Monday, December 28, 2009
Pro Bowl prospects: NFC West
By Mike Sando
The NFL makes Pro Bowl team announcements Tuesday.
I make projections right now.
1. Patrick Willis, 49ers LB. The best inside linebacker in the NFL and a two-time Pro Bowl choice in two previous seasons.
2. Adrian Wilson, Cardinals SS. Has a career-high five interceptions and recently became the 10th player in NFL history with 20 picks and 20 sacks for his career.
3. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals WR. Has 12 touchdown receptions and plays in the right conference.
Liking their chances
1. Steven Jackson, Rams RB. Did not miss a game until after voting took place. Leads NFC in rushing and could benefit from injuries that affected DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner and Frank Gore.
2. Darnell Dockett, Cardinals DT. Has 7.0 sacks as a defensive end in the Cardinals' base 3-4 defense, but the NFL classifies him as a defensive tackle.
3.Vernon Davis, 49ers TE. Has led the NFL in touchdown receptions for much of the season. Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten have more receptions, but Davis should get strong consideration.
4. Aubrayo Franklin, 49ers DT. Some have called him the best nose tackle in the league.
5. Ben Graham, Cardinals punter. Leads the NFL in punts downed inside the 20 while ranking among the top three in gross and net averages.
Big names on the outside
1. Kurt Warner, Cardinals QB. Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers appear more deserving.
2. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals WR. Fitzgerald has better numbers and will command more votes.
3. Frank Gore, 49ers RB. He missed three games and disappeared from the offense for stretches, but the numbers are still pretty good.
Five names to consider
1. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cardinals CB. Has six interceptions and ranked high in fan balloting.
2. Antrel Rolle, Cardinals FS. Ranked among top five in fan balloting.
3. Andy Lee, 49ers punter. Leads the NFL in gross average.
4. Donnie Jones, Rams punter. Some voters discount punters with indoor home stadiums.
5. Justin Smith, 49ers DE. Very good 3-4 defensive end without the sack numbers to get noticed.
Who am I missing?