Chargers candidate No. 5: Casey Hayward, corner
After a minor lapse in an interception-free season in 2018, Casey Hayward is back to playing at an elite level in 2019.
While being matched up against opponents’ best receivers, Hayward has allowed just 217 yards on the season and has two interceptions. While that is an elite number after 11 games, his numbers in the past four games take the term “lockdown corner” to new heights.
This is Casey Hayward's last four games. Against the Bears, Packers, Raiders, and Chiefs, he's given up…one catch for six yards. Also worth noting he has not missed a tackle during those four games. pic.twitter.com/PMYnzF7uAl
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) November 19, 2019
However, what tends to get votes in the Pro-Bowl for corners is interceptions, especially when those interceptions are accompanied by returns for a touchdown.
The current leader in the AFC Pro-Bowl voting at corner is Marcus Peters. While Peters has had a great season with a flashy pick-six, nobody should be convinced that Peters has had a better year than Hayward.
This may be giving the voters more credit than they deserve, but in a year where Hayward could be on the verge of entering the Defensive Player of the Year discussion, he almost has to be included in the Pro Bowl.
Odds to make the team: 75 percent
Chargers candidate No. 6: Joey Bosa, defensive end
Though there are several Chargers players who have had career-years, there is only one who is certain to make the Pro-Bowl this season – Joey Bosa.
Bosa’s basic statistics do not provide any hint at the impact that he has made with the Chargers this season; as of right now, Bosa sits at 8.5 sacks, 33 tackles, and 1 forced fumble.
Perhaps due to his large impact, or perhaps due to name recognition, Bosa leads the AFC in Pro-Bowl votes at defensive end. Expect this to continue, and for Bosa to get some of the recognition that his play deserves.
Odds to make Pro Bowl: 100 percent
Austin Ekeler, running back
Austin Ekeler was fantastic filling in as the starting running back while Melvin Gordon was gone. While his snaps were mistakenly given away upon Gordon’s return, he has still been a great receiver in the past several weeks. Despite his great play, ranking 39th in rushing in the NFL is not going to be enough to get a Pro-Bowl nod.
Rayshawn Jenkins, free safety
It took some time for Jenkins to get acclimated to his role as a free safety, but he has performed well in the role as of late and is up to three interceptions on the season. He will not make the Pro-Bowl, but his play has approached that level in multiple weeks.
Ty Long, punter
Ty Long has been far more valuable to the Chargers than expected this season, as he performed well early in place of Michael Badgley as the kicker. While that should give him a boost, his punting has been good as well. He is fifth in the NFL in average yards per kick and 13th in net average. Still, his lack of national recognition and being on a losing team will likely keep Long off the roster.