HONOLULU - NFL great Jerry Rice is already bucking conventional fantasy football wisdom in a new Pro Bowl format inspired by the popular hobby.
Rice picked New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn to anchor his Pro Bowl team on Tuesday, opting for a passer over a runner.
Rice made the selections in Kapolei after winning a coin toss against Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders. Rice called tails.
Hall of Famers Deion Sanders (left) and Jerry Rice are in charge of drafting the Pro Bowl rosters. The first day of the draft was held Tuesday in Kapolei and it’ll conclude today. The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday at Aloha Stadium on Oahu.
The decision prompted Sanders to select Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt for Sunday's game at Aloha Stadium on Oahu.
"Don't think we forget Jerry picked them first," Watt said when asked whether the format would leave players with bruised egos.
The toss and selections started a new process for the NFL in selecting this year's Pro Bowl teams. Rice and Sanders are serving as captains and general managers in charge of divvying up the NFL stars.
"I'm so pumped - I'm ready to run some routes," Rice said at a news conference.
"That's exactly how I thought it was going to go," Sanders said.
Rice and Sanders split up interior lineman, punters and fullbacks during the first part of the draft, with the 22 picks announced on a tape-delayed show.
Sanders picked the Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh with his first defensive tackle selection, and then selected Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Gerald McCoy and the Chiefs' Dontari Poe. Rice grabbed Jason Hatcher of the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills' Marcell Dareus, and was assigned Buffalo's Kyle Williams.
Among guards, Rice picked two of Brees' New Orleans teammates, Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs, along with Evan Mathis of the Philadelphia Eagles. Sanders picked Marshal Yanda of the Baltimore Ravens and Logan Mankins of the New England Patriots and was assigned the Chicago Bears' Kyle Long.
Centers Mike Pouncey of the Miami Dolphins and Alex Mack of the Cleveland Browns went to Sanders, while the Carolina Panthers' Ryan Kalil and New York Jets' Nick Mangold went to Rice.
The Oakland Raiders' Marcel Reece will be the fullback for Sanders and Mike Tolbert of Carolina will play for Rice. The teams also selected three specialists.
The rest of the players will be selected today during a draft aired live on the NFL Network.