San Francisco 49ers: 4 Players Who Are a Lock to Make the Pro Bowl in 2013
After a breakout season by the entire team in 2011, the San Francisco 49ers had an astounding nine players named to the Pro Bowl.
While the ultimate goal each year is to win the Super Bowl, it is always nice to see that many players be invited to Hawaii.
The 49ers have one of the most supportive fan bases in football and several players have been able to make a name for themselves over the past couple of seasons.
If they are unable to make it to the big game, then there are multiple players who are almost guaranteed to make the trip down to Hawaii.
Over the next few slides, we will look at four 49ers that will make the Pro Bowl in 2013 barring an injury.
Since joining the league back in 2007, inside linebacker Patrick Willis has made the Pro Bowl five times and is a four-time first team all-pro.
The leader of the 49ers' defense, Willis had recorded at least 100 tackles in every season prior to 2011, missing the mark by three tackles. Despite this, he was still named to the Pro Bowl.
Whether he has 200 tackles or a very flat stat line, he will still be invited to Hawaii in 2012 because of his past success and the fact that he is the leader of one of the best defensive units in football.
In six years with San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis has been named to only one Pro Bowl (2009). During that season he recorded career highs in catches (78), receiving yards (965) and touchdowns (13).
The 49ers added a ton of talent on offense this offseason, bringing in players like Brandon Jacobs, LaMichael James and Randy Moss. Opposing defenses will now have to worry about people other than Davis and Gore.
Several tight ends had breakout seasons in 2011 and given that he will face a lot of one-on-one coverage, 2012 will be Vernon Davis’ year to shine.
Ranked by his peers as the 17th best player in football, defensive lineman Justin Smith has been Mr. Consistency for San Francisco since joining the team in 2008.
He has started in all 64 regular season games for the 49ers, tallying 256 tackles, 29 sacks and seven forced fumbles.
Even though he has been great throughout his entire career, he did not really get much credit until he joined San Francisco.
Smith has now made the Pro Bowl in three straight seasons and an injury is the only reason why that trend could change in 2013.
Now here is something to brag about. San Francisco has one of the best punters in all of football.
Andy Lee has been great for the 49ers during his career and in 2011 he did his best to let people know that punters are people too.
During 2011, Lee set an NFL single-season record when he averaged 44.0 yards per punt. His gross average of 50.9 yards per punt was also good enough for third all-time.
It really is not fair that San Francisco gets to have a great punter. They should give him to a team that does a lot of punting...like the Rams!