No. 2: Defensive Tackle DeForest Buckner
Like Robbie Gould, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was snubbed for a Pro Bowl nod in 2017 despite one of the better seasons among all interior defenders. Buckner was regularly hanging around the top five in this category, according to Pro Football Focus, for most of last season.
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But where Buckner was lacking was in that traditional-stat category, picking up just 3.0 sacks when being compared to the likes of the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald and the then-Miami Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh.
Donald and Suh, both now with the Rams, still crowd the interior vote getters. Yet Buckner has made the necessary strides in the sack department, leading the 49ers defense with 6.0 quarterback takedowns this deep into the season.
And it wouldn’t be a shock if he winds up flirting with double-digit numbers here.
Even if he doesn’t reach the 10-plus sack plateau, the worthy production certainly will earn him consideration. And unlike last year, where Buckner hadn’t received the name recognition just yet, the former University of Oregon product should have little trouble making his way onto the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster in 2019.