San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams is set to become the first offensive lineman to earn a 99 overall rating in the Madden video game franchise.
EA Sports announced the accomplishment on Friday:
Madden NFL 23 @EAMaddenNFL
Welcome to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/99Club?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#99Club</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TrentW71?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TrentW71</a> ‼️ <a href="https://twitter.com/49ers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@49ers</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Madden23?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Madden23</a> <a href="https://t.co/a6kBStknnw">pic.twitter.com/a6kBStknnw</a>
Members of the 99 Club are revealed ahead of the game's release each year. Madden NFL 23 is due to come out Aug. 19.
Washington drafted Williams No. 4 overall in 2010. After a decade in the nation's capital, he moved to the 49ers in a trade ahead of the 2020 season.
The 33-year-old Texas native has earned nine Pro Bowl selections and was voted a first-team All-Pro for the first time in 2021. He also received a 98.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season, the highest mark of any NFL player.
As the league has become more pass-dominant, three things are essential to building a championship contender: a franchise quarterback, players who can rush the opposing quarterback and a lineman who can protect the QB's blind side.
Williams is one of the best at the last role, and his importance may increase further in 2022 if the Niners transition to second-year signal-caller Trey Lance, who spent most of his rookie season behind veteran Jimmy Garoppolo on the depth chart.
In June, the standout tackle said he's been impressed with the growth of Lance, who's likely to take over as the 49ers' starter even though Garoppolo is still on the roster.
"His command, he is a lot more comfortable," Williams told reporters. "You can tell he worked on his mechanics, you can tell by his release. He has taken huge steps in the offseason and I can't wait to see how he looks when the live bullets get to flying."
If San Francisco, which reached last season's NFC Championship Game, is going to remain a contender amid a quarterback change, it'll need another standout year from Williams, the newest member of Madden's exclusive 99 Club.