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Five Vikings Named to 2023 Pro Bowl Roster


EAGAN, Minn. — The voting results are in for the 2023 Pro Bowl Games.

The Vikings have five players that were selected to this year's Pro Bowl through a method that counts fans' votes, coaches' votes and players' votes one-third apiece.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is making his fourth appearance; wide receiver Justin Jefferson and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith are getting their third appearances; tight end T.J. Hockenson is going back for a second time, and long snapper Andrew DePaola has been named to the NFL all-star roster for the first time.

Nine more Minnesota players were named alternates for the Pro Bowl Games, which is shifting this year to a flag football contest and other competitions.

Running back Dalvin Cook, fullback C.J. Ham, outside linebacker Danielle Hunter and return specialist Kene Nwangwu were announced as first alternates.

Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Za'Darius Smith, T.J. Hockenson, Andrew DePaola, Dalvin Cook and Danielle Hunter are representing the Vikings at the 2023 Pro Bowl Games.

Left tackle Christian Darrisaw, center Garrett Bradbury and safety Harrison Smith were named second alternates. Special teams member Kris Boyd and linebacker Eric Kendricks were tabbed as third alternates.

This year's Pro Bowl will have a different look to it. Instead of the traditional AFC vs. NFC game and various skills competitions, the Pro Bowl week will end with a flag football game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas at 2 p.m. (CT) on Feb. 5, 2023.

The Pro Bowl Skills Show will be televised live for the first time ever by ESPN at 6 p.m. Feb. 2, 2023. It will be followed by the East-West Shrine Bowl game at 7:30 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network.

View photos of WR Justin Jefferson, QB Kirk Cousins, OLB Za'Darius Smith, LS Andrew DePaola and TE T.J. Hockenson reacting to being selected to the 2023 Pro Bowl Games.

Below is a breakdown of each Vikings Pro Bowler…

Kirk Cousins

Make it back-to-back Pro Bowl trips for Cousins.

The quarterback has continued to establish himself as a leader of the Vikings offense. He is currently in the top 10 in passing yards (3,818, sixth), attempts (544, fourth), completions (355, fourth) and passing touchdowns (24, tied for fifth). Cousins has also engineered seven fourth-quarter comebacks this season, the most this season and second most in a single season behind Matthew Stafford's eight with Detroit in 2016.

Cousins was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 15 after completing 34 of his 54 pass attempts for a career-high 460 yards and tying his personal best with four passing touchdowns.

He also passed Daunte Culpepper (20,162) for third in team history in career passing yards at 20,205.

Justin Jefferson

Three seasons in the NFL, three selections to the Pro Bowl for Jefferson.

The Vikings wide receiver garnered his third consecutive Pro Bowl honor and joins former receiver Randy Moss (1998-2000) as the only Minnesota wide receivers to make it to the Pro Bowl in their first three NFL seasons.

The NFC’s leading vote getter, Jefferson also totaled the fourth-highest overall voting numbers (264,653) across the NFL behind Miami's Tua Tagovailoa (306,861) and Tyreek Hill (293,679) and Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes (271,541).

Jefferson currently leads the NFL in receptions (111), receiving yards (1,623) and receiving yards per game (115.9). He is tied for seventh with seven receiving touchdowns and ranks 13th among NFL qualifiers with 14.6 yards per catch.

He recently joined former receivers Calvin Johnson and Antonio Brown as the only three players in NFL history to record consecutive seasons with at least 1,600 receiving yards.

View the best photos of Justin Jefferson during his career-high game of 223 yards and 11 receptions vs. the Detroit Lions on Dec. 11, 2022.

In Week 12 against New England, Jefferson passed former Viking Randy Moss (4,163) for most receiving yards through a player's first three seasons and is currently at 4,639 yards. In Week 14 at Detroit, Jefferson hauled in 11 catches for a career-high 223 yards to break Sammy White's franchise regular-season record for receiving yards in a game. White set the previous benchmark of 210 as a rookie against Detroit in 1976.

Two more receiving records are within Jefferson's reach. He needs just 10 yards to break Moss' franchise single-season record of 1,632 and 342 yards to pass Johnson (1,964) for the league record in a single season.

Jefferson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 10 and Offensive Player of the Month for November.

Za'Darius Smith

After garnering consecutive appearances in 2019-20, Smith is back in the Pro Bowl.

While it's his first year in purple, the outside linebacker has made quite an impact on the Vikings defensive front.

Smith is currently tied for 12th in the NFL in sacks (10) and tied for fourth in tackles for loss (15) but leads the league in quarterback hurries (49) and is tied for first in quarterback pressures (71), according to Pro Football Focus.

Against Arizona in Week 8, Smith was a one-man wrecking crew, posting seven tackles, 3.0 sacks, four tackles for loss and one pass defended. He joined former Viking Kevin Williams as the only other player in franchise history to record those numbers in a game and is the first in the NFL to do so since Tampa Bay's Devin White in 2020.

As a result, Smith was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 8 before later earning Defensive Player of the Month honors for the month of October. Smith led the NFL in sacks (6.5), tied the league lead in tackles for loss (eight with Maxx Crosby) and had the second-most quarterback pressures (22) in the month of October, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

T.J. Hockenson

A mid-season acquisition from the Lions on Nov. 1, Hockenson — who garnered his first Pro Bowl selection since 2020 — has also made an immediate impact for Minnesota.

In seven games, the tight end has recorded 39 receptions for 335 yards and a touchdown. He also caught the 2-point conversion against the Colts last Saturday that tied the game at 36 with 2:15 left in regulation.

Hockenson currently has 65 catches for 730 receiving yards, with the latter being the second-most by a tight end this season. He has four receiving touchdowns in 2022, which is tied for the sixth-most by a tight end through Week 15 and he set the franchise record for most receptions (36) by a player in his first six games with the Vikings. The previous mark was set by Rickey Young in 1978 with 33.

Hockenson is also the first Vikings tight end since Kyle Rudolph in 2017 to be named to the Pro Bowl.

Andrew DePaola

Not only is it DePaola's first Pro Bowl honor, but he is the first long snapper to reach it in franchise history.

DePaola has helped kicker Greg Joseph make four game-winning field goals this season, a new single-season team record. In the punting department, DePaola has also assisted rookie punter Ryan Wright to post the 10th-best net punting average (42.8) and the 10th-lowest opponent punt return average (7.9) this season.

**LS Andrew DePaola  

DePaola has also recorded 17 tackles in 103 career games and has been nicknamed Sir Po by Special Teams Coordinator Matt Daniels.