SANTA CLARA — George Kittle has a valid point: Trent Williams should be in the Pro Bowl conversation much more than he is.
The eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle is only eighth in votes at his position and Kittle thinks that is disrespectful.
On Thursday, 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel added to Kittle’s case, sharing how much the talented left tackle can change what the 49ers are able to do on the field.
“It changes immensely,” McDaniel said. “There’s things that you can't necessarily get done or get away with. And just in general, when you're game planning as a staff, we really try to utilize our player’s skill sets as best we can.”
Both Kyle Shanahan and McDaniel strive to put their players in the best position possible to success and that includes taking advantage of Williams’ skill set. The veteran left tackle is light on his feet and very mobile while being strong enough to move linemen at the line of scrimmage.
Through Week 14, Williams is not only the top overall ranked tackle in the league with a score of 99.0, he is the top ranked player. The next ranked tackle, Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, has a score more than seven points lower (91.7).
Williams is ranked seventh in pass blocking, allowing 15 total pressures this season, but his elite run blocking score of 99.4 is unheard of.
“With a skill set like his, there's things that he can do,” McDaniel said. “We don't have to worry about a guy that nobody else can cut off as much when we run right. We can get away with things where he might be out leveraged, but he can make it up.
“In protection you can a lot of times against very good rushers, you can say, ‘OK, well, Trent's got that handled.’” McDaniel said “You know that NFL players are very good by and large, and he'll get beat once in a while, but you're certain that he's not going to continue to get beat.”
The 49ers' entire offensive line is mobile and gives the coaching staff a lot of options and ways to scheme the run game, but Williams is really a standout. It appears the 33-year-old could be hitting his most productive years 11 seasons into his career.
“There's a lot of reasons that we're very fortunate to have Trent," McDaniel. "And it really helps on Monday and Tuesday for our coaching staff, game planning and whatnot.”