On Wednesday, NFL Network will continue their series looking at the top 100 players in the NFL in 2012 as voted on by players. As I understand it, the list is based strictly on performance in 2012, as opposed to the best players at this point or best careers or whatever you want to include.
The list has moved through spots 71-100 and the 49ers have one player in the list thus far. NaVorro Bowman was voted in at No. 85. The list will continue with 61-70 this coming Wednesday. According to a mention in the Bowman video, the 49ers have seven players in the Top 100, which means we are waiting for six more players.
So, the simple question is this: which 49ers will we see in the top 70? Justin Smith and Patrick Willis are the obvious choices given their reputations and performances. Beyond that, there are a few players that stick out for the remaining four.
Given that it is based on the top players of the past season, it seems likely that Carlos Rogers will make an appearance. The rankings (posted after the jump) have included cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan (93), Nnamdi Asomugha (79) and Johnathan Joseph (73). Rogers had a fairly high profile year, so it makes sense for him to show up.
It would not surprise me to see Vernon Davis make an appearance. It's not a lock, but I wouldn't be surprised if his dominant postseason stayed in people's minds when it came time to vote. He was ranked No. 88 last season and had more catches but fewer yards this past season.
Frank Gore showed up at No. 94 in last year's list in spite of a significant hip injury. He bounced back in 2011 and I wouldn't be surprised to see him climb the rankings in the eyes of the players.
If Rogers, Davis and Gore make the list, that leaves one spot. Could we see Joe Staley slide in? There are no specific voting requirements so popular players could very well end up on this kind of list. Maybe we see Donte Whitner or Dashon Goldson? Naturally I'd consider Andy Lee for the list, but there's no way a punter makes this kind of list.
100. Chris Johnson - Tennessee Titans, RB
99. Ryan Kalil - Carolina Panthers, C
98. Willis McGahee - Denver Broncos, RB
97. Donald Penn - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, T
96. D'Qwell Jackson - Cleveland Browns, LB
95. Tim Tebow - New York Jets, QB
94. Marshawn Lynch - Seattle Seahawks, RB
93. Cortland Finnegan - St. Louis Rams, CB
92. John Kuhn - Green Bay Packers, FB
91. Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboys, QB
90. Hakeem Nicks - New York Giants, WR
89. Dwight Freeney - Indianapolis Colts, DE
88. Michael Turner - Atlanta Falcons, RB
87. London Fletcher - Washington Redskins, LB
86. Darren Sproles - New Orleans Saints, RB
85. NaVorro Bowman - San Francisco 49ers, LB
84. Chris Long - St. Louis Rams, DE
83. Fred Jackson - Buffalo Bills, RB
82. Joe Thomas - Cleveland Browns, T
81. Vince Wilfork - New England Patriots, DT
80. Jordy Nelson - Green Bay Packers, WR
79. Nnamdi Asomugha - Philadelphia Eagles, CB
78. Derrick Johnson - Kansas City Chiefs, LB
77. A.J. Green - Cincinnati Bengals, WR
76. Carl Nicks - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, OG
75. Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys, TE
74. Joe Flacco - Baltimore Ravens, QB
73. Johnathan Joseph - Houston Texans, CB
72. Lance Briggs - Chicago Bears, LB
71. DeSean Jackson - Philadelphia Eagles, WR