A couple weeks ago we had a FanShot or FanPost go up mentioning that Pro Bowl balloting had begun. I've always found Pro bowl balloting to start incredibly early, but what are you going to do?
I mention it now because of the 49ers-Titans game release I received yesterday. Aside from all the statistics and background information I posted earlier today, it had an interesting little feature I thought I'd post here. On the first page, the 49ers had their "Pro Bowl Watch," which included six players to keep an eye on. Some of the names listed are not surprising at all, but there were a couple that caught me off guard, particularly the last one. Here's what the 49ers PR department had to say:
TE VERNON DAVIS - Davis is having a career-year, leading the NFL with a career-high 7 TD rec. He is also leading the 49ers with 32 rec., 375 rec. yds., and 7 TDs. Davis is on pace to set career-highs in both receptions as well as receiving yds.
LB PATRICK WILLIS - Willis leads the 49ers with 75 tackles, 6 TFLs, 2 INTs and ranks second on the team with 2.5 sacks. He is the only player in the NFL to register at least 2.5 sacks and 2 INTs. According to game-book statistics, Willis ranks 4th in the NFL in tackles.
NT AUBRAYO FRANKLIN - Franklin is the force in the middle of the 49ers run defense and leads the defensive line with 43 tackles and 4.5 TFLs. He has also set a career-high with 2.0 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to an NFL leading 3.2 yds. per carry and the 2nd-fewest rushing yds. allowed (594).
P ANDY LEE - Lee leads the NFC and ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 41.6 net punting avg. He also ranks 3rd in the NFC and 4th in the NFL in gross punt avg. (48.0). He also ranks 2nd in the NFL with 23 punts over 50 yds.
RB MICHAEL ROBINSON - Robinson ranks 2nd on the team with 15 special teams tackles and has led the team in special teams tackles in three different games. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2008.
LB SCOTT MCKILLOP - McKillop has been a special teams standout in his rookie season. He leads the team with 19 special teams tackles and also registered a special teams fumble recovery for a touchdown vs. StL.
While the Pro Bowl can certainly be a pointless exercise, we'll still keep track of potential 49ers Pro Bowl options. A little national exposure never hurts and if a youngster like McKillop scored a spot, well that'd be pretty impressive.