San Francisco 49ers: Top 10 Pro Bowl Possibilities
With the team sitting comfortably in second place in the NFC heading into a Week 7 bye, us writers can take a little time off from the usual keys to victory type article and day dream about who is making the Pro Bowl from this team.
The truth is, this 49ers team has been talented for a long time and it just took a coaching staff to get these talented individuals to play as a team.
With the current team first focus in San Francisco, a lot of the players on this list are seeing increased personal success as a result, and are ripe to make the Pro Bowl.
Honorable Mention: Jim Harbaugh and Staff
Jim Harbaugh has taken a talented group of individuals and molded them into a team.
It's been more than just his leadership, he's actually quite a capable manager of a game.
His decision to punt on a fourth and one from mid field late in the game pinned the Lions at the eight yard line.
On the very next play Charles Johnson bullied his way down field, running over 49ers for 50 yards.
Then the Lions went three and out after that.
Calvin Johnson's big play didn't lead to points and the field position battle eventually was won by the 49ers' special teams after a great return by Ted Ginn Jr. soon thereafter, leading to the winning score.
Alas, only coaches who lose the conference championship game are the ones who coach the Pro Bowl, and since the 49ers are going to win the Super Bowl, Jim Harbaugh gets an honorable mention.
Honorable Mention: OLB Aldon Smith (R)
The 49ers' first-round draft pick Aldon Smith started the season as a backup largely due to a short training camp.
While he's still coming in on mostly pass rushing downs until the converted collegiate DE learns the coverage aspects of his new OLB position, Aldon Smith leads the 49ers in sacks with five and a half.
This is impressive in limited time, and he made his biggest sack in the biggest game of the year thus far by recording a safety against the Lions.
This potential Gold Cupper deserves serious consideration for the Pro Bowl.
No. 10: TE Delanie Walker
We've all seen Delanie Walker catch the game winning ball against the Lions and muscle his way into the end zone on a do or die fourth-down play.
How about this catch in triple coverage?
It's plays like this from a tight end that make Delanie Walker a legitimate contender for the Pro Bowl.
No 9.: MLB Novarro Bowman
While Novarro Bowman leading the 49ers in tackles makes him a Pro Bowl candidate, it was this fumble recovery that has had the biggest impact of any play this season for the 49ers.
The 49ers made their best comeback of the century in this game and it wouldn't have happened without Bowman capitalizing on this mistake.
No. 8: S Dashon Goldson
See the video? Enough said.
While fellow safety Donte Whitner deserves high praise as well, Dashon Goldson is the flash of the 49ers secondary and can change a game with his hits.
No. 7: TE Vernon Davis
Vernon Davis is a beast.
On this play, he shreds the tackles of a linebacker as if this was college ball.
While he scored a touchdown here, it's his blocking this year that will get him into the Pro Bowl.
It's the combined efforts of Delanie Walker and Vernon Davis that can make this TE combo the first of its kind from the same team in the Super Bowl.
No. 6: WR/KR/PR Ted Ginn Jr.
To The HOUSE!!!
Ted Ginn Jr. clinched the first game of the year with a kick return of 102 yards and a punt return of 55 yards, both for TDs, 59 seconds apart late in the fourth quarter.
Harbaugh's confidence in Ginn payed off from game one and he's put the 49ers in stellar field position all year.
Ginn will make the Pro Bowl on special teams alone, add to that his exceptional downfield blocking on Frank Gore's big runs and you've got a sure thing.
No. 5: CB Carlos Rogers
Carlos Rogers leads the team in interceptions.
This one came in a 7-3 game between two 3-1 teams just after Frank Gore fumbled near the goal line.
This was the turning point in a game that turned into a blowout, courtesy of Carlos Rogers.
No. 4: DE Justin Smith
Fast forward to 3:20
Justin Smith motors all game long.
He demands double teams all game long and is the perfect 3-4 defensive end.
In the Eagles game, when Philadelphia was driving the ball down field effortlessly to get in position for the game-winning field goal, Justin Smith chased down a speedy WR and forces the fumble to win the game.
Fast forward to 3:20 of the video to see the play.
No 3.: QB Alex Smith
Alex Smith shows off his athleticism here.
His current QB rating however has as much to do with decision making as anything.
Alex smith is playing loose and confident while leading his team to a 5-1 record.
It's going to be team wins, however, that will get Smith into the Pro Bowl, statistically speaking.
People love to love on the ones they once hated, and expect Alex Smith to get plenty of love come Pro Bowl time for his turnaround this year.
No. 2: MLB Patrick Willis
Patrick Willis isn't just the best linebacker in the league, he's the best defensive player in the league.
Even more-so, he's the team leader and emotional core for this 5-1 San Francisco 49ers football team.
He can easily be No. 1 on this list, even though he's second on the team in tackles.
He's the pulse of this team and a lock for the Pro Bowl for years to come.
No. 1: RB Frank Gore
The San Francisco 49ers are nothing without Frank Gore.
Not only is he the most productive player on the offense, he's a mentor to young RB Kendall Hunter (R) and team captain on offense.
A little older, his carries are less than past years which means there's a high chance of seeing Frank Gore go without injury for a whole season.
While Patrick Willis is the heart and soul of the team, Frank Gore has been the franchise player for longer and his 2011 numbers will make him the top candidate on the 49ers to make the Pro Bowl.