With the newly appointed head coach of the 49ers">San Francisco 49ers approaching his first season without a free agency period as of note. Jim Harbaugh still has some very talented pieces to work with.
Taking a look at the roster through the eyes of EA Sports' Madden 12, here are the top ten players that I believe will be ranked by the Madden 12 team.
Alex Smith may be a free agent, but it's all but set that he is going to re-sign in San Francisco.
Luckily for San Fran fans, Madden is able to adjust player ratings through roster updates these days after the initial release. This allows for an upgrade in Smith's overall rating should Jim Harbaugh have the desired effect on the former first overall selection.
Alex Smith should make the top ten San Francisco 49ers list of Madden players in 2012...just.
Alex Smith: 78 overall.
Rookies rarely get much love on Madden.
However Aldon Smith's status as a top ten pick will help his case. His pass rushing skills will make him a valuable Madden player and the 49ers will be looking to get similar production out of him.
Aldon Smith: 80 overall.
Michael Crabtree has yet to establish himself as the star the team hoped for when they drafted him.
His big reputation coming out of Texas Tech hasn't translated to the NFL. His first year was dogged by a contract dispute while his second was less than stellar. Crabtree could be set to break out this year but for now his rating makes him only the eighth best player on the team.
Michael Crabtree: 82 overall.
Joe Staley is a very underrated left tackle.
Still he has been as high as an 87 on Madden in the past. Staley suffers from the fact that Madden is essentially a grading curve and only so many players can be at the top. You could easily argue that his rating should be closer to 90 or even above it but for now he'll have to settle...
Joe Staley: 86 overall.
The guys over at Madden love Mike Iupati. He was one of the higher rated rookies by the end of last season.
Iupati should hold his ranking from last season and even better news for 49er fans, there is no reason why his play on the field should falter off either.
Mike Iupati: 88 overall.
Gore's season may have been cut short last season with a severe injury but that shouldn't affect his rating drastically for next season.
The hard grafting 28-year-old has hit the 1,000 yard mark in four of his six NFL seasons and will benefit from the growth of last year's rookies on the offensive line ahead of him next year.
Frank Gore: 89 overall.
Poor old 3-4 defensive ends rarely get any praise in real life. You've got to take your hats off to the guys over at EA though as Justin Smith has been getting a lot of respect from them over the years.
Smith had 8.5 sacks last year which is incredible for the position that he plays. His ranking heading into this year shouldn't waver in spite of him now being the wrong side of 30. His 8.5 sacks matched his career high which he had set in his rookie season.
Justin Smith: 90 overall.
Andy Lee had another impressive year in 2010.
Lee had 91 punts averaging 46.2 yards per punt. However this is slightly down on Lee's recent performances as he posted a 47.6 average last season. This shouldn't affect his rating however as he had 34 punts land inside the 20 which is more than he has had since 2007.
Andy Lee: 94 overall.
Davis didn't quite reach the heights of 2009 during the 2010 NFL season but he still put up over 900 yards and seven touchdowns in a struggling offense.
The former top ten draft pick still has all the talent to take over football games heading into his sixth season. This makes him one of the best Madden Tight Ends for 2012.
Vernon Davis: 97 overall.
There was never going to be a shock here!
Patrick Willis is the best linebacker in the NFL. His all around game is such that he is a guarantee to be a 99 overall. The only way he is anything else is if Madden decides to go to 100 as they did for Devin Hester's speed a few years ago.
Patrick Willis: 99 overall.