It’s safe to say many of Vernon Davis’ peers in the National Football League were tuned in for the San Francisco 49ers Divisional Playoff win over the New Orleans Saints.
After all, Davis broke the league’s postseason record for single-game receiving yards by a tight end. Davis’ seven receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns (including the “Vernon Post” game-winning touchdown play), surely earned him even more recognition amongst the NFL players.
That performance, along with several other memorable moments in 2011, represent the many reasons why the 49ers starting tight end checked in at the No. 43 spot on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 list, as voted on by the players themselves.
Davis joined the network’s reaction show to share his feelings on moving up 45 spots from last year’s list, the highest jump from any returning player on the list.
“I’m very honored to be at this spot,” Davis told host Lindsey Rhodes. “Like most people, you always want more, but I can’t be greedy. I’ll take what I can get. I’m very excited. I want to thank all the players, and everybody who voted me.”
Rhodes informed Davis that two tight ends remain on the list, presumably Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots and Jimmy Graham of the Saints.
Davis said he didn’t feel disrespected by being named the third-best tight end. Instead, he offered praise for his fellow position mates.
“I like Gronkowski,” Davis said. “He’s a tremendous player. Also like Jimmy Graham. I think he does a lot of good things when he’s lined up, one-on-one matches, he knows how to separate and get open.”
Teammate David Akers weighed in on Davis’ selection on Twitter last night.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com continues to list the top-3 players of various position groups. No surprise, Jeremiah has 49ers All-Pro inside linebacker Patrick Wilis and NaVorro Bowman atop his linebacker rankings.
Jeremiah on Willis: “For over a decade, this spot was firmly in the grasp of the Ravens’ Ray Lewis. However, Willis has been the gold standard for the last few years, and he hasn’t shown any signs of relinquishing the title soon. Through his first five seasons, Willis has been to five Pro Bowls and been named first-team All-Pro on four occasions. He’s averaged 138 tackles per season and also collected 17 career sacks. His combination of speed, explosiveness and instincts is tops in the league. The 49ers’ defense has become the most feared in the NFL, and Willis has been the captain of the ship since arriving in 2007.”
Jeremiah had this to say about Bowman: “If Willis is going to face any competition for the top spot over the next few seasons, it will likely come from the player who lines up right next to him every Sunday. Bowman exploded on the scene in just his second season in the league. He led the team in tackles with 143 — his 111 solo tackles ranked second in the NFL — and also recorded a pair of sacks. Bowman was named first-team All-Pro for his efforts. His style of play is very similar to Willis’. He has the speed to range from sideline to sideline, and he’s explosive on contact. At only 24 years old, he’s just scratching the surface of his potential greatness.”
49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith was a guest on Comcast SportsNet’s Chronicle Live where he discussed his goals for 2012 and the improvements he’s making at Organized Team Activities.
TWEET ABOUT IT
David Akers gives Davis some Twitter love for his NFLN Top 100 of 2012 selection.
Tags: Aldon Smith, David Akers, Jim Harbaugh, Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis
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