EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Three Giants players – one each from the offense, defense and special teams – were selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team announced today.
Rookie running back Saquon Barkley, safety Landon Collins and kicker Aldrick Rosas were elected in voting by fans, players and coaches. Collins and Rosas were chosen as starters. It’s the third consecutive Pro Bowl for Collins, and first for Barkley and Rosas.
Collins, however, will miss the game for the second straight year after undergoing shoulder surgery on Dec. 12 to repair a partially torn labrum. Last season, he could have been the Giants’ lone representative in the game, but was unable to play due to a fractured forearm.
The Giants also had three alternates selected: Michael Thomas (special teamer) and Olivier Vernon (outside linebacker) are first alternates, and Odell Beckham, Jr. (wide receiver) is a second alternate. They will get the opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl if a player (or players) at their position cannot participate in the game. Players from the two Super Bowl teams do not participate in the Pro Bowl, which will be played on Sunday, Jan. 27, in Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Barkley, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, is the first Giants running back chosen for the Pro Bowl since Tiki Barber made the last of his three consecutive appearances in 2006. He is the first Giants rookie to go to the game since Beckham in 2014, and the team’s first rookie running back to be so honored since Tucker Frederickson in 1965. Frederickson was the top overall selection in that year’s draft. Running back Ron Johnson was a Pro Bowler in his first season with the team in 1970, but he was acquired in a trade after spending his rookie year with the Cleveland Browns.
Barkley is having the best statistical season by a rookie running back in Giants history. He is third in the NFL in both rushing yards (1,155) and scrimmage yards (1,809), both franchise records for first-year players. Tuffy Leeman’s former team rookie rushing record of 830 yards had stood for 82 years.
Barkley has also set Giants rookie records for touchdowns (13), catches (82) and receiving yards by a running back (654). He needs seven receptions in the last two games to establish a record for NFL running backs (currently held by Reggie Bush, who had 88 for New Orleans in 2006). Barkley needs two rushing touchdowns to break Bill Paschal’s franchise record of 10, set in 1943, and one to break a tie with David Meggett (1989) and set a record for touchdown receptions by a Giants rookie running back.
On Nov. 18, Barkley rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, and caught two passes, including one for another score, a performance that earned him the NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award. He rushed for a season-high 170 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown run, at Washington on Dec. 9. The 170 yards was the second-highest rushing total ever by a Giants rookie.
Collins is the first Giants player selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls since Beckham.
Collins started each of the first 12 games at strong safety, but hurt his shoulder in an overtime victory against Chicago on Dec. 2. Though he has missed the last two games, Collins still leads the team with 96 tackles (67 solo). He finished each of his first three seasons as the team leader in tackles.
Rosas is the first Giants kicker selected to the Pro Bowl since Josh Brown in 2015. The second-year pro has had a breakout season, hitting 28 of 29 field goal attempts, a .966 percentage that places him second in the NFL (former Giants kicker Robbie Gould is first at .967, converting on 29 of 30 tries). Rosas has also made 25 of 26 extra point attempts for 109 points, the league’s ninth-highest total.
Rosas, a relative unknown when he joined the team from Southern Oregon in 2017, was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the Giants’ 30-27 overtime victory against the Bears.
He made all three of his field goal attempts, including the game-winning 44-yarder in overtime and a franchise-record 57-yarder on the final play of the first half. The previous long field goals in franchise history were a pair of 56-yarders by Ali Haji-Sheikh in 1983, vs. Green Bay on Sept. 26 and at Detroit on Nov. 7. Rosas’ previous long field goal was a 53-yarder at Carolina on Oct. 7. The field goal was Rosas’ fourth from at least 50 yards this year, tying the Giants’ single-season record for long three-pointers set by Brown in 2014.
Rosas‘ only field goal miss this season was on a 52-yard attempt against Philadelphia on Oct. 11. He has kicked three field goals in a game four times this year.