Indianapolis Colts: 8 players who can make first Pro Bowl in 2024

Michael Pittman Jr. Colts

Five players on the Indianapolis Colts have been named to at least one Pro Bowl in their career.

A few players should have at least one under their belt but got snubbed through the NFL’s voting process for the honor.

For the upcoming season, here are eight players who have an opportunity to hear their names called for the Pro Bowl for the first time:

Colts with Pro Bowl potential in 2024

QB Anthony Richardson

The player with the easiest path to the Pro Bowl is AR. Quarterbacks can get the honor early in their career because their names are more recognizable to the fanbases across the league. Factoring in the electric playmaking ability from Richardson, you can see how he can captivate fans outside of Indianapolis.

Especially for fans who play fantasy football, he can accumulate a good base of the fan vote if he ends up as one of the top players at the position. AR just needs to stay on the field and continue his upward trajectory with his performance to earn his first Pro Bowl in Year 2.

LB Zaire Franklin

I’m clueless about what Franklin needs to do more to get his first Pro Bowl. He set a franchise record for the most tackles in a season two years in a row. He also finished in the top five in tackles in both seasons and had the second most in 2023. He was named as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2022 and 2023 so he’s right there.

Maybe more memorable game-changing plays can help Franklin get more recognition outside Indianapolis. If he has three straight seasons being one of the top linebackers in the NFL then he’s due to get his first honor.

WR Michael Pittman Jr. 

Pittman Jr. is coming off the best season of his career but just missed out on his first Pro Bowl appearance. He was named an alternate alongside Franklin, which was his second time getting close after being named an alternate following the 2021 season.

His play has helped him get national recognition but with how much talent there is at receiver, it is a crowded position group and can be difficult to crack for the honor. His first season with double-digit touchdowns could help MPJ get his first nod for the Pro Bowl.

DT Grover Stewart

There were few bright spots in the disastrous 2022 season and Stewart was one of them. Having a great season on a bad team is never the right combination for a player to make it to the Pro Bowl. Typically you have to be a well-known player like Quenton Nelson to get the honor like he did as the only Colt from the 2022 season to play in the game.

Even Nelson thought Big Grove should have been named as a Pro Bowler. “I wish I could give my Pro Bowl to him,” Nelson said. Last year’s six-game suspension didn’t help Stewart but with that behind him, a stellar season alongside a successful season for the team as a whole can potentially lead to his first time getting the honor.

RT Braden Smith

For how consistent of a player Smith has been in his career and has shown that he can handle elite pass rushers like T.J. Watt and Maxx Crosby you would think he would already have a Pro Bowl under his belt. His obstacles are that it is hard for offensive linemen to gain recognition outside their local fanbase.

He’s on an offensive line that features Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly as popular names. Plus his injuries play into it, Smith has missed 14 games in the last three seasons. He did have offseason knee surgery. His health will be the determining factor on if he will get his opportunity to earn his first Pro Bowl.

EDGE Samson Ebukam

In his first season with the Colts, Ebukam set a career-high in tackles (57), TFLs (10), sacks (9.5), QB hits (17), and forced fumbles (three). Indianapolis has a deep rotation in their edge rush group. I lean towards Ebukam having the best chance to get a Pro Bowl nod because he is locked into the LEO position and won’t be splitting as many snaps as much as Kwity Paye, Laiatu Latu, and the rest of the pass rushers.

LT Bernhard Raimann

Raimann has been on an upward trajectory as a player since he took over as the left tackle during his rookie season. He’s quickly getting recognized as one of the better young tackles across the league and is on the verge of a breakout season. As I mentioned with Braden Smith, playing in a unit that features Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly could overshadow him but if he takes the next step in his development then it wouldn’t be a shock if he gets his first Pro Bowl of his career.

S Julian Blackmon 

Blackmon is coming off his best season where he set a career-high in tackles (88), TFLs (five), pass defenses (eight), interceptions (four), and fumble recoveries (two). His health has held him back from reaching his ceiling, he has yet to play a full schedule. He finds himself in a contract year with him coming back on a one-year deal. Playing all 17 games while making impact plays can help him get his first Pro Bowl and the long-term deal he is seeking.

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