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NFL Pro Bowl 2017: Odell Beckham and Ezekiel Elliott lead star lineup

Michael Irvin (right) drafted last year's winning team, but this season it will return to NFC v AFC
Image: Michael Irvin (right) drafted last year's winning team, but this season it will return to NFC v AFC

Despite losing players to both the Super Bowl, and to end of season injuries, there is still a vast array of talent in Sunday's Pro Bowl.

The format returns to a straight NFC v AFC battle, with Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett taking charge of the NFC, while Kansas City Chiefs HC Andy Reid looks after the AFC.

Players from the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots are excluded, ahead of next month's Super Bowl. Players can also choose to avoid the weekend, but with a new Super Skills Challenge event, many of the top names will be representing their teams.

Drew Brees (NFC)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 01:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates a touchdown during the second quarter of a game against the New York Gia
Image: Veteran QB Drew Brees will be throwing passes to an array of NFC talent

The Saints quarterback was called up to replace Matt Ryan, who will be leading the Falcons' Super Bowl charge on February 5.

Despite a 7-9 season, Brees put up some impressive numbers and is now a 10x Pro Bowl talent. With Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Evans and Dez Bryant at his disposal, we could be treated to an awe-inspiring aerial display from the veteran.

Jay Ajayi (AFC)

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 24:    Jay Ajayi #23 of the Miami Dolphins scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at New Era Stadiu
Image: British-born Jay Ajayi has impressed in his second NFL season

Three 200-yard games this season warranted a first round selection to the All-Star game, but Ajayi had to wait before being announced as LeSean McCoy's replacement.

The Dolphins running back became his team's primary weapon, rushing for over 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns, leading Miami to their first play-off berth since 2008.

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Speaking ahead of the Pro Bowl, Ajayi said he was pleased to have been selected, but was using it as a stepping stone to continue growing as a player.

"It feels good, I'm excited to be going after really my first year with a lot of time on the field. I'm not celebrating it too long, I will enjoy the moment with family and friends, but it's something to build on for year three."

Odell Beckham (NFC)

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Odell Beckham Jr. teaches the F2 freestylers a few tricks

The superstar wide receiver has made the Pro Bowl every year since he entered the league in 2014. He had double-digit touchdowns for the third straight year, and made his first trip to the post-season, when his New York Giants lost in Wild Card Weekend to the Green Bay Packers.

OBJ revels in these opportunities, and impressed crowds on Wednesday with a display of one-handed catches.

With Giants QB Eli Manning struggling to find form this year, we could see the best of Beckham catching passes from Brees.

Marcus Peters (AFC)

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 17: Marcus Peters #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs returns an interception for a touchdown during the game against the Denver Bron
Image: Marcus Peters will look to make plays for the AFC defence

Though the NFC have the best defensive backs on show, the AFC arguably have the best. Peters added six interceptions to the eight he accumulated in his rookie year, helping the Chiefs to first place in the AFC West.

Lining up against a dearth of top quality wide receiver talent, with a deep-passing quarterback, Peters will kept busy, but certainly have the opportunity to make some big plays.

Ezekiel Elliott (NFC)

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Ezekiel Elliott hurdles safety Chris Prosinski during the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Chicago Bears

After leading all running backs in yards, the rookie heads to his first Pro Bowl as part of the 'Dallas Triplet', alongside QB Dak Prescott and WR Bryant.

Falling just short of the all-time rookie rushing record, Elliott's 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns led Dallas to an NFC East Championship, before falling short in the play-offs.

With one more opportunity to torment defences before his season is over, expect Elliott to impress in both Sunday's game, as well as Thursday's Skills Showdown.

Watch all the action from the Pro Bowl live on Sunday night/Monday morning, on Sky Sports 1 from 12:00am.

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