The NFL released the names of players 1-10 of its Top 100 ratings, which ranked the players most likely to be stars in 2018, based upon the votes of their peers. Although he is receiving buzz as a 2018 Defensive Player of the Year candidate, the 49ers' DeForest Buckner was left off of the list. The 49ers 6-10 record in 2017 likely hurt Buckner's appeal to voters, and he didn't meet his preseason goal of collecting 10 or more sacks (he got three). Buckner did lead all interior rushers with 19 quarterback hits, and the 49ers coaching staff expects that improved teamwork and familiarity within the defense will convert several of those hits to sacks in 2018. While he struggled with pad level at times as a rookie in 2016, Buckner was a dominant interior presence in 2017, and improved sack numbers in 2018 (along with more team wins) would likely lead to Buckner greatly enhancing his league-wide profile.