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A look back at our 2017 consensus 49ers roster rankings

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The roster has seen plenty of turnover, but hindsight offers some interesting returns.

The San Francisco 49ers report for training camp a week from Wednesday, and that means we will soon be back with our third annual consensus roster ranking. The past two years, a host of front page writers have joined me in putting together a ranking of the 90-man roster. We’ve increased each year, and this year we have 18 writers and other contributors ranking out the roster. Each person ranked out the 90 players, and then I sorted them to create the consensus. There was little guidance in terms of how to rank players, although it is focused on this year and not some generic long-term future.

We’ll start the 2018 countdown tomorrow with spots 90-81, but before then, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at how we ranked the 49ers roster a year ago. The roster has seen significant turnover since then, but it is interesting to see how we under- or over-valued certain players. Hindsight is 20/20, but it’s something to consider as we break down the current roster.

DeForest Buckner climbed to the top of the list, with eight of the 13 voters ranking him No. 1. Joe Staley got a pair of first place votes, and NaVorro Bowman got one first place vote. The 49ers went on to release Bowman. He was released in the middle of the season, but a more “surprising” release at least compared to our rankings was Jeremy Zuttah. He ranked No. 17 on our list, but was released early in training camp.

It’s safe to say Adrian Colbert ended up considerably more valuable than many of us anticipated. He ranked No. 71 in our rankings, and ended the season as the starting free safety. Another big name would be Darrell Williams. He was on the practice squad the first half of the season and a reserve the second half, but considering he showed at No. 89 on our preseason rankings, that’s pretty impressive.

The most notable part of this table? 10 of the top 20 players are no longer on the 49ers roster. It shouldn’t surprise anybody given the kind of roster turnover we’ve seen, but it’s interesting how high some of these players were. Rashard Robinson at No. 6 is the most curious of them. The physical talent was impressive, but he didn’t quite put it together, while also having off-field issues. It’s not entirely surprising the 49ers parted ways.

Here’s the full rankings from a year ago.

49ers roster rankings, 2017

Rank Name Average
Rank Name Average
1 Buckner, DeForest 2.92
2 Staley, Joe 3.62
3 Bowman, NaVorro 4.23
4 Ward, Jimmie 7.23
5 Garçon, Pierre 7.69
6 Robinson, Rashard 8.00
7 Hyde, Carlos 8.23
8 Juszczyk, Kyle 9.62
9 Reid, Eric 9.77
10 Armstead, Arik 11.85
11 Foster, Reuben 12.85
12 Hoyer, Brian 13.23
13 Thomas, Solomon 14.38
14 Brooks, Ahmad 14.62
15 Kerley, Jeremy 17.38
16 Goodwin, Marquise 20.23
17 Zuttah, Jeremy 20.31
18 Brown, Trent 21.00
19 Garnett, Joshua 21.77
20 Dumervil, Elvis 23.15
21 Kittle, George 23.54
22 Kilgore, Daniel 26.08
23 Smith, Malcolm 26.38
24 Williams, Joe 26.77
25 Tartt, Jaquiski 28.15
26 Mitchell, Earl 29.00
27 Dial, Quinton 31.15
28 Johnson, Dontae 32.31
29 Lynch, Aaron 32.31
30 Witherspoon, Ahkello 32.92
31 Hightower, Tim 36.15
32 Blair III, Ronald 36.92
33 Gould, Robbie 37.31
34 Taylor, Trent 37.46
35 McDonald, Vance 37.69
36 Beadles, Zane 38.23
37 Williams, K'Waun 39.00
38 Reaser, Keith 39.08
39 Pinion, Bradley 39.85
40 Armstrong, Ray-Ray 40.08
41 Harold, Eli 42.31
42 Robinson, Aldrick 43.23
43 Paulsen, Logan 43.54
44 Barkley, Matt 44.15
45 Carradine, Tank 45.00
46 Fusco, Brandon 45.23
47 Redmond, Will 46.23
48 Gilliam, Garry 48.08
49 Jones, Chris 51.31
50 Celek, Garrett 52.08
51 Breida, Matt 52.69
52 Nelson, Kyle 53.08
53 Watson, Dekoda 53.08
54 Beathard, C.J. 53.46
55 Ellington, Bruce 54.00
56 Bibbs, Kapri 54.15
57 Taumoepenu, Pita 55.54
58 Coyle, Brock 56.00
59 Jones, D.J. 58.08
60 Jerome, Lorenzo 58.15
61 Hikutini, Cole 58.31
62 Theus, John 58.46
63 Bell, Blake 59.31
64 Davis, Will 63.15
65 Sunseri, Vinnie 64.31
66 Barnes, Tim 65.23
67 Jones, Don 65.23
68 Iworah, Prince Charles 65.46
69 Smelter, DeAndre 65.46
70 Burbridge, Aaron 66.31
71 Colbert, Adrian 67.92
72 Mostert, Raheem 70.38
73 Carter, DeAndre 70.77
74 Bolden Jr., Victor 73.23
75 Bourne, Kendrick 73.31
76 Johnson III, BJ 74.46
77 Price, Norman 74.62
78 Franklin, Zach 75.08
79 Newsom, Donavin 75.62
80 Gilbert, Jimmie 75.69
81 James, Chanceller 76.15
82 Nwachukwu, Noble 76.15
83 Magnuson, Erik 77.31
84 Mullens, Nick 78.00
85 Lauderdale, Andrew 81.23
86 Levy, Richard 81.31
87 McCloskey, Tyler 81.38
88 Flynn, John 82.23
89 Williams Jr., Darrell 82.85
90 Rose, Nick 84.23