Saturday, November 10, 2012
Where they rank in Pro Bowlers: 49ers first
By Mike Sando
NFL teams would rather have a young future Pro Bowl prospect than a washed-up player with a Pro Bowl in his distant past.
For that reason, the number of players on a roster with Pro Bowl experience isn't an air-tight way to measure roster strength. It can be a pretty good indicator when taking a big-picture view, however.
The San Francisco 49ers head into Week 10 with an NFL-high 13 players having at least one Pro Bowl to their names. They certainly have one of the strongest rosters in the NFL.
The list includes David Akers, Leonard Davis, Vernon Davis, Dashon Goldson, Jonathan Goodwin, Frank Gore, Brian Jennings, Andy Lee, Randy Moss, Carlos Rogers, Justin Smith, Joe Staley and Patrick Willis.
I would expect additional 49ers to achieve Pro Bowl consideration in 2012. NaVorro Bowman, Mike Iupati, Anthony Davis and Aldon Smith would be logical candidates for first-time consideration.
Seattle ranks tied for third among NFL teams with 11 Pro Bowlers. Baltimore (12), Pittsburgh (11) and Philadelphia (11) are in the same range, followed by New England (10), Green Bay (10) and Chicago (10).
The Seahawks' list includes Brandon Browner, Kam Chancellor, Braylon Edwards, Heath Farwell, Marshawn Lynch, Zach Miller, Sidney Rice, Michael Robinson, Earl Thomas, Marcus Trufant and Leon Washington.
Cornerback Richard Sherman would be a logical candidate for first-time consideration. Defensive linemen Brandon Mebane and Chris Clemons have at times played at a Pro Bowl level. Punter Jon Ryan has played well, too.
Arizona and St. Louis are tied for 25th with five Pro Bowlers apiece.
The Cardinals' list features Darnell Dockett, Larry Fitzgerald, Todd Heap, Patrick Peterson and Adrian Wilson. Linebacker Daryl Washington is an obvious candidate for consideration this season. Safety Kerry Rhodes has also played well at times.
The Rams' list includes Cortland Finnegan, Steven Jackson, Quintin Mikell, Steve Smith and Scott Wells. Chris Long has played at a Pro Bowl level at times. Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein deserves consideration. Linebacker James Laurinaitis faces stiff competition at inside linebacker.
The fan portion of Pro Bowl balloting is ongoing.