Fooch's Note: Cam Inman has a breakdown of the top five at each position. If 49ers go to the Super Bowl, no players go to the Pro Bowl (PB is week before Super Bowl). If Packers go to the Super Bowl, the 49ers could have as many as nine players go to the Pro Bowl, possibly more.
The NFL released the results of fan balloting for the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl and Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Andy Lee all led the way at their respective positions. The rosters are not set yet as players and coaches will each vote and account for 1/3 of the final results. The players and coaches will conduct their vote today and tomorrow and the rosters will be announced next Tuesday, December 27.
The big news of the results saw Justin Smith leap over Ndamukong Suh to win the fan vote at the defensive tackle position. Although Smith plays defensive end in the 49ers 3-4, he is classified as a DT. He emerged victorious among the fans and will likely get more than enough coach and player support to get his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod.
Matt Barrows made an interesting point in his post on the subject. Aldon Smith was not on the fan ballot but he is eligible for the player and coach ballot. He is listed as a defensive end though, which means he is competing with the likes of Jared Allen, Chris Long, Julius Peppers and Jason Pierre-Paul. Add in that he is handicapped by getting nothing in the fan vote and it is a bit of a long-shot for The Condor (or 99 Problems, or The Cobra, or whatever you want to call him) to make the roster.
It will be interesting to see how the 49ers are recognized among the rest of the league for Pro Bowl purposes. I realize the Pro Bowl has some limited meaning with the way players drop out, but these initial rosters could give us a good idea of player/coach perception. The 49ers have a host of players in the top five at various positions, many of whom are incredibly deserving of a Pro Bowl nod.