Rams DT Aaron Donald, RB Todd Gurley and P Johnny Hekker were named to the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl, the team announced today. Their invitations mark the first time since 2006 that three Rams received Pro Bowl honors and the first time since 2003 that the club has sent a player on offense, defense and special teams to the league’s annual all-star game.
With Donald’s invite, he will make his second-consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl, one year after earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Currently, he ranks second in the NFC in sacks and first among all defensive tackles (11.0). Since he entered the league in 2014, he leads all NFL defensive tackles with 20.0. Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy is second with 15.5 sacks. In addition, Rams coaches have credited Donald with 75 tackles – including a team-high 21 tackles for loss – 35 QB pressures, 22 QB hits and one fumble recovery. Donald is the first Rams defensive tackle to earn back-to-back Pro Bowl honors since Larry Brooks (1976-80).
Gurley, the 10th overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, is the first Rams offensive player to earn a bid to the Pro Bowl since Steven Jackson was selected in 2010. He is also the first Rams rookie on offense to receive a Pro Bowl nod since Jerome Bettis did so in 1993. While the former Georgia Bulldog did not see his first NFL action until Week 3, Gurley currently ranks third in rushing in the NFL this season with 1,023 yards, making him the first Rams rookie to rush for over 1,000 yards since Bettis’ 1993 season. Currently, Gurley leads all rookies in scrimmage yards (1,204), 100-yard games (5), and rushing touchdowns (9).
Hekker is one of only three Rams punters to ever receive Pro Bowl honors (Dale Hatcher, 1985; Dave Chapple, 1972). This year’s Pro Bowl marks Hekker’s second trip in three years. His first Pro Bowl invitation came in 2014 after he led the NFL in net punting average, which set a franchise record. This season he is second in the category at 43.9, which currently ranks as the fourth-best single season performance in NFL history. Heading into Week 16, Hekker leads the NFL in gross average at 48.3 yards. Of his 85 punts, only five went for touchbacks and he has placed a league-leading 38 punts inside the opponents’ 20 yard-line.
The 2016 NFL Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 and televised live on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.