The NFL announced its 2016 Pro Bowl selections on Tuesday night, and the Oakland Raiders led the way with a league-leading seven selections.
Three of those came from the offensive line, as tackle Donald Penn was named a Pro Bowler for the second time in his career and guard Kelechi Osemele and center Rodney Hudson were both chosen for the first time.
All three were very deserving of the selections, as Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been sacked just 15 times on the season. Only Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has been sacked less at 14, and he has played in four less games than Carr due to his suspension to start the season.
Hudson, who is in his sixth NFL season out of Florida State and second with the Raiders, talked about what it means to him to be named to the Pro Bowl, via Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com:
“It means a lot,” Hudson said of the Pro Bowl accolade. “It’s a great honor to be recognized for what you do. It’s very humbling, very great, I give a lot of thanks to our teammates because you can’t do any of it by yourself. I thank all my teammates for being there with us, and ultimately helping us have success.”
Osemele is in his fifth NFL season out of Iowa State, and was one of the Raiders big acquisitions this past offseason, also feels that being chosen for the Pro Bowl is a great honor, but hopes he doesn’t have to play in the game:
“Obviously we’re trying to focus on winning a Super Bowl, so hopefully we’re not playing in this game, but I mean, just the fact that you have seven guys on the same team, that just kind of shows you the work that we’ve put in from OTAs [Organized Team Activities] on forward,” said Osemele. “It’s been awesome.”
Oakland had two more Pro Bowl selections on the offensive side of the ball in quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper, in addition to their two defensive picks in defensive end Khalil Mack and safety Reggie Nelson.
The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 29 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, which is the week before the Super Bowl so should the Raiders make it that far then they would not play in the Pro Bowl.