San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers, safety Dashon Goldson, running back Frank Gore, punter Andy Lee, cornerback Carlos Rogers, defensive tackle Justin Smith, tackle Joe Staley and inside linebacker Joe Staley have been selected to participate in the 2012 Pro Bowl. Rogers, Smith, Staley and Willis were named starters on this year's NFC squad.
The following players were selected as alternates for the NFC Pro Bowl squad: linebacker NaVorro Bowman, linebacker Ahmad Brooks, special teamer Blake Costanzo, tight end Vernon Davis, return specialist Ted Ginn Jr., center Jonathan Goodwin, guard Mike Iupati, defensive tackle Ray McDonald, fullback Bruce Miller and safety Donte Whitner.
Akers earned his sixth career Pro Bowl appearance and first as a member of the 49ers. He set the NFL record with 42 made field goals this season, surpassing the previous record of 40 made by Neil Rackers in 2005. He has set career highs in field goals made (42), field goals attempted (49), and points (156). Akers' 156 points also set the franchise record for most points scored in a single season. The 13-year veteran joined the 49ers after playing the past 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Goldson is making his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He ranks tied for first on the team with a career-high six interceptions, while adding 77 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and eight passes defensed. His six interceptions rank first in the NFC among safeties and second in the NFL. Goldson has played in 63 games (46 starts) since being drafted by the 49ers in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Gore, who earns his third Pro Bowl appearance, has rushed for 1,202 yards on 275 carries (4.4 avg.) with eight rushing touchdowns to go along with 17 catches for 114 yards and three receiving touchdowns. It marks Gore's fifth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season, which is a franchise record. His 1,202 rushing yards currently ranks second in the NFC and fourth in the NFL. A Pro Bowler in 2006 and 2009, Gore has played in 99 games (85 starts) since being drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Miami.
Lee is making his third Pro Bowl appearance. He leads the NFC and ranks second in the NFL with a 49.8 gross punting average and leads the NFL with a 43.5 net punting average. A Pro Bowler and All-Pro selection in 2007 and 2009, Lee has a chance to break his own single season franchise record in both gross (47.8 in 2008) and net average (41.0 in 2007) in this weekend's season finale. He has played in all 127 games since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh.
Rogers is making his first trip to the Pro Bowl, selected as a starter for the NFC. He has set a career high with six interceptions, which ranks tied for first on the team. He has also added 51 tackles, one tackle for loss and a team-high 18 passes defensed, which rank tied for third in the NFC and tied for sixth in the NFL. Rogers, who joined the 49ers as a free agent on August 3, 2011, has played in 93 games (83 starts) since being drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round (9th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Smith, who was selected as a starter, earns his third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance after making his first trip in 2010. He ranks third on the team with 101 tackles, second with 6.5 sacks and third with nine tackles for loss while adding three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two passes defensed. He also leads the team with 68 quarterback pressures and 56 quarterback hits. A free agent acquisition by the 49ers in 2008, Smith has a current streak of 170 consecutive starts, which is by far the most of any defensive lineman (MIN Jared Allen ranks second with 77). He has played in 174 games (170 starts) since being drafted in the first round (4th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals out of Missouri.
Staley is making his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He is part of an offensive line that helped the team rush for 1,928 yards this season, ranking seventh in the NFL. Staley and the offensive line were awarded the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award in Week 5, helping the offense rush for 213 yards on the ground while not allowing a sack. He was originally drafted by the 49ers in the first round (28th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Willis becomes the first 49ers player to make it to the Pro Bowl in each of his first five seasons in franchise history. Selected as a starter, he currently ranks second on the team with 115 tackles to go along with two sacks, one interception, a career-high four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 12 passes defensed. Willis has started all 75 games in which he has appeared since being drafted by the 49ers in the first round (11th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft.