2014 NFL Pro Bowl: Five Panthers named to roster

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A great season has resulted in five players being named to the Pro Bowl.

Carolina is having its best season in almost a decade, and it translated into Pro Bowl berths for the team's top players. A total of five Panthers made the game -- the most since 1996. The Pro Bowl will be conducted differently than in past years.

Cam Newton, Mike Tolbert and Ryan Kalil will represent the Panthers on offense, while Greg Hardy and Luke Kuechly have been named on the defensive side of the ball.

Instead of dividing the rosters down the line of AFC and NFC, a fantasy draft will be held to determine the rosters. Former NFL stars Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as captains, picking their teams out of the available players.

Thomas Davis was a disappointing snub given his stellar season. He didn't gain national recognition until late in the year, despite amassing over 100 tackles and 4.0 sacks this season. Davis is joined by Charles Johnson, who was was deserving -- but missed out on being named.

The 2014 roster is a curious mix of players, and Newton's selection will likely be largely criticized in NFL circles. He has won a career-high number of games this year but is middling in yards, completion percentage and touchdowns.

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