The NFL announced the rosters for the upcoming 2013 Pro Bowl (January 27, 2012) and nine players from the San Francisco 49ers are included.
- NaVorro Bowman (1st time)
- Dashon Goldson (2nd time)
- Frank Gore (4th time)
- Mike Iupati (1st time)
- Aldon Smith (1st time)
- Justin Smith (4th time)
- Joe Staley (2nd time)
- Donte Whitner (1st time)
- Patrick Willis (6th time)
The nine selections are the most out of any NFL team this season. Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and Dashon Goldson were leading the NFL Pro Bowl vote before the teams were announced and got in as expected.
Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman have been recognized as one of the top tandems of inside linebackers this season. Bowman recently signed a contract extension that would keep him locked up until after the 2018 season. He is ranked third in the league with 144 tackles while Willis is tied for 18th with 116. Willis has been in the Pro Bowl in all six seasons he has been in the NFL.
Mike Iupati and Joe Staley have been the foundation of the offensive line for the 49ers and both consistently bring holes for the running backs.
Frank Gore is 65 yards away from matching his 2011 total in rushing yards. He 4.8 yards per carry is his highest average since 2009. This year he has seven touchdowns and three games of rushing 100 yards or more. He is now the true 49ers’ franchise rushing leader.
Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson are the first safety duo to be featured as the starting safeties for the NFC since 2005 when Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis represented the Philadelphia Eagles. Goldson leads the team with three interceptions for this season.
Aldon Smith is coming off a career season where he passed Fred Dean’s franchise single-season record in sacks. He is ranked second in the league with 19.5 sacks, one behind league leader J.J. Watt. Smith has been a dominant force in the pass rushing game and has more sacks than any player in his first two years with 33.5.
Justin Smith has been the leader for the defense and is consistent at being a force in the trenches. He leads all 49ers’ defensive lineman with 47 solo tackles and leads the team with eight tackles for loss. It is unclear if he will be able to play for next week or the postseason.
Additionally, RG Alex Boone, OLB Ahmad Brooks, OT Anthony Davis, TE Vernon Davis, C Jonathan Goodwin, P Andy Lee, CB Carlos Rogers and special teams star C.J. Spillman were named Pro Bowl alternates.