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PFF lists 49ers as one of the worst rosters in the NFL

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Really?

San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have been the media darlings these past few months. Just the other day, Kay Adams of NFL Network said she believes the team has the firepower to overtake the Los Angeles Rams for the NFC West crown.

Not so fast, Pro Football Focus says. They ranked the rosters of each team in the NFL and weren’t high on the 49ers at all. These are more retrospective than prospective as they’re grades from the previous season and not projected grades for the season ahead. You’ll notice that in the grades below. Fred Warner is a prime example of that, as is Dante Pettis. Also, I’m not sure when Bourne became the Niners third receiver.

24. San Francisco 49ers

Biggest strength: The San Francisco defensive line is as stacked as any in the league. Dee Ford led the league with 84 QB pressures with Kansas City in 2018, and Nick Bosa’s college pass-rush grade almost mirrors that of his brother, Joey. But their pass-rush will need to get home early and often with a suspect coverage unit behind them.

Biggest weakness: The league’s lowest-graded coverage unit last year didn’t improve much this offseason. Richard Sherman allowed a career-high 100.7 passer rating on throws into his coverage, and K’Waun Williams allowed a catch on 73.3% of his targets. Collectively, the 49ers’ secondary forced an incompletion on just 9.7% of their targeted passes in 2018, the fifth-lowest rate among NFL secondaries.

X factor for 2019: George Kittle not only led the league in yards after the catch, his 873 such yards were also 213 more than the next closest pass-catcher (JuJu Smith-Schuster, 660). Kittle averaged a ridiculous 9.9 yards after the catch per reception, which also led the NFL.

I’d say that Bosa is the X-factor, considering his play will impact the play of others around him. Kittle is good. He may be the X-factor in the red zone, but on the Niners as a whole, I’d lean Bosa.

The strengths and weaknesses aren’t much of a surprise. We’ve hammered home on those during the offseason. PFF forgot to mention that Deforest Buckner fellow. He was okay in 2018. The secondary will look different if healthy. Even if not, they’ll be improved because of the team’s strength.

Here is the roster according to PFF’s grades:

Again, if we’re projecting, there’s no way you look at the 49ers depth chart and come away thinking they are the 24th most-talented team in the NFL. That doesn’t mean they’re top-10, but the middle of the pack is where I’d put the 49ers. There are question marks, but there are plenty of guys that will regress to the mean. If Weston Richburg grades in the 50’s again, I will buy anyone reading this one taco from their place of choice.

Where would you rank the Niners roster?