49ers Players Under 30

As the 49ers prepare to wrap up their 2011 regular season and get ready for the coming postseason, it is always interesting to consider how the team was compiled and what it holds for the future. The 49ers entered the 2011 season with one of the younger 53-man rosters in the NFL. The roster ages have changed a bit across the league since then, but there has been nothing too dramatic.

As of the 53-man roster cutdown, the 49ers had the ninth youngest team. They had the third oldest special teams unit, but according to Sando's research, the 49ers offense and defense are among the youngest in the NFL. Heading into next season, if the roster stayed intact, the 49ers would have only twelve players 30 years or older.

The average age of the roster will fluctuate as we move towards the 2012 season due to existing players gaining a year and some older and younger players coming and going, but the 49ers should remain a relatively young team.

A couple days ago, a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times put together a breakdown of the Top 30 players under 30 in the NFC North. Although there is still plenty of football left to be played, for a random Saturday I thought it would be an interesting debate to look at the "best" 49ers players under 30. I've emailed the other three blogs in the division, so maybe we can come up with a top 30 for the entire division.

For now, after the jump I've got a list of all the players that will be under 30 at the start of next season, as well as a ranking of the top ten in my opinion. It's an entirely subjective exercise, but if you want to throw out your own top ten, feel free. This is simply a matter of ranking who you think are the best players and not necessarily the most important to team success. We are looking at players basically in a vacuum.

I was originally going to provide specific rankings for the top ten 49ers under 30, but I'm honestly not sure how best to do it at the moment. Instead, here are the ten best 49ers under 30 in no particular order (although Bamm Bamm would remain on top in an actual top ten).

Top Ten 49ers Under 30
Patrick Willis
NaVorro Bowman
Dashon Goldson
Frank Gore
Donte Whitner
Michael Crabtree
Aldon Smith
Mike Iupati
Vernon Davis
Ray McDonald

Looking through the list below (in order of age), am I missing anybody? I was thinking of including Joe Staley, and Anthony Davis has an argument as well, but that's the beauty of debate. If you want to order them specifically 1 through 10, go to town.

49ers UNDER 30
Frank Gore, RB
Ahmad Brooks, OLB
Blake Costanzo, ST
Vernon Davis, TE
Dashon Goldson, FS
Tavares Gooden, ST
Parys Haralson, OLB
Ray McDonald, DE
Alex Smith, QB
Joe Staley, OT
Delanie Walker, TE
Tarell Brown, CB
Ted Ginn, Jr. , WR/KR/PR
Larry Grant, ILB
Joshua Morgan, WR
Brett Swain, WR/ST
Donte Whitner, SS
Patrick Willis, ILB
Ricky Jean Francois, DL
Chilo Rachal, OG
Reggie Smith, S
CJ Spillman, S/ST
Alex Boone, OT
Michael Crabtree, WR
Anthony Dixon, RB
Demarcus Dobbs, DL
Mike Iupati, OG
Colin Jones, ST
Colin Kaepernick, QB
Joe Hastings, WR
Daniel Kilgore, OL
Bruce Miller, FB
Scott Tolzien, QB
NaVorro Bowman, ILB
Tramaine Brock, CB
Chris Culliver, CB
Kendall Hunter, RB
Mike Person, OL
Kyle Williams, WR
Anthony Davis, OT
Aldon Smith, OLB
Ian Williams, DL

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