NFL power rankings: Considering ESPN's 2016 "future power rankings"

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN is trying to rank how each NFL team will look in 2016. How do the 49ers fall, and what about their offensive linemen?

The folks at ESPN are just as bored as the rest of us during the NFL offseason, and so they have come up with their next great venture: future power rankings! They released a set of power rankings for the 2016 season (Insider protected) in which they evaluate the core of each team. They had a team of six writers look at the roster (excluding QB), the QB position, draft, front office and coaching. The writers ranked each team on a scale of 1-10 in each category. They then weighted each category, with roster (minus QB) getting the most weight, and draft and front office getting the least weight.

With all that, our San Francisco 49ers were voted to the top of the list, with an overall score of 87.50. The Green Bay Packers were second at 83.63, and the Seattle Seahawks were third at 82.58. The 49ers received 8.7s for roster and QB, and 8.8s for draft, front office and coaching. The Packers got a 9.7 for QB, while the Ravens got a 9.8 for front office and a 9.0 for draft. The Seahawks got a 7.5 for draft, and then a mix between 8.2 and 8.7 for the other four categories.

The voters were each then given a chance to rank the predicted top ten players at various positions heading into 2016. I'll go through some of the other rankings at some later point, but for now I wanted to point out their offensive line rankings. In said rankings, ESPN did not include any of the 49ers offensive lineman. Maurkice Pouncey was listed at the top. There were only two guards, Titans' Andy Levitre and Cardinals' Jonathan Cooper, and three centers, Pouncey, Browns' Alex Mack and Raiders' Stefen Wisniewski.

I'm a little surprised Mike Iupati didn't get some love. Anthony Davis could also deserve consideration in that top ten, but I don't think he has quite the same national reputation that might boost him. It's possible both could be among the tops at their position, but Iupati in particularly seems like a guy who could work his way toward being considered one of those kinds of transcendent players. Maybe he won't, but for the purposes of these sorts of rankings, doesn't that make sense?

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