Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (left) is interviewed by Chris Rose (right) after being picked by Team Sanders during the Pro Bowl draft at J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa. (USA TODAY Sports: Kyle Terada)
The second day of the two-day Pro Bowl draft was completed on Wednesday night, and for the most part it managed to avoid the uncomfortable situation of NFL teammates opposing each other in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
Deion Sanders, the captain of Team Sanders, made Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck the first pick on the second day of the Pro Bowl draft. Jerry Rice, the captain of Team Rice, followed by making New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham his top pick of the day. Graham will be receiving passes from Saints teammate Drew Brees, who was selected by Rice on Tuesday.
Sanders and Rice selected 30 players apiece Wednesday to fill out their 44-man rosters.
The very last player selected was Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith as three quarterbacks were the final players drafted.
The draft is part of a format change decided upon last July in an attempt to revitalize the NFL’s annual all-star game. Unlike previous years, there will be no NFC or AFC squads.
It left open the possibility that teammates might end up on opposing sides in the Pro Bowl, and while a number of teammates were split up, potentially troubling matchups were avoided.
Brees noted on Tuesday after he was chosen as a captain for Team Rice that his Saints teammate, defensive end Cameron Jordan, could wind up on Team Sanders, with his mission being to sack Brees in the Pro Bowl.
However, Jordan wound up on Team Rice as well. The only defensive lineman who might be forced to apply a pass rush on a teammate is Kansas City defensive tackle Donari Poe, who is on Team Sanders while Chiefs quarterback Smith is on Rice’s squad.
The squads are fairly evenly split between AFC and NFC players. Team Rice has 24 NFC players and 20 from the AFC, while Team Sanders has 25 AFC players and 19 from the NFC.
Rice and Sanders had selected 14 players each on Tuesday’s first day of the Pro Bowl draft, and skill-position players were chosen on Wednesday.
After taking Luck, Sanders chose another quarterback, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, while Rice made Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy his second pick of the day.
Other players chosen on Tuesday:
Centers Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panthers and Nick Mangold of the New York Jets went to the Rice squad, as did two offensive guards from the New Orleans Saints — Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs - as well as offensive guard Evan Mathis of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Buffalo Bills defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus wound up on the Rice team, as did Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher.
Rice took Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert, St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker, special teams performer Justin Bethel of the Arizona Cardinals, and long snapper Matt Overton of the Indianapolis Colts.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh wound up on the Sanders team, along with defensive tackles Dontari Poe of the Kansas City Chiefs and Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sanders chose centers Alex Mack of the Cleveland Browns and Mike Puncey of the Miami Dolphins, along with offensive guards Logan Mankins of the New England Patriots, Marshal Yanda of the Baltimore Ravens and Kyle Long of the Chicago Bears.
Sanders also selected fullback Marcel Reece of the Oakland Raiders, Dolphins punter Brandon Fields, special teams player Matthew Slater of the Patriots and long snapper J.J. Jansen of the Panthers.
The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.