Ali Bhanpuri of NFL.com ranked the NFL’s “triplets,” where he assessed each team’s top quarterback, running back, and pass-catcher entering 2019. Here is the formula Bhanpuri used to make the list:
I ranked each team’s top running back and pass catcher 1-32, assigning them points commensurate with their placement. For example, Ezekiel Elliott netted the Cowboys 32 points for being the No. 1-ranked RB, and Saquon Barkley earned the Giants 31 points for being No. 2. However, to put my own spin on this exercise, I analyzed all 32 QBs by two different metrics: 1) whom I would want in 2019 for one game; and 2) projected 2019 production. To give extra weight to the game’s most important position, I then multiplied each team’s combined QB score by 1.5. Add up all three position totals for each team, and you get the ranking below.
Before we check out where the San Francisco 49ers rank, let’s see where the rest of the NFC West ended up on the list. Before we get there, the Miami Dolphins was the only team to have a tally in the single-digits. Josh Rosen, former Arizona Cardinal, ranked 32nd. Both Kenyan Drake and Kenny Stills ranked 31st. Woof.
Okay, NFC West, the Cardinals ranked 20th, with 68 points. Kyler Murray ranked 22nd, David Johnson ninth, and Larry Fitzgerald was 22nd. The Seattle Seahawks tallied 109 total points. Russell Wilson ranked eighth, Chris Carson 14th, and Tyler Lockett 21st. Finally, the Los Angeles Rams ranked eighth with 112 points. Jared Goff ranked 12th, Todd Gurley sixth, and Brandin Cooks 11th. I should end the article here. Goff is higher than Deshaun Watson. Cooks is higher than the 49ers tight end. What are we doing here?
As for the 49ers, here’s the blurb on their 27th ranking:
Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo -- Rank: T-24th (One game: 24th | 2019 prod.: 23rd)
Running back: Tevin Coleman -- Rank: 27th
Pass catcher: George Kittle -- Rank: 18th
As I was ranking Garoppolo, I had to remind myself repeatedly that he’s started just 10 games in his NFL career. And as good as he’s looked in most of them, that’s still too small a sample size for me to rank him significantly higher with real confidence. If he stays healthy, he definitely has the potential to make good on the massive contract the 49ers handed him back in February 2018. Tevin Coleman has had an up-and-down four seasons in the NFL, but his career apex up to this point came under current 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, back when both were in Atlanta and a mere 30 minutes away from winning a Super Bowl. So there’s reason to believe Coleman could be set for a big 2019. Kittle was phenomenal last year, setting the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,377). But can the fantasy darling repeat that level of success?
Mitch Trubisky, Jameis Winston, Murray, Sam Darnold, Goff. The list goes on for the quarterbacks listed above Garoppolo. Not just overall, but even for one game!
I can see the hold up with thinking Kittle will be able to put up similar statistics two years in a row. I expect him to take a step back. I also think he’ll be right around the thousand-yard mark. If there are 17 better pass catchers than Kittle, then this will be one of the most exciting seasons in the NFL that I can remember. There are not 17 better pass catchers than Kittle.