The 2021 Pro Bowl rosters have a Cobb County feel.
Four former area standouts — Darren Waller, Bradley Chubb and Cameron Heyward for the AFC, and Evan Engram in the NFC — were selected to the teams which were announced Tuesday evening. For Waller, Chubb and Engram, it is their first Pro Bowl selection. For Heyward, it was the fourth straight season he we bestowed the honor.
Waller, the former North Cobb star, had a breakout season last year with the Oakland Raiders, catching 93 passes for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. He has only gotten better in 2020 after the team moved to Las Vegas. With two games still to play, the tight end has 93 receptions for 967 yards and eight touchdowns.
Chubb and Engram are both former Hillgrove standouts and coming off injury-plagued seasons from a year ago.
Chubb, an outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos, played only four games in 2019 because of a torn ACL. He has come back this year with 7.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, 42 tackles and nine tackles for loss.
Engram, in his fourth season with the New York Giants, missed half the season last year with a foot injury. This season he has been healthy and has played in all 14 games. He has 54 catches for 572 yards and a touchdown. Engram also has a rushing touchdown on the year.
For Heyward, a 10-year veteran with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pro Bowl is becoming an annual occurrence. The former Whitefield Academy standout has helped anchor the defensive line with 49 tackles, three sacks and 16 quarterback hits.
The 2021 Pro Bowl was supposed to be played in Las Vegas the week before the Super Bowl, but was canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the NFL is working with EA Sports to create a virtual Pro Bowl with the 2021 selected rosters playing within Madden 2021 matchup, which will be available for fans to watch across a variety of platforms.