Although they have played only 10 games this year, there are a couple 49ers players who have balled out and deserve serious consideration to be voted into the pro-bowl. Unfortunately, professional sports leagues still have not figured out that by letting fans vote, it turns into a popularity contest instead of being about who had the best year. Having said that, it will be tough for 49ers to make it this year, as their record is abysmal and they have received little coverage since Jimmy Garopollo was injured. Nonetheless, here are the guys who deserve consideration to be playing in Florida the week before the Superbowl.
Let’s start with the guy everyone thought would break out this year. While the team has not had success, barring Buckner from becoming a household name this year, he has played up to and outperformed expectations, with 6 sacks the highlight of his season. He has added 34 tackles and 2 bat downs as well. Throw in his 8 tackles for loss and 11 QB hits, and you have a pro-bowl caliber season statistically. This guy is a beast of a man, ala Aaron Donald, and imposes his will against offensive linemen every single game. He is clearly one of the best young defensive players in the league, and has proven it thus far.
This is a guy that no one expected to have the type of season he has had. A 3rd round pick for the 49ers in April, he is currently 9th in the league in tackles with 77. After splitting time with Reuben Foster as the Mike linebacker early in the season, he has taken over the role and is flourishing. On top of the tackles, he has also forced a fumble, recovered another, and has three passes defensed. Warner has been one of the best surprises of the year for San Francisco.
Sherman seemingly did not lose a step after knee surgery in the offseason, picking right back up where he left off in Seattle. According to ProFootballFocus.com, in eight games, Sherman has only allowed 11 receptions on the 24 times he has been targeted through 304 coverage snaps. That gives him 27.6 snaps per reception which ranks the highest in the league. Although his play has not been flashy and he has not produced a ton of highlight reel plays, this has been one of Sherman’s best seasons of his career.
This is the one player that I know I don’t need to try and advertise for. He has clearly broken out as one of the best Tight ends in the entire league, and it would be a shock if he is not in the probowl this year. He currently has 50 catches for 775 yards and 3 touchdowns, including some highlight reel plays. His one handed, 73 yard reception on Thursday Night Football against the Raiders had the sports world buzzing, and the kid just continues to produce.
Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey
Both these guys have been the anchors for the 49ers much improved run game this season. The 4.7 yards per carry they average is good for 10th in the league, and when they run it to McGlinchey’s side of the line, that average shoots way up to 5.7 yards per carry. Staley has taken McGlinchey under his wing this year and his mentoring has shown to be effective, as McGlinchey has been consistently improving every week.
In an age where kickers are seemingly incapable of any type of consistency, Robbie Gould remains the outlier, burying everything in sight. The long-time Bear has missed only 1 Field Goal attempt, and no Point After Attempts, all year. This guy is the “Golden” example of what kickers should all strive to be in the NFL. He absolutely deserves to make his 3rd pro-bowl this year, and should even be considered for 1st team all pro.