Tony Avelar-AP

Tony Avelar-AP



Being the fairly slow portion of the NFL offseason, there are a lot of player rankings going on right now. One more couldn't hurt. In our latest Round Table, we asked our team of writers to rank who they felt were the top five players currently on the San Francisco 49ers roster. It is a highly debatable topic, especially once you get past the top two names on most people's lists.

The following are the answers that our staff came up with.

Jesse Dumas


  1. Joe Staley
  2. NaVorro Bowman
  3. Carlos Hyde
  4. Eric Reid
  5. Phil Dawson

Hyde is the most talented but the least proven. Staley is still at the top of his game, and Bowman still has the football smarts to compensate for the step he lost with the injury 2 years ago. Reid has a lot of upside still with another year under his belt and Dawson is the most reliable guy in the bunch, likely to score a ton of points kicking field goals in what I expect to be a Redzone-Challenged offense this year.

Al Sacco


  1. NaVorro Bowman
  2. Joe Staley
  3. Aaron Lynch
  4. Torrey Smith
  5. Carlos Hyde

Wow, this list was kind of hard to come up with. Bowman and Staley are perennial Pro Bowlers and easy choices. Lynch is an outstanding talent and is on the rise. His modest sack numbers don't show how disruptive he really was in 2015. I think Smith was criminally underused last season and will have a bounce back year (I may be a little higher on him than most). As far as putting Hyde in the top five, I think he has a lot to prove but If he stays healthy and can get some blocking, the sky's the limit. He could be one or two on the list a year from now.

Aaron Erickson


  1. Joe Staley
  2. Navorro Bowman
  3. Antoine Bethea
  4. Carlos Hyde
  5. Daniel Kilgore

Staley and Bowman are the unquestioned best players on the team for their sides of the football. Bethea has been the glue in the backfield, providing leadership while keeping coverages aligned and performing equally consistently in coverage and run support. It was hard to talk myself into placing Hyde and Kilgore on this list, due to their respective injury histories, but this offense will depend heavily upon each of them. I was tempted to place one or both of the first round draft picks, which is a testament to the uncertainty on the roster.

David Bonilla


  1. NaVorro Bowman
  2. Joe Staley
  3. Carlos Hyde
  4. Eric Reid
  5. Torrey Smith

My top two selections are unlikely to require any explanation. Bowman and Staley are considered by many to be the 49ers' two top talents. Beyond these two is where things get interesting. Hyde missed nine games last season with a stress fracture in his left foot so we have yet to see him play a full season as the main guy in the backfield. However, what he potentially brings to the offense, especially within a Chip Kelly offense that likes to run, is enough to consider him a top five talent on the current roster. Reid continues to grow at safety and Smith could flourish as the number one receiver if the team can get the quarterback situation figured out sooner rather than later, allowing him to build some chemistry with the 49ers signal caller. As for a player like rookie DeForest Buckner, I certainly hope his name jumps into the conversation soon.

John Croston


  1. NaVarro Bowman
  2. Joe Staley
  3. Carlos Hyde
  4. Jimmy Ward
  5. Arik Armstead

Bowman is the heart and soul of this team. I feel like people forgot that he still wasn't 100% recovered from his knee injury last year, and he was still incredible. Staley is one of the leagues best tackles and will be a great fit for Kelly. Hyde might have been the #1 on my list of he could stay healthy, and if he can, he could dominate in Kelly's offense. Ward and Armstead both had quietly solid years last season. Ward began to justify his high draft pick with noticeably improved coverage. Armstead did everything he was asked to do. People bemoan his "lack" of pass rush but that simply wasn't what he was drafted for. Both of them have some versatility that will make them key pieces of the defense going forward.