Eden Prairie, MN (January 25, 2016) – Minnesota Vikings S Harrison Smith has been named to his first career Pro Bowl after notching 87 tackles (56 solo), 6 QBHs, 3 TFLs, 2 INTs, 2 PDs, 1.5 sacks and 1 FF during the 2015 campaign.
IN addition, Vikings LB Anthony Barr and QB Teddy Bridgewater have both been named to their first Pro Bowl after contributing to the Vikings first NFC North title since 2009.
The duo enjoyed successful seasons in the NFL after being selected in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft. They become the 4th and 5th Vikings to be named to the Pro Bowl this season, joining RB Adrian Peterson, DE Everson Griffen and S Harrison Smith. The 5 Viking Pro Bowlers are the most since 2012 when the club sent 7 players to Hawaii. It also marks 11 different Vikings drafted by GM Rick Spielman to earn a combined 17 Pro Bowls.
The 9th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Barr totaled 68 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 INT, 8 QBHs, 4 TFLs, 3 FF and 7 PDs in his second year. He was key member of the NFL’s 5th-ranked defense that allowed 18.9 points per game.
Bridgewater, the 32nd overall pick, helped the Vikings to an 11-5 record in his first season as a full-time starter. The former Louisville Cardinal finished with a 65.3 completion pct. and threw for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns. He became the 2nd Vikings quarterback in franchise history (QB Fran Tarkenton) to register 4 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown in a game after his 5-touchdown performance vs. Chicago (12/20).
Barr replaces Patriots LB Jamie Collins, while Bridgewater will replace Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, both of whom are sidelined due to injury.
Smith is the first Vikings DB to be named to the Pro Bowl since CB Antoine Winfield in 2010 and the 8th Vikings S to receive a Pro Bowl nod.
The Knoxville, Tenn., native become the 9th Viking drafted by Rick Spielman to earn a combined 15th Pro Bowl honor and the 3rd member of the 2012 draft class named to the Pro Bowl.
In the Vikings 49-17 win over the New York Giants, Smith snared his 12th-career INT off an Eli Manning pass and returned it 35 yards for his 4th-career TD establishing a franchise record for career INT-return TDs.
Since entering the league in 2012, Smith is 1-of-2 players to record at least 12 INTs and 5.0 sacks (Reshad Jones, MIA).
Smith replaces Seahawks S Earl Thomas who is sidelined with an injury.
VIKINGS DRAFTED BY RICK SPIELMAN NAMED TO THE PRO BOWL
7 Adrian Peterson 2007-10, ’12, ’13, 15
1 Sidney Rice 2009
1 Percy Harvin 2009
1 Kyle Rudolph 2012
1 Blair Walsh 2012
1 Matt Kalil 2012
1 Cordarrelle Patterson 2013
1 Everson Griffen 2015
1 Harrison Smith 2015
1 Anthony Barr 2015
1 Teddy Bridgewater 2015