SANTA CLARA – The NFL announces the Pro Bowl selections tomorrow at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. Today in his afternoon press conference, Harbaugh lobbied for nearly a dozen Niners to be named to the squad.
Here’s what he said about it.
Q: Tomorrow the Pro Bowl selections are announced. Would you expect a pretty big haul?
HARBAUGH: I would, yes. I think it’s legitimate to say there’s probably going to be or there should be or deserving to be 9 or 10 or 11 guys on our team, I would estimate. But there’s a lot of good players out there in the National Football League, a lot of people voting in. I think it’s good recognize individual performance. We have that many guys on our team who are deserving of that recognition. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for our guys that it goes that way.
Here’s my question for you: Who are the 9 or 10 or 11 players Harbaugh has in mind?
Here’s my best guess: Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, David Akers, Andy Lee, Blake Costanzo, Carlos Rogers, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Alex Smith.
I’d say the “or 10” guy is Ginn Jr., and the “or 11” guy is Alex Smith. As much as Harbaugh has lobbied for Smith to make the Pro Bowl, he can’t realistically expect him to make the team. That’s why he’s “or 11.”
Here’s the bonus question: Which Niners will end up being named to the Pro Bowl? Whoever accurately predicts this will be the Commenter of the Week.
Here’s my prediction: Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, David Akers, Andy Lee, Blake Costanzo, Carlos Rogers, Aldon Smith and Dashon Goldson will be named to the team tomorrow.
I don’t think Bowman will make the team initially. They only take three inside linebackers and I doubt they take two from the Niners. He could still make it later on as an alternate. Same with Ginn Jr. if Patrick Peterson is still injured.
Aldon Smith has the fifth most sacks in the NFC. The players ahead of him are all defensive ends. Although Smith plays defensive end too, he’s technically listed as an outside linebacker, so he has a better chance to make the Pro Bowl.
Dashon Goldson has the most interceptions of any safety in the NFC, so he could make the team just based on that one statistic.
Alex Smith will not make the team under any circumstances. He’s behind Eli Manning and Cam Newton and Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford.
That’s my prediction. What’s yours?