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
|32||Blair III, Ronald||36.92|
|68||Iworah, Prince Charles||65.46|
|74||Bolden Jr., Victor||73.23|
|76||Johnson III, BJ||74.46|
|89||Williams Jr., Darrell||82.85|