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Pro Bowl draft: Rice picks QB Brees, DE Quinn

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jan 22 2014 09:39:43 AM CST
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

Joe Giza/Reuters

After winning the coin toss Tuesday, NFL great Jerry Rice picked New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn for his Pro Bowl team.

That means Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles are on Deion Sanders' team.

Since Rice chose the "captain group," the initial two players for each squad, Sanders had the first pick in Tuesday night's draft and will have the first pick in Wednesday night's draft as well. Wednesday's draft continues at 8 p.m. ET, and that is when most of the skill-position players will be drafted.

Rice and Sanders chose 14 players apiece on Tuesday, with Rice taking 10 players from NFC teams and Sanders choosing 10 players from AFC squads.

The draft is part of a format change decided upon last July in an attempt to revitalize the NFL's annual all-star game.

As the alumni team captains, Rice and Sanders have a say in which players end up on the two teams. Unlike previous years, there will be no NFC or AFC squads.

The player captains were allowed to help Rice and Sanders pick the Pro Bowl teams.

Linemen were the largest group to be targeted in Tuesday's draft.

Centers Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panthers and Nick Mangold of the New York Jets went to the Rice squad, as did two offensive guards from the New Orleans Saints -- Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs - as well as offensive guard Evan Mathis of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Buffalo Bills defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus wound up on the Rice team, as did Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher.

Rice took Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert, St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker, special teams performer Justin Bethel of the Arizona Cardinals, and long snapper Matt Overton of the Indianapolis Colts.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh wound up on the Sanders team, along with defensive tackles Dontari Poe of the Kansas City Chiefs and Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sanders chose centers Alex Mack of the Cleveland Browns and Mike Puncey of the Miami Dolphins, along with offensive guards Logan Mankins of the New England Patriots, Marshal Yanda of the Baltimore Ravens and Kyle Long of the Chicago Bears.

Sanders also selected fullback Marcel Reece of the Oakland Raiders, Dolphins punter Brandon Fields, special teams player Matthew Slater of the Patriots and long snapper J.J. Jansen of the Panthers.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 26, in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

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