FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — He might be the unlikeliest player invited to the Pro Bowl.

New England’s James Develin earned the only fullback spot on the AFC Pro Bowl roster in a vote of fans, coaches and players.

“I was honored,” Develin said of his first Pro Bowl selection. “I think it still really hasn’t hit me, but it’s definitely an honor, and just to be considered for it, I truly appreciate it.”

Develin spent four seasons playing defensive line for Brown University before being bypassed in the 2010 draft. He received one tryout, as a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, but wasn’t signed.

Although Develin didn’t lack a Plan B with a degree in chemical engineering, the undrafted and unwanted rookie wasn’t ready to trade in game plans for flow diagrams.

“It was a dream of mine, and if I never gave it a shot, I’d always regret it,” Develin said. “So just kind of through some hard work and being in the right place at the right time and stuff like that, anything’s possible.”

With no interest from the NFL, Develin joined the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz of the Arena Football League and then latched on with the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League.

If that wasn’t enough, he was learning a new position, having made the decision on the advice of his agent to switch from defense to offense.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Develin showed enough potential for the Cincinnati Bengals to sign him to their practice squad for the final five weeks of the 2010 season. He was released twice by the Bengals over the next two years and joined the Patriots’ practice squad on Sept. 1, 2012.

It’s been upward and onward since his return to New England.

“I really appreciate all the opportunities I’ve gotten here,” Develin said. “It’s a special place, and it doesn’t really matter where you’re from or what you did to get in this locker room, it’s all about what you do once you’re here.”

What Develin has done is be dependable and, when called upon, productive in his five seasons with the Patriots, starting with the fact he’s never missed a game with the exception of 2015, when he sat out the entire year after breaking his right tibia in a preseason game.

Develin has appeared in all 14 games this season, playing 30.8 percent of the offensive snaps – just off his career high of 31.3 percent last year – and 35.7 percent of the special teams snaps. He has caught a career-high six passes for 38 yards and three first downs.

Develin has yet to carry the football, making it two straight seasons without a rush. However, his blocking as a fullback and, on occasion, an in-line tight end has helped pave the way for 13 rushing touchdowns, a total that is tied for seventh in the league.

“You play for the guys around you, and that’s what football’s all about,” Develin said. “It’s a team sport. It takes every guy of the 11 on every play doing their job, so it takes good running backs to make me look good. It takes an offensive line to open up holes for us. So I’m blessed and lucky to have this locker room around me.”

Develin is the first Patriots fullback to earn a Pro Bowl berth since Sam Cunningham in 1978. While he’s thrilled to be an all-star, he’s hoping the stars are lined up so he’ll be able to decline the invite.

That would mean the Patriots would be preparing for Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, which is a week after the Pro Bowl is played.

“That’s the ultimate goal, and that’s what we’re working for,” Develin said.