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PFF ranks 49ers offensive line poorly, but 2nd in NFC West

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line has numerous questions, and it is reflected in positional rankings.

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Pro Football Focus is making their way across each position and ranking all 32 teams. Earlier today, they released their offensive line rankings, and it is no surprise the San Francisco 49ers end up fairly low. PFF ranked them No. 26, but what is interesting is that they rated them second in the NFC West. The division ranked as follows

9. Arizona Cardinals
26. San Francisco 49ers
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. Seattle Seahawks

The PFF analysis of the 49ers offensive line is a little off. They list Brandon Thomas as the starting right guard, and view Daniel Kilgore as a low level option:

Key stat: Joe Staley was one of just six NFL offensive tackles with an 84.0 grade or higher in both pass-blocking and run-blocking last season.

The 49ers are mostly this high because Joe Staley remains one of the better left tackles in football. His play has declined slightly in each of the last four seasons, yet he still finished with the fifth-best overall grade among LTs last year. The rest of the San Francisco O-line is filled with rookies who haven’t yet played to their potential and cheap free agents.

Thomas spent most of the offseason workout program handling first team right guard work, but that was primarily because draft pick Joshua Garnett could not join the team for workouts until minicamp. Garnett worked further down the depth chart in minicamp, and will be expected to earn his way up to the starting role. If he is not the starting right guard by the first game of the regular season, I think most would view that as a disappointment. It is entirely possible Brandon Thomas blows us away in training camp, but given his history, he’s got a lot to prove.

The 49ers offensive line certainly does not deserve a high ranking at this point. Whether Anthony Davis returns or not, the unit has a lot of questions marks outside of Joe Staley. Daniel Kilgore will start at center, and if he can remain healthy the entire season, he’ll help settle the unit down. The other big question is who will start at right tackle. Erik Pears and Trent Brown seem to be at the top of the list, but we don’t really know where things stand with that group.