Two 49ers were named to the NFC squad for the Pro Bowl on Tuesday, as LB Patrick Willis and defensive lineman Justin Smith were selected to the roster for the game that will be played in Hawaii.
Willis becomes the first 49ers player to make a Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons since Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott. “Mr. Ronnie Lott is a guy who has done it for a long time. And when people mention my name in the same category as his, it’s truly an honor,” Willis said. “He’s a guy whose been there and done it. I’m still a young player trying to learn as I go.”
Willis has 153 tackles this season, including a career-high six sacks. He has started all 63 games since being the 11th overall pick in 2007.
Smith made the team as an alternate a year ago. He has 5.5 sacks and is credited with 12 tackles for a loss. Smith anchors a defensive line that has helped the 49ers go 21 consecutive games without allowing an individual 100-yard rusher.