Marques Colston is in the elite company of the five best players in NFL history to never make a Pro Bowl

As the Saints prepare to say goodbye to their all time leader in touchdowns scored (Colston has 72 career touchdowns, a 17 touchdown margin over 2nd place Deuce McAllister with 55), Saints fans are undoubtedly revisiting a number of fantastic memories from their star receiver. There is no question Colston was a special player for the Saints over 10 seasons, coming out of Hofstra as a 7th round pick in 2006. Colston will finish his career with the Saints as a 6 time 1,000 yard receiver, and the team all time leader in touchdowns scored, receptions and yards receiving. He currently has 711 career receptions for 9,759 yards and 72 touchdowns and it remains to be seen if he’ll try to add to those totals with another team in 2016. He’ll also have the distinction of being one of the best players in NFL history to never make a Pro Bowl. He joins elite company with guys that were robbed from their just recognition throughout their career.

Who are the others?

Ken Riley, CB, Bengals

Riley is without question the greatest player in NFL history to never make a Pro Bowl. Riley has 65 career interceptions which is tied with Charles Woodson for 5th all time in NFL history. In case you were curious, Woodson has been to 9 Pro Bowls. Riley has more career interceptions than Darren Sharper, Ronnie Lott and Ed Reed. They’ve been to a combined 24 Pro Bowls between them. Riley, on the other hand? Zero. In 1976 he led the NFL with 9 interceptions and he’s been named an All Pro 3 times. It’s indefensible by any standard.

Ryan Longwell, K, Packers, Vikings, Seahawks

Kicking for so many seasons at Lambeau Field likely caused part of this. Even still, Longwell’s performance makes his omission from all Pro Bowls during his career unfathomable. He’s been a Pro Bowl alternate without getting in 9 times. That is not a typo. In 2000, he made 3 game winners (two over 50) and led the league in field goals made. In 2004, he made 4 game winners. Between 2009 and 2010, he missed a total of 3 field goals in two entire seasons – with two misses hitting the uprights. None of it was ever enough to get in. His 1,687 career points is most ever by a player that’s never been to the Pro Bowl.

John Kolb, G, Steelers

He was a starter for 13 years for the Steelers at guard. Kolb was viewed by some as the best offensive lineman on a team that won 4 Super Bowls. He was selected once as an All Pro. Kolb also competed twice in the World’s Strongest Man Competition and finished 4th in the U. S. both times. When you remember those legendary Steelers teams that featured Franco Harris, Lynn Swann and Terry Bradshaw, Kolb was arguably the best player of them all. It’s hard to quantify the value of an offensive lineman without the benefit of statistics but make no mistake, this was a huge snub.

Joey Galloway, WR, Seahawks, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Patriots, Steelers, Redskins

His career numbers are remarkably similar to Colston’s, though he did play for 6 more seasons. He finished his career with 701 receptions for 10,950 yards and 77 touchdowns. He somehow didn’t get in in 2005 despite posting a 83 catch, 1,287 yard and 1o touchdown season.

Marques Colston, WR, Saints

His best season was a 98 catch, 1,202 yard and 11 touchdown season in 2007. That year Colston was 2nd in the NFC in receptions, 4th in the NFC in yards and 4th in the NFC in touchdowns (all by a receiver). Somehow that wasn’t enough to get in.

Other honorable mentions:

Jim Plunkett, QB (Patriots, 49ers, Raiders)

Plaxico Burress, WR  (Steelers, Giants, Jets)

Chad Pennington, QB (Jets, Dolphins)

Amani Toomer, WR (Giants)


About Andrew Juge

I write about football.