Programming note: 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco will join Jim Kozimor tonight on Yahoo SportsTalk Live at 5 & 11 p.m.
Nine 49ers made the NFL Network's The Top 100 Players of 2013 list a year ago. Thus far, four 49ers have been revealed in the 51-to-100 range.
Two players from the 49ers will be revealed on the NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2014 on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (PT) when the countdown includes Nos. 41-50, according to the NFL Network. The poll is based on a vote of the players, according to the NFL.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (No. 81), tackle Joe Staley (No. 75), defensive lineman Justin Smith (No. 69) and tight end Vernon Davis (No. 51) have already been named.
It looks as if wide receiver Anquan Boldin, No. 93 a year ago, will not make the Top 100 this year despite a season in which he had 1,179 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
So from last year’s list, that leaves linebacker NaVorro Bowman (No. 37), running back Frank Gore (No. 32), and linebackers Patrick Willis (No. 10) and Aldon Smith (No. 7).
Obviously, Bowman and Willis are solid bets for spots in the Top-50. Gore is coming of a season in which coach Jim Harbaugh and general Trent Baalke both described as “A-plus-plus.”
Smith is an unknown. What is the criteria players use to vote? Smith missed five games last season while in treatment for substance abuse. He recorded 8.5 sacks, which was 11 sacks fewer than his 2012 total.
Without question, Smith is a Top-100 talent. But will he be recognized as a Top-100 player?