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Top 5 PFF grades on defense: Armstead, Williams, and Givens lead the way

The New York Jets are a terrible football team, but it was good to see a surprise player in the top five.

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers rolled to an easy 31-13 win over the lowly New York Jets in Week 2. The Niners held the JV Jets’ offense to 277 total yards, 80 of which came on New York’s final drive of the game.

Let’s take a look at the five-best and worst-graded defensive players from Sunday:

Arik Armstead - 88.0

Armstead finished the game with 3 tackles, 3 QB hits and a sack. He played 46 total defensive snaps in the game. The 26-year-old will get more attention going forward without Nick Bosa and Dee Ford in the lineup, so it will be interesting to see how he handles it.

K’Waun Williams - 76.1

Williams’ strong play from 2019 continues into this season. PFF gave him an 81.3 grade in coverage after gave up just three receptions for 11 yards. San Francisco will need Williams to keep up this level of play with Richard Sherman still out with an injury.

Kevin Givens - 75.8

Givens played a career-high 38 snaps against the Jets and made the most out of them. He had three pressures, a quarterback hit, two hurries and two run stops in the game. The 23-year-old could see an increased workload with Bosa and Thomas out of the lineup.

Emmanuel Moseley - 73.6

Moseley is the team’s No. 1 corner without Sherman. He played the second-most snaps on the defense with 63, with a 73.8 grade in coverage. The Jets’ wide receivers stink, but Moseley only gave up one completion on three targets in the game. He finished with two tackles.

Fred Warner - 71.8

Warner is developing into the leader of the defensive unit. PFF gave him a tackling grade of 84.4 as he continues to finish off plays. He had 12 tackles against New York, and is tied for the fifth-most in the NFL through two games.

Five-worst graded players

Kentavius Street - 34.3

The defensive lineman played 25 snaps against the Jets and struggled against the rush. PFF gave him a 36.2 grade when defending the run. With Ziggy Ansah and Dion Jordan in the mix, Street will fall further down the depth chart.

Jimmie Ward - 35.4

The free safety was targeted five times and gave up four receptions. PFF has him at a career-low 37.4 overall grade through two games. Ward has struggled in coverage, coming in with just a 36.0 grade. San Francisco will need the veteran to be better going forward if the defense doesn’t want to fall off a cliff with all of the injuries.

Dre Greenlaw - 43.1

Greenlaw only played 17 snaps before suffering an injury, but he wasn’t very good, especially against the run. I expect the second-year linebacker will be better going forward this season.

Javon Kinlaw - 48.2

The rookie took a step back after a strong showing in his first NFL game. PFF’s Sam Monson did a deep dive on Kinlaw in a recent post:

“As impressive as Javon Kinlaw’s debut was, he faced tighter splits between offensive linemen in Week 2 and fared worse. He matched his Week 1 total with two hurries, this time on 25 pass-rushing snaps, but it was the run game where he struggled comparatively.

While he was consistently penetrating and causing disruption last week, he was far more anonymous this week. Several Jets linemen moved him at the point of attack. Overall, this was a step back for Kinlaw after an impressive showing a week ago.”

Ahkello Witherspoon - 49.2

Witherspoon continues to be one of the most frustrating members of the 49ers. He has all of the physical tools to be an impact player, but mental miscues have made him a liability. He gave up seven catches on eight targets for 80 yards and a touchdown. Jets QB Sam Darnold had a 147.9 when targeting Witherspoon. Hopefully Uncle Sherm is back for the Week 5 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.