The San Francisco 49ers will have two players featured in the Top 10 of NFL Networks Top 100 Players of 2013. Those players are Niners linebackers Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith. The controversial list that is voted on by players has announced players 100 through 11 over the past couple months. Willis continues to be arguably the best middle linebacker in the NFL and Smith has solidified himself as one of the best young pass rushers in the NFL since being drafted two years ago.
The 49ers have a league-high nine players in the Top 100 according to NFL Network and the NFL players vote. So far seven names have been revealed. Anquan Boldin (93), Colin Kaepernick (81), Joe Staley (78), Vernon Davis (38), Navorro Bowman (37), Frank Gore (32), Justin Smith (29). Also former 49er, Dashon Goldson made the list at number 96.
Willis is the face of the 49ers defense and was a top 10 player according to the NFL Network list last year. Smith makes the leap from being unranked to being in the top 10, probably the biggest leaps in the past year.
The list does not come without its omissions of 49ers that should be on the list. Michael Crabtree seems to be the biggest omission of the 49ers after a career year where he had career high’s in catches (85), yards (1,105) and touchdowns (9). Ray McDonald, Mike Iupati and Ahmad Brooks are three other Niners that are very deserving of being on the list of Top 100 Players in 2013.
We don’t know where Willis and Smith have placed in the Top 10 until the show airs on Wednesday. My assumption is that Smith is the 10th player selected and Willis will be the second highest defensive player in the NFL behind J.J. Watt.