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49ers In The NFL Network Top 100 Players of 2011

In an attempt to fill space during a loooooong NFL offseason, the NFL Network has been putting together a list of the top 100 players in the NFL in 2011. The list was decided on through a vote of current NFL players. We have a FanPost asking about Justin Smith's inclusion on the list and I thought I'd pull the entire topic to the front page for today. After the jump I've posted the current rundown of players 61-100. The NFL Network is releasing ten players every Sunday night.

As it currently stands, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis are the only 49ers included on the list at 94 and 88 respectively. In looking through the 49ers roster, I'd imagine Justin Smith and Patrick Willis are the only two players who would likely end up on this list. Mike Iupati might end up on the list in the future, but it's probably a little too soon. One guy who could surprise us might be Takeo Spikes. Given that this list is voted on by the players, maybe the respect for Spikes gets him on. I'm not holding my breath, but crazier things have happened...maybe.

In gore4president's FanPost on the topic, some folks were concerned about Justin Smith not being included. I have to say I'd be shocked if he was not on this list. I'd say there's a good-sized debate as to which of Smith and Willis was the 49ers best defensive player, or biggest impact player on defense, or how ever you want to describe it. Willis is the better overall player in terms of upside and what he can do on any given play. However, what Smith has done at a position like defensive end in the 3-4 has been pretty spectacular. Anytime there's a play near the line of scrimmage he seems to be involved, whether it be taking down a running back, hurrying or sacking a quarterback, or just being a general menace.

It's just about impossible to predict how the players voted on Smith and Willis, but I think at least one of those two will be in the top twenty. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Bamm Bamm in the top ten. If I had to make a completely useless prediction, I'd say Bamm Bamm is eighth and Justin Smith is 19th. Those are probably incredibly homer-ific of me. I can live with that.

100. Donovan McNabb QB-WAS 
99. Chad Clifton OT-GB 
98. Darren McFadden RB-OAK 
97. Shaun Phillips OLB-SD 
96. Nick Collins S-GB 
95. Jon Beason MLB-CAR 
94. Frank Gore RB-SF 
93. Eric Berry S-KC 
92. Lance Briggs OLB-CHI 
91. Terrell Owens WR-CIN 

90. Joe Flacco QB-BAL 
89. Adrian Wilson S-ARI 
88. Vernon Davis TE-SF 
87. Jordan Gross OT-CAR 
86. Josh Freeman QB-TB 
85. Jason Babin DE-TEN 
84. Josh Cribbs WR/KR-CLE 
83. Mike Williams WR-TB 
82. LaMaar Woodley OLB-PIT 
81. B.J. Raji NT-GB 

80. Jared Allen DE-MIN 
79. D'Brickshaw Ferguson OT-NYJ 
78. Dallas Clark TE-IND 
77. Chris Snee OG-NYG 
76. Santonio Holmes WR-NYJ 
75. Jay Ratliff NT-DAL 
74. Greg Jennings WR-GB 
73. Trent Cole DE-PHI 
72. Tony Romo QB-DAL 
71. Mario Williams DE-HOU 

70. Miles Austin WR-DAL 
69. John Abraham DE-ATL 
68. Antrel Rolle S-NYG 
67. Brian Waters OG-KC 
66. Richard Seymour DE-OAK 
65. Vonta Leach RB-HOU 
64. Tamba Hali OLB-KC 
63. Cameron Wake DE- MIA 
62. Jerod Mayo ILB-NE 
61. Brandon Marshall WR-MIA