Punahou School and University of Oregon alum DeForest Buckner of the San Francisco 49ers will make his first Pro Bowl appearance, the NFL announced today.
The 6-foot-7, 300-pound third-year defensive lineman had 12 sacks this season and will replace Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who injured his foot in Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Buckner, a Waianae native, started all 16 games this season and had the most sacks for a 49er since Aldon Smith’s 19.5 in 2012. He was selected seventh overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. All of the players selected before him except Baltimore’s Ronnie Stanley have played in a Pro Bowl, and only one of the first-rounders taken after him (Atlanta’s Keanu Neal) have done so. He is fourth among his draft class with 21 career sacks, behind Yannick Ngakoue of Jacksonville (29.5), Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers (28.5) and Kansas City’s Chris Jones (24.0).
Hawaii Prep Academy product Max Unger of the New Orleans Saints is already on the Pro Bowl roster, but would not play if his team wins the NFC Championship.
The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla.