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Jets DL Leonard Williams named first alternate for Pro Bowl

Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams reacts after stopping

Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams reacts after stopping a running play for no gain during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

No Jets were named to the AFC’s Pro Bowl team on Tuesday, but second-year defensive lineman Leonard Williams has been named a first alternative. And he has a good chance of making his Pro Bowl debut on Jan. 29, as players often choose not to participate for various reasons.

Leonard, 22, has been one of the few bright spots this season for the Jets, who dropped to 4-10 with Saturday’s loss to Miami. The former USC pass rusher leads the Jets with seven sacks — more than twice his rookie total (three). He also has 23 quarterback hurries, according to the Jets, 11 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.

Williams, the No. 6 overall pick in last year’s draft, has emerged as a force on the defensive line, both at tackle and end.

Fellow defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was named a fifth alternate. The former first-round pick and 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year has had a down year statistically, recording only 1.5 sacks.

Richardson, 26, played in the 2014 Pro Bowl as an alternate after recording a team-high eight sacks.

New York Sports