It’s Pro Bowl time! It’s hard to muster up excitement for the game itself, but it is fun seeing which members of the San Francisco 49ers get the honor of a Pro Bowl appearance. There are several deserving members, and even if they don’t make it on the initial vote, enough players will drop out that some Niners could end up making it in as alternates.
You can start voting on the Pro Bowl at http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot. Additionally, starting November 29th, Twitter users will be able to vote using hashtags, until December 13th. We’ll post a reminder about the Twitter option on the 29th, but in the meantime, go ahead and start voting at the link above!
I imagine plenty of people will vote all 49ers, but you don’t have to vote for every position if you don’t want. You can vote for one player (or a handful) and submit your ballot quickly. It’s up to you.
With that in mind, it’s time to consider who is most worthy of a Pro Bowl nod. The 49ers will likely only get a couple players given their poor record, but that shouldn’t stop you from voting for all deserving members of the team.
Here is a short list of players who I think most any 49ers fan could justify voting for this year.
RB Matt Breida
FB Kyle Juszczyk
TE George Kittle
LT Joe Staley
RT Mike McGlinchey
DT DeForest Buckner
CB Richard Sherman
K Robbie Gould
Joe Staley, George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, and Richard Sherman likely have the best shot at earning a Pro Bowl nod on the initial vote. Staley has name recognition and remains as steady as they come. Kittle, Zach Ertz, and O.J. Howard will compete for votes at tight end, but Kittle is emerging in a big way. Juszczyk is the best fullback in the game, so it should be a simple one. And while Sherman does not have any interceptions, he has bounced back in a big way from his Achilles surgery.
Matt Breida has a decent shot of earning an alternate selection, with player drop-outs giving him a shot at the roster. He is fourth in the NFC in rushing, and second in yards per attempt. He’s got some work to do the final six games of the year, but I would not be entirely surprised if he earned at least an alternate selection.
If you wanted to stretch “justify,” you could make an argument for defensive lineman Arik Armstead and rookie linebacker Fred Warner. Neither is going to make the Pro Bowl, but you could make an argument that both are doing some good things. Armstead is a monster in run defense, while Warner is showing progress, particularly in his coverage skills. I don’t think anybody would judge you for not voting them to the Pro Bowl, but I also think people can fly their homer flag if they are so inclined.
One thing we’ve been doing over the NN Instagram page is developing fun graphics to promote the 49ers Pro Bowl candidates. We’ve posted the first two, for George Kittle and Mike McGlinchey. We’ll have more in the next couple weeks.