After eight Pro Bowls in his 11 years in the NFL, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan believes that Trent Williams' 2021 campaign has been his best yet.
Age has not hindered Williams' performance; rather, at 33-years-old, each year has lent growth, experience and wisdom for the veteran.
"You look at his age, he's still to me the most talented guy," said Shanahan. "I don't see many people more talented than him. So usually when, as you get older in age, the talent goes and you still can execute a level with wisdom and experience. But I see the same talent and I think he's got a lot more wisdom and experience."
With fellow all-stars on the 49ers offense such as Jimmy Garoppolo surpassing 10,000 career passing yards and Deebo Samuel catching and running his way into becoming a lethal dual-threat wideout, it can be hard to draw your attention to the trenches. However, general manager John Lynch is adamant that Williams' talent isn't being overlooked inside the 49ers facility.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a player have this dominant of a year, and it goes unnoticed because he's a left tackle," Lynch said on KNBR. "He is such a good player. Everyone should really just stop and try to focus in on him, because it's a beautiful thing to watch."
Whether it's a formula of talent and experience or an art of the game, Williams has mastered his craft. The former Sooner sits ahead of La'el Collins (Dallas Cowboys) and Braden Smith (Indianapolis Colts) with the highest run blocking grade among offensive tackles this season with an almost-perfect grade of 98.5 according to Pro Football Focus. Yielding only one sack this season, his overall grade is the highest of his career and the highest of any NFL player in any position at 97.6 through Week 11.
"I expect Trent to be one of the best players on the field every week," said Shanahan, whose relationship with Williams dates back to 2010 during their time together with the Washington Football Team. "Everyone knows how talented Trent is and the way he plays, he enjoys playing. And he's been playing at an extremely high level this year… Just consistency and playing up to that level every week, but we're just past halfway there. So, he's got a lot more to go and we need him to play like an A-player this week too."
Coming on the heels of the 49ers Week 12 win over the Minnesota Vikings, the veteran sits eighth in his position in Pro Bowl votes despite leading the league in his PFF performance grade.
With Williams' unrivaled performance in Year 11, he is most deserving to add his ninth trip to the NFL's All-Star game to his ever-growing repertoire. To vote Williams and your 49ers favorites into the 2022 Pro Bowl, click here.