By now, everyone knows that Pro Bowls are far from the end-all, be-all when it comes to recognizing the best of the best in the NFL. There is perhaps no better recent example than the Ravens' Tyler Huntley, who made 2022's all-star lineup despite playing in just six games. Still, Pro Bowl honors can be a good barometer for how much respect a player commands league-wide.

Some players, like Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Donald, are perennial locks. But others are still searching for their first invite.

With that in mind, we've identified 20 candidates to become first-time Pro Bowlers in 2023:

Brock Purdy
SF • QB • #13
View Profile

His recovery from an elbow injury could complicate his availability, but provided he retains the support of 49ers brass once healthy, he's set up to succeed in a Kyle Shanahan offense littered with playoff-ready weapons. He's also got the built-in fan following from his improbable 7-0 run in games he started and finished as a rookie, and he plays in a comparably weak conference for star QBs.

Justin Fields
PIT • QB • #1
View Profile

He's got a long way to go as a decision-maker throwing the ball, but he proved in 2022 he's already got MVP-level rushing ability. Pair that with a competent supporting cast featuring a true No. 1 in D.J. Moore, and he could be one of the NFL's top playmakers.

Travis Etienne
JAC • RB • #1
View Profile

All eyes are on Calvin Ridley in Jacksonville (more on him below), but Etienne has already shown to be in lockstep with Trevor Lawrence as a utility man out of the backfield. Freed from injury recovery, he's on track to be at top speed for a rising offense.

Dameon Pierce
HOU • RB • #31
View Profile

He's coming off a late-year ankle injury, but everything else screams "workhorse." Pierce was a punishing tackle-shedder as a rookie, and new coach DeMeco Ryans figures to lean on him while introducing rookie QB C.J. Stroud to the NFL.

Breece Hall
NYJ • RB • #20
View Profile

Like Pierce, his promising rookie season was cut short due to injury. But his explosion should be complemented by Aaron Rodgers' arrival under center. The entire Jets offense should be more efficient now, meaning his red-zone chances should go up.

Calvin Ridley
REC YDs281
View Profile

Believe it or not, Ridley never earned a Pro Bowl nod in his five seasons with the Falcons, though he did go All-Pro for a 1,300-yard breakout in 2020. Now situated as Trevor Lawrence's top target on Doug Pederson's offense, he's poised to go off yet again.

DeVonta Smith
PHI • WR • #6
REC YDs1196
View Profile

It'll always be a little difficult for him to post gaudy numbers opposite A.J. Brown on an Eagles team that also loves to run it. But Smith has all of Jalen Hurts' trust as a gutsy crunch-time target, and now he's got a 1,000-yard campaign off of which to build.

Kadarius Toney
KC • WR • #19
REC YDs171
View Profile

Banged up for a polarizing run in New York, Toney had a coming-out party as the Chiefs' Super Bowl standout on special teams. With JuJu Smith-Schuster gone in K.C., Andy Reid could look to utilize him a lot more as a gadget-type speedster.

If you play alongside Justin Jefferson, you're probably gonna fare pretty well. It helps that the first-round pick enters Minnesota as a crafty route-runner, replacing Adam Thielen, and that the Vikings could also lean even more into the pass if Dalvin Cook exits.

Dallas Goedert
PHI • TE • #88
REC YDs702
View Profile

Even though he's been one of the top talents at the position since taking over for Zach Ertz, he hasn't played a full season since his rookie year. Healthier going into 2023, Goedert should be primed for top-end marks as long as Jalen Hurts is his QB.

Pat Freiermuth
PIT • TE • #88
REC YDs732
View Profile

One of the most underrated players on an improved offense, Freiermuth has gone back-to-back seasons with 60 catches, excelling as a safety valve for Kenny Pickett. The team's addition of Darnell Washington should allow him to go downfield even more.

After parlaying a solid 2022 into a lucrative free-agent deal with the Chiefs, Taylor should benefit from having an acrobat like Patrick Mahomes as his QB. Like Orlando Brown Jr., his reputation is set to skyrocket for simply being part of a title-contending front.

The 2021 first-rounder made a big leap as Kirk Cousins' blind-side blocker last year. If the Vikings slip in the standings, his spotlight may flicker. But he's still got a chance to be the top lineman on a high-octane pass offense, which is always a plus.

"Ickey" proved up to the task as the Panthers' top draft pick in 2022, standing firm for a slew of middling QBs. Now, with Bryce Young as his signal-caller, Ekwonu's poised to headline an offense on the rise in a very winnable NFC South.

The big man isn't just entering a contract year after an increased presence in opposing teams' backfields. He's also got the fortune of working under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who should help him become even more disruptive as a 3-4 end.

A solid gap-plugger for both the Giants and Vikings, Tomlinson will now have arguably the best pass-rushing partner of his career in Myles Garrett. It'd be a surprise if he didn't exceed, let alone match, his most recent QB-hit totals as long as he stays healthy.

Considered one of the safest prospects of the 2023 rookie class, Anderson couldn't have landed in a better spot, learning alongside vet Jerry Hughes and under ex-49ers coordinator DeMeco Ryans. He's got the tools to be an instant double-digit sack artist.

Raise your hand if you knew this guy had nine more sacks than T.J. Watt in 2022. Of course, Watt was banged up, but still, Highsmith has consistently gotten better as a high-motor rusher. Now that his name is on the map, he's due.

Statistically speaking, last year's No. 1 overall pick had a quiet rookie year. But look closer at his late-year impact, and you'll see an imposing rusher coming into his own, and coming up when it matters most. The Jags are rising, and he's set to follow suit.

After six solid, if unspectacular, seasons in Baltimore, Clark is getting a fresh start in the Big Apple, where he'll enjoy an even stingier defense under Robert Saleh. Alongside Sauce Gardner, Jordan Whitehead and Co., he'll get opportunities to make plays.