The 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games selections were made yesterday, and two former BYU Cougars were selected. Puka Nacua and Fred Warner will both be part of the Pro Bowl activities after putting up phenomenal stats this year and consistently making NFL headlines.
OUR PRO BOWL COUGS pic.twitter.com/NQgCErKNs5
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) January 4, 2024
BYU Having Two 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Selections is a Big Deal
BYU Football having two former players selected in the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl first round of selections (before opt-outs/injury replacements are made) is a huge deal. In fact, only nine schools had more than selections than BYU, and the Cougars had more players selected than schools, including Michigan, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and Utah.
Pro Bowl rosters are out! Here's where they played in college: pic.twitter.com/RLrc9nAMYM
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) January 4, 2024
In a world where recruiting is about having the slightest edge, the tweet above is something that coaches can show to potential recruits and say “If you come to BYU, we don’t only put guys in the NFL, they go on to become the greatest at their position and get selected for the Pro Bowl Games.”
Is the Pro Bowl Even Important Anymore?
The Pro Bowl over the past decade hasn’t had the same prestige or valor as other all-star games such as the MLB and the NBA, but recent changes have started to change that. Last season, the Pro Bowl switched from a traditional tackle football game to a flag football game significantly less likely to lead to injuries. For, many, this brought back the interest and desire to play in the game. Just two years ago, there were nine players who were selected for the Pro Bowl, but opted out to avoid injury. Last year, that number dropped to just two. This shows that more players are interested in participating now.
Even more important that the actual game, is being selected. Nobody remembers the statistics from a player in the Pro Bowl; they remember they were selected. This is true in all professional sports. Most fans don’t care how many points Lebron James scored in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, they just care that he was selected.
For Puka Nacua and Fred Warner, their stats in the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games won’t matter, but having their name in history as being one of the top players at their position in the NFL will be something fans will never forget.
Puka Nacua is Having a Phenomenal Season
Of all the rookies in the league, there is no question that Puka Nacua has been the biggest surprise. He is currently in a two-way race to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year along with Texans QB CJ Stroud. This season Nacua has 101 receptions for 1,445 yards and five touchdowns. Nacua is only 11 yards and four catches away from breaking the all-time NFL receiving yards and catch records for a rookie.
Perhaps the most impressive is that Nacua is doing this with Cooper Kupp as a teammate. Many believed that after Kupp returned to the lineup in Week 5 of the season that Nacua’s stats would go significantly down. Instead, Nacua has continued to dominate, including going for 282 receiving yards the last two games.
Nacua is only the sixth 5th-round rookie to be selected for the Pro Bowl since 1994. He is also one of three rookies to be selected for the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games.
Fred Warner Continues to Dominate
Fred Warner being selected for the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games unlike Puka Nacua was not a surprise and entirely predictable. Warner has dominated in the NFL for the past few years, and is widely viewed as the best middle linebacker in the league. On the season Warner has 134 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and four interceptions.
The 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games will be the third time Warner has been selected to participate, and second the year in a row.
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The 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games will take place on Sunday, February 4th, one week before the Super Bowl.