The San Francisco 49ers have 84 players on their roster now if my math is correct. They have more than six picks in this upcoming NFL Draft. Factoring in undrafted free agents, and all signs point to the team trading up a time or two in the NFL Draft a week from now.
Why? Well, the roster is stacked. The recent additions of Maurice Hurst, Arden Key, and Wayne Gallman all were starting on their respective teams last year. They’ll be third-stringers on the Niners.
Which leads us into Pro Football Focus. They ranked each team’s roster in the NFL. Here’s how PFF went about their rankings:
Below you will find every NFL roster ranked from No. 1 to No. 32. The list was heavily influenced by the two-year PFF WAR (wins above replacement) of the players who are currently on each roster, but it also had some subjective projection involved for those younger, emerging talents.
It’s also important to note that this doesn’t include anyone in the 2021 NFL Draft class, not even Trevor Lawrence on the Jacksonville Jaguars or Zach Wilson on the New York Jets. This is solely where each team stands entering Round 1, which will begin on April 29.
PFF ranked the 49ers roster as the 10th best in the NFL headed into the 2021 NFL Daft:
Draft capital rank: 13th
There’s not much to complain about on offense other than quarterback. The offensive line is one of the better units in the league and is led by the highest-graded tackle of 2020, Trent Williams. Tight end George Kittle is in the conversation for best at his position, too, as he leads that group in receiving grade since 2018. The wide receiver room also has a couple of dynamic weapons with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
The reason for concern emanates from the secondary. Jason Verrett was a top-10 player at the position in terms of PFF grade last year, but we all know about his injury history. The other spot on the outside is set to be manned by Emmanuel Moseley, but the former UDFA didn’t play all that well on the job in 2020, earning a relatively poor 54.6 coverage grade.
“The offensive line is one of the better units in the league” is going to shock a lot of readers, but I tend to agree. We conflated quarterbacks taking sacks and getting hit with bad offensive line play, and that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Sure, there were breakdowns, and the right tackle had the worst timing in the league when it came to getting beat in pass protection. There are 60-70 plays in a game. We only remember the three to four plays that go wrong. Our opinion of the offensive line will change this year, especially with the addition of Alex Mack.
I’d pushback on Moseley not playing well. He played much better than his grade would suggest. Context and competition have to be taken into account. With that said, I agree that we’re giving the cornerbacks a little too much credit, and perhaps the secondary in general.
On paper, there aren’t many holes on the roster. Most of the discussion comes back to the injury concerns, which are fair.
As for the rest of the NFC West, the Rams were one spot below the Niners at No. 11. The Seahawks were 13th, and the Cardinals were 14th.