Pro Football Focus created a list of the Top 101 NFL players of 2015, which was a breakdown of the best performers on an individual level over the year. The list is based on 2015 play only. One San Francisco 49ers player that failed to make the list was LB NaVorro Bowman, who played at a high level during his first season back after recovering from a torn ACL and MCL.
Bowman started all 16 games during his 2015 season with the 49ers, his first season without LB Patrick Willis by his side. During those games, he had 154 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble.
The 154 combined tackles were the most of his career and ranked first in the league in 2015. The next closest was LB D'Qwell Jackson of the Indianapolis Colts with 150 combined tackles.
Pro Football Focus' reason for Bowman's omission is as follows.
Argument for Top 101 inclusion:
NaVorro Bowman led the league in tackles with 129 solo tackles and 22 assists by PFF's more accurate, retrospective count. He was a force against the run and an extremely active presence in the heart of the 49ers' defense, playing without Patrick Willis beside him. His 73 defensive stops also led the NFL (nine clear of the next best defender).
Why he isn't in the Top 101:
Bowman also missed 19 tackles, allowed 90.3 percent of the passes thrown his way to be caught, surrendered 604 yards through the air and two touchdowns, being beaten for a passer rating of 110.9 over the season. He had one of the worst coverage grades among all linebackers in a league that has become ever-more pass-oriented.
The lone 49ers player that did make their Top 101 list was OT Joe Staley, who ranked in at No. 70.