Back with another edition of power rankings, 49ers edition. Let’s get right into it.
Yes, I said it. The addition of Mooney Ward wasn’t immediately received by 49ers fans. However, when you step back and look at his addition, in unison with Emmanuel Moseley, it is the best cornerback situation during the Shanahan/Lynch era. Jimmie Ward hasn’t taken a snap yet, but Tashaun Gipson has filled in admirably. Talanoa Hufanga has been nothing short of spectacular through three games. Coverage has been married with this pass rush. Samuel Womack began as the starting nickel corner, but Deommodore Lenoir started Sunday and played very well. This secondary has insane depth. Jason Verrett may not be far off from returning also.
2. Defensive Line:
Nick Bosa is on a torrid pace with sacks and pressures. Contributions from Charles Omenihu, Drake Jackson, Samson Ebukam, and Kerry Hyder make this defensive line as deep as it has ever been. Javon Kinlaw is healthy. Kevin Givens has cashed in on his opportunities. DeMeco Ryans is having a blast with this line and sending pressure from different places.
Dre Greenlaw has turned around his Week 1 effort in back-to-back weeks. Fred Warner has been his usual self. Here’s a prime example of it:
We’ve normalized Fred Warner carrying wide receivers that run a 4.4 and walling them off 30 yards down the middle of the field. We shouldn’t. Here he is running with Jerry Jeudy. pic.twitter.com/XbdN7Og3Or— KP (@KP_Show) September 28, 2022
Unfortunately, Azeez Al-Shaair will lose significant time with an MCL injury. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles will fill in and has flashed with his limited opportunities this season.
4. Wide Receivers:
The stats don’t show it, but Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk have been open. Ray-Ray McCloud has been solid. Danny Gray hasn’t seen the field shelving his first-year evaluation. Jauan Jennings has his role with run blocking and in short third-down situations. Jennings has struggled with drops through training camp and has to be efficient with his limited opportunities.
5. Running Backs:
Jeff Wilson Jr. had a 30-yard run on the team’s second drive on Sunday night. After that, it was tough sledding. Jordan Mason has ONE carry in his NFL career. Deebo Samuel was bottled up on his carries. Marlon Mack was active in an emergency capacity. This unit ranks here based on the week and how well Denver played the run. There is still belief this unit can get in gear with Shanahan’s run calls.
6. Offensive Line:
Losing Trent Williams downgrades the line. Colton McKivitz filled in admirably for Williams in Week 18 of 2021 but will have to perform with extended play. Daniel Brunskill returned to practice and has led to speculation about starting at center. Mike McGlinchey is who he is and provides stability. The interior guards head into their fourth week of action. Uncertainty with cohesion and experience places this unit lower this week.
This isn’t an indictment of Jimmy Garoppolo but a matter of fact about the group’s depth. Garoppolo should bounce back this week against Los Angeles for no other reason than it’s hard to play as poorly as he did on Sunday. Monday night feels like a prime spot for Garoppolo, with everyone counting him out.