bowl team. Beckham will play in the game for the third time in as many seasons, while it’s the first selection for Jenkins, Collins and Harris.

The Giants will send two defensive backs to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1963, when Erich Barnes and Dick Lynch were selected.

>> WATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF PRO BOWL PLAYERS

The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29, in Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. After three years of drafting players by team captains, the Pro Bowl will return to an AFC vs. NFC format this year.

Of course, if the Giants advance to Super Bowl LI, their players will be ineligible to participate in the Pro Bowl. The 10-4 Giants will clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Eagles in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Beckham is tied for third in the NFL with 85 receptions and 10 touchdown catches, and is fourth with 1,173 yards. He is the first Giants player to be voted to three consecutive Pro Bowls since guard Chris Snee from 2008-10. Beckham is the first Giants wide receiver chosen three years in a row since Del Shofner from 1961-63 (when wide receivers were called ends).

“It is exciting,” Beckham said. “It is cool to be on a team with multiple Pro Bowlers, so it is a huge accomplishment for myself and my teammates.”

Does he think he’s played as well this year as he did in his first two Pro Bowl seasons?

“I feel like I have,” Beckham said. “I feel like numbers-wise and just in general, it has been pretty close, pretty similar. But we have a better record this year, so it is a lot more fun when you are winning games.”

Jenkins will be the second Giants corner to play in the Pro Bowl in as many years; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was a late replacement last season.

>> JENKINS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT BACK

One of the offseason free agent acquisitions that have substantially upgraded the Giants’ defense, Jenkins has started every game. He routinely covers the opposition’s best wide receiver, and has held many of them under their per-game catch average – most notably Dallas’ Dez Bryant, who twice had just one reception vs. the Giants.

“I feel like I had an okay year,” Jenkins said.
 
Jenkins has 48 tackles (43 solo), three interceptions, and is tied with Rodgers-Cromartie with a team-high 17 passes defensed.

“It took me a while to get here,” said Jenkins, a five-year veteran. “I am very thankful for everyone who voted and I am just excited. The Pro Bowl was a goal of mine coming in and I just want to thank everybody for playing around me, elevating my game and making me play harder. I thought one day (in would happen). I didn’t know what day it was going to be. I am glad that it finally came, and I am truly blessed.”

Jenkins is particularly gratified that he was selected in his first season with a new team after playing his first four years with the St. Louis Rams.

“It means a lot,” he said. “Just coming to a different scheme from what you were in. There was more man-to-man over that way, more blitz coverages. Over here you play a lot of man-to-man, a lot of two high safeties, too. It helps you out with a good mix, and I think Coach Spags (defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) is doing a great job.”

Collins leads the Giants with 108 tackles (87 solo) and five interceptions. He also has picked up this first three career sacks. He is the first NFL safety with 100+ tackles, at least five interceptions, and at least 3.0 sacks since Rodney Harrison in 2000. He is the first Giants player with a at least five interceptions and 3.0 sacks since Jason Sehorn in 1996.

“Oh man, it is exciting,” Collins said of his selection. “It is a blessing and all I can do is thank my brothers for staying on top of me and staying on top of my game, and just pushing me to another level.

“It is a milestone and I have got to put another one on top of that now. I have been on top of my craft, and what I have to do is keep paying attention to my details, and doing my job and my job-plus.”

Collins was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week following the Giants victories vs. the Rams on Oct. 23 and Eagles on Nov. 6 to become the first player in franchise history to win the award in consecutive games. A second-round draft choice in 2015, Collins was the first player to accomplish that feat since cornerback Charles Tillman in 2012, and the first safety since Troy Polamolu in 2010. Collins was also named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in November.

“(The Pro Bowl) definitely was a goal for me in the NFL,” Collins said. “I didn’t think it was going to come this soon, but I am definitely happy that it came this soon, and I appreciate the opportunity.”

Harris has been plagued by several injuries that have limited his ability to return kickoffs and punts in recent weeks. But he still leads the team with 19 kickoff returns (for a 24.9-yard average) and 20 punt returns (6.3-yard average). He also has a team-high seven special teams tackles, and a knack for downing Brad Wing’s punts close to the opposition’s goal line.

“I have been working for this for so long,” said Harris, who joined the Giants in 2015 after four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. “I just feel like every year, something happens where I couldn’t get in, especially all the good years I have had. I just feel like one person has always gotten in front of me. But to get my first one feels amazing. It is great. It is one thing that I have been working on since I came into the league and the guys around me who helped me get to it, I put it up for them.”

In his first Giants season, Harris returned both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns. This year, he hasn’t brought one to the house, but has been a complete special teams player.

“I take a lot of pride in it, because we have got guys around me who want to go out there and make plays, too, and that motivates me,” Harris said. “When you have a good punter who places the ball where you can make plays, that helps a lot, too. When you have guys running on kickoff who put you in a position to make tackles, it is all them. It is not just me out there by myself, but it is a whole team effort putting me in position to make plays on special teams.

“A lot of times I am hurt or I can’t return because I am trying to not take as many hits and keep hits off of my body. But when I can go out and make an impact on teams as a gunner, it is definitely big, because I am definitely a force out there as a gunner.”

As great an honor as the Pro Bowl is, the four players hope they get nowhere near Orlando late next month.

“I definitely had fun at the Pro Bowl,” Beckham said. “I love it, but I would much rather be playing in the Super Bowl than the Pro Bowl.”