NFL Pro Bowl vs All Pro Team

NFL LogoIn the NFL there are two “all star” designations that are given to players each season, but what’s the difference and what’s the significance?

Difference Number 1: The body that awards the designations

The body that awards the designations is completely different. The National Football League is the body behind the Pro Bowl. The NFL holds a voting process to elect the members of the Pro Bowl. The fans get to vote, as well as the coaches and players. Each group’s votes count for one-third of the final vote.

The Associated Press is the body behind the All Pro team. A national panel of 50 media members place their votes for the All Pro team.

Difference Number 2: The number of players

The Pro Bowl consists of two teams. The ‘best’ players from each conference represent their own conference in the game. The teams consist of three QBs, three RBs, one FB, four WRs, two TEs, three Ts, three Gs, two Cs on offense, three DE, three ILB, three OLB, two I/MILB, three CBs, three Ss on defense, and one P, one K, one KR, one LS, and one special teamer on special teams. This means that there at least 86 Pro Bowlers every season.

This is a sharp contrast to the All Pro system, in which there is only one team comprising of the best players regardless of conference. The All Pro team consists of one QB, two RBs, one FB, one TE, two WRs, two Ts, two Gs, one C on offense, two DE, two DT, two OLB, two ILB, two CBs, two Ss on defense, and one K, one P and one KR on special teams. This means taht there are only 27 All Pros every season.

Difference Number 3: What the teams do

The Pro Bowl teams actually compete in an exhibition game, whereas the All Pro team is strictly an on paper award. The NFL Pro Bowl Game is the league’s all-star game, but it doesn’t have the draw of other major sports All-Star games. Every year there are numerous Pro-Bowlers that don’t play in the game for existing injuries, for fear of a new injury or because his team is in the Super Bowl. This dilutes the Pro Bowl by adding even more members to the team. There are no replacements for the All Pro team.


At the end of the day, it is an honor for any NFL player to get named on either team, but the All Pro team is more prestigious because of the extremely limited number of spaces. For example, there are six quarterbacks initially selected for the NFL Pro Bowl, but the All Pro team has one.

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