The San Francisco 49ers will have three representatives in the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando Florida, and there might actually be things to watch during this exhibition.
Yes, the Pro Bowl is boring. And if you wind up watching this exhibition game, you probably couldn’t find much else to do with your Sunday activities.
That’s OK. We’re here to try and help you find things to get excited about.
The San Francisco 49ers, of course, have three representatives playing in this year’s NFL all-star game: fullback Kyle Juszczyk, tight end George Kittle and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. This is Juszczyk’s third Pro Bowl appearance, which isn’t a shocker considering the lack of impact fullbacks in the league these days.
Yet it’s the first for both Kittle and Buckner, so that’s something to watch.
Especially considering Kittle has been making the most of his budding popularity in the days leading up to the contest.
George Kittle’s Popularity Rising
Despite the 49ers’ frustrating 4-12 finish, Kittle setting a new NFL single-season record for tight ends with 1,377 receiving yards was pretty special. And it earned him national recognition beyond just Northern California.
So it’s no surprise Kittle has been something of a fan favorite in Pro Bowl practices and events.
As far as the big game? Well, he’s looking forward to that, too.
“One thing you always notice when you’re watching Pro Bowls is how much fun everyone has out on the field,” Kittle told Shelley Bardon Till. “It’s definitely still competitive, but it’s guys having fun more than a real game.”
Kittle’s outgoing reputation should be something to monitor as he continues to rise among the NFL’s up-and-coming stars.
DeForest Buckner Making a Name
Buckner’s first Pro Bowl nod of his three-year career wasn’t automatic, as he ended up getting in as an alternate. Still, few will remember than when looking at his career years from now. You’re either or a Pro Bowler or you’re not. It’s that simple.
Granted, there isn’t exactly a lot by the way of defense during these kind of exhibition games. But getting to see Buckner step off against some of the NFL’s best competition should be of some interest, at least.
Young Quarterbacks Across the League
2018 might have been the year for young quarterbacks, and none made the impact quite like the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, who’ll likely take home league MVP honors from his record-setting efforts.
Mahomes is just one player to watch for the AFC squad, along with Houston Texans second-year signal-caller Deshaun Watson.
The NFC’s quarterback depth chart isn’t quite as filled with youthful talent, the biggest young name being the Chicago Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky, whose relatively pedestrian 2018 numbers may not be seen as totally Pro Bowl worthy. The Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff would be in attendance, however his Rams are squared to face off with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII a week from today.
Still, these young quarterbacks are the future of the league, so they should be fun to watch.
Electing not to watch the game? Well, can’t say we blame you. A while ago, we came up with ways to make the Pro Bowl fun again. The 2019 dodgeball game sure was a good idea, right? That’s probably more entertaining than the game itself.
Anyway, the 2019 Pro Bowl kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN and ABC.