| The Detroit News
For the first time since 2014, three Detroit Lions players have been named to the Pro Bowl roster. On Monday night, the NFL announced tight end T.J. Hockenson, center Frank Ragnow and punter Jack Fox earned the honors for the 2020 season.
Hockenson, the No. 8 pick in the draft a year ago, experienced a breakout campaign in his second season. Through 14 games, he’s caught 60 passes for 675 yards and six touchdowns, essentially doubling his rookie production.
Hockenson led all NFC tight ends in the fan voting, which makes up one-third of the selection process. Votes by the league’s players and coaches make up the other two-thirds of the ballot.
Ragnow, the Lions’ first-rounder a year before Hockenson, also earned his first Pro Bowl honors. The center’s selection speaks volumes about how he’s perceived by the league’s players and coaches given he did not finish in the top-10 in fan voting.
Prior to Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, Ragnow had played every offensive snap for the Lions through 13 games. He suffered fractured cartilage in his throat a week earlier, which sidelined him this past weekend.
For the season, Pro Football Focus grades Ragnow as the league’s second-best at his position, behind only Green Bay’s Corey Linsley. Ragnow has not allowed zero sacks and just one quarterback hit in 2020.
As for Fox, he’s been sensational in his first season handling Detroit’s punting duties. The second-year man out of Rice is presently averaging 49.3 yards gross and 45.3 yards net, which both rank among the top three in the league.
If Fox can maintain his net average, he’ll best Sam Martin’s franchise mark of 44.2 yards set in 2016. Fox currently trails only New England’s Jake Bailey, who at 46.1 yards is on pace to surpass the best mark in league history (Johnny Hekker’s 46.0 in 2016).
The Lions were represented by cornerback Darius Slay and wide receiver Kenny Golladay in the Pro Bowl in 2019. In 2014, the team had five players selected to the annual all-star game — Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, Golden Tate, Glover Quin and Matthew Stafford, who won the MVP that year.
This year’s game has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.