Ranking the Season of Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowlers

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The Arizona Cardinals might have bowed out of the playoffs embarrassingly, but the team’s representation at the Pro Bowl reflects the progress the team made in 2021. Yes, indeed, the worst 11-win team in the history of football contributed five Cardinals Pro Bowlers, only one of whom is an injury replacement. Arizona is the third-most represented team in this year’s Pro Bowl.

Granted, the end of Arizona’s season was something of an abject failure. However, some Cardinals earned a number of accolades after 2021. Who is still a Cardinal next year, though, well that’s a problem for after Vegas. Here are your 2021 Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowlers.

Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowlers in 2021

#5: D.J. Humphries

D.J. Humphries‘ involvement in this year’s Pro Bowl is somewhat of a delayed gratification selection. His involvement is likely reflective of his excellent 2020 season, rather than his underwhelming 2021. Humphries drew the second-most penalties amongst tackles in the NFL this season and gave up several sacks across the year. Yet, Hump is Arizona’s franchise left tackle and, more than that, is an important leader and personality within the group. He might not have explicitly earned Pro Bowl honors with his play this year, coming in as an injury replacement for Tyron Smith, but Hump is deserving of the recognition.

#4: Chandler Jones

If Chandler Jones‘ Week 1 form lasted the entire season, he’d be looking at far more than just Pro Bowl honors. Jones’ inconsistency in 2021 is something Cardinals fans have zeroed in on in the post-mortem of this year. Yet, it would be unfair to allow that to obscure some of Chan’s achievements this year, including claiming Arizona’s All-Time sack record. Sure, he was hit-and-miss across the year, but he recovered some form late, hit double-digits, and wrote himself into Arizona’s history books. His inclusion amongst the Cardinals Pro Bowlers is reflective of both his stature in the league and with Arizona. With a potentially brutal free agency looming, this may be the last look at Jones in Cardinal red.

#3: Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray managed to tilt even the most cynical skeptics in his favor with his early-season brilliance. There are still questions surrounding Murray as the franchise guy, although he cemented his status as one of the league’s most exciting players. His dynamism alone qualifies him for the Pro Bowl, but that shouldn’t distract from the fact that Murray makes exhibition plays in regular-season games too. Making the throws he does, all while finishing with the second-highest completion percentage in the NFL, demonstrated K1’s ability to lead this Cardinals squad further each year. Yes, his injury might have derailed an MVP-caliber campaign, but recency bias aside, Murray was electric in 2021, and well-deserving of his second Pro Bowl nod in only a three-year career.

#2: Budda Baker

Budda Baker is part of the furniture at the Pro Bowl for the Cardinals at this point. Seemingly Arizona’s official representative at the event, Baker has come a long way since first making the Pro Bowl as a rookie special teamer in 2017. Now nationally recognized as an elite player, Baker lays a real claim to being the best safety in the NFL. He’s Arizona’s best player, pound-for-pound. 2021 was one of Baker’s more low-key seasons in recent memory, somewhat overshadowed by the breakout of Jalen Thompson. Still, Baker excelled as part of that tandem and showed his quality during Arizona’s late-season struggles. Almost a Pro Bowl lock every year, Baker’s meteoric rise is spearheading Arizona’s emergence as a contending force in the NFL.

#1: James Conner

Never has an easier vote been cast than voting James Conner to the Pro Bowl. Conner might be the easiest player to root for in the league, but his selection is far from a sympathy or popularity pick. No, in 2021, Conner was far and away Arizona’s team MVP. He led the team, and almost the entire league, in touchdowns across the season. Playing on a prove-it deal, he was the best value player in the NFL this season. Conner’s contributions saw him make the Pro Bowl for the first time since his breakout season in Pittsburgh; his inclusion amongst Arizona’s Pro Bowlers goes some way to recognizing what he meant to the Cardinals this year. Pro Bowl honors are the least Conner deserves.

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