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PFF grades the 49ers offensive line as league average after 3 weeks

They are not high on Spencer Burford, or the pressure the Niners have surrendered so far

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San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Pro Football Focus went through every offensive line in the NFL through three weeks and assigned a ranking.

When you think about the 49ers offensive line, Trent Williams and his dominant presence is the first thing that comes to mind. But I’d say the unit has been plenty good as a whole during the first three games.

Christian McCaffrey consistently has gaping holes to run through. He’s second in the NFL with 144 yards before contact. McCaffrey averages 2.4 yards before contact per rush. The 49ers offensive line is tied for fifth in the league in adjusted line yards, which lets you know how many yards the offensive line is responsible for, averaging 4.59 yards per rush.

But an abysmal Week 1 for right tackle Colton McKivitz and Spencer Burford allowing too much pressure has knocked the Niners ranking down to 15th:


Projected Week 4 starters:

LT Trent Williams

LG Aaron Banks

C Jake Brendel

RG Spencer Burford

RT Colton McKivitz

Right guard Spencer Burford owns the third-lowest pass-blocking grade among guards in the NFL this season. He has allowed 12 pressures, including a sack, over the first three weeks of the season.

Colton McKivitz’s play has been trending in the right direction over the past couple of weeks. San Francisco’s right tackle gave up just one pressure in Weeks 2 and 3 after surrendering five in Week 1.

Best player: Trent Williams

Williams leads all offensive tackles with an 88.8 pass-blocking grade after three weeks. He did not allow a single pressure over the past two weeks.

Week 3 was the first time Banks had surrendered pressure all season, as he allowed two quarterback hits. That likely affected the Niners here. But how many guards in Week 3 pass protected 43 times and were blitzed on 33 of those snaps? Banks received a pass blocking grade of 19.9, but only “messed up” on 3 out of 43 snaps.

Jake Brendel has given up a couple of pressures a game. He’s in the same boat as Banks against the Giants. Brendel had a pass blocking grade of 20.3, but they had him giving up three pressures on 43 pass blocking attempts, despite neither being a sack nor QB hit. I’d say PFF needs to weight more to a quarterback getting hit and not so much giving up a “pressure,” especially considering a couple of those likely resulted in a completion.