Saquon Barkley first Giants rookie RB in Pro Bowl since 1965

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Saquon Barkley was one of three New York Giants selected to the Pro Bowl. It could be the first of many for the rookie running back.

Safety Landon Collins and kicker Aldrick Rosas also earned Pro Bowl honors for the Giants. Collins was the team's only representative last year.

Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., despite leading the fan voting among NFC receivers, was not selected as a starter. It is the second straight year that he missed out. He broke his ankle last season.

Beckham was a surprise second alternate this year, despite amassing 1,052 receiving yards in 13 games. He did not fare as well in voting by players and coaches. Atlanta’s Julio Jones, Green Bay’s Davante Adams, Minnesota’s Adam Thielen and New Orleans’ Mike Thomas were the four receivers selected to the NFC squad. All have more receptions and receiving yards than Beckham. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans was the first alternate.

Barkley’s inclusion was hardly a surprise. He was third among all vote-getters at any position, with 987,562 fan votes. The selections were made by a combination of votes from fans, coaches and players.

Despite being first among running backs in fan voting, Barkley finished behind Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who was named the starter. Barkley is third in the NFL with 1,155 rushing yards. Only Gurley and Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott have more.

It has been that kind of season for the Giants rookie. He has lived up to billing as the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, with 12 games of more than 100 total yards from scrimmage. He’s one short of tying Eric Dickerson’s rookie record of 13.

Barkley, who already owns Giants rookie records for rushing yards and touchdowns, is having one of the greatest rookie seasons of all time. His 1,809 yards from scrimmage are just 403 shy of Dickerson’s rookie record, set in 1983.

But Barkley has said throughout that while the records and individual honors such as the Pro Bowl are nice, they are not his priority. He noted that one day he would like to win a rushing title and has seen where he currently stands.

“It’s an honor to be up there,” Barkley said last week. “But at the end of the day, that doesn’t really matter. It only matters how many wins you get, and we’ve got to figure out how to continue to get those wins.”

Barkley is the first Giants rookie running back to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Tucker Frederickson in 1965. He is the first Giants running back of any kind to reach the Pro Bowl since Tiki Barber in 2006, the final season of his career.

Collins and Rosas were named starters at their respective positions. Collins, who earned his third consecutive selection, will not play in the Pro Bowl because of a shoulder injury. He had surgery to repair a partially torn labrum earlier this month. He led the Giants with 96 tackles before the injury.

Rosas was perhaps the biggest surprise inclusion, not because of his play but because of his status entering the season. He was coming off a shaky first season with the Giants, in which he made just 18 of 25 field goal attempts and missed three extra points.

It appeared a long shot that the Giants would stick with Rosas this offseason, given his struggles. They did. He has rewarded them by hitting 28 of 29 field goal attempts -- including a long of 57 yards -- and missing just one extra point. He has made 96.6 percent of his field goal attempts, second only to San Francisco’s Robbie Gould.

Rosas succeeded Gould as the Giants’ place kicker last year.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 27 in Orlando, Florida.