Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers tackle Joe Staley ranks No. 96 in PFF’s top 101 players from the 2018 NFL season

Feb 4, 2019 at 12:05 PM--

San Francisco 49ers veteran tackle Joe Staley, the team's longest-tenured player, ranked No. 66 last year in Pro Football Focus' June-released list of the 101 best players in the NFL. How did he do after starting all 16 games for the 49ers this past season?

The analytics site ranked Staley at No. 96 in their most recent list, which ranks the top 101 players from the 2018 season.

It is important to note that Pro Football Focus' newest list factors in postseason play in addition to the regular season. However, all positions are treated equally, which means you won't see positions No. 1 through 32 occupied solely by quarterbacks.

Players who ranked No. 76 through 101 were announced on Monday.

"Staley's consistency remained intact in 2018 by finishing in the top-10 in overall grade among offensive tackles at 82.2," wrote the PFF analysis team. "The twelfth-year veteran allowed just 25 total pressures in 609 pass-block snaps this season with only four resulting in a sack."

The 49ers made Staley, who played college football at Central Michigan, the No. 28 overall draft pick in 2007. He is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and has spent his entire career in San Francisco while missing just four games over the past eight seasons.

Staley's overall grade of 82.2 in 2018 was the sixth-highest of his career and a drop from the 89.6 grade he received in 2017. His best overall Pro Football Focus grade of 92.2 came in 2012. Staley had a pass-blocking grade of 83.8 this past season, which was the fourth-highest mark of his career.

Staley has contemplated retirement in the past but has committed to returning in 2019, which is the final year of his contract with San Francisco. He will be 35 years old when the new season kicks off.

"The offensive line is a very physical position," Staley told reporters in December. "At 35 years old, I'll play next year, give it all I have, and be ready to go for that whole entire season."

Injury forced Staley to consider retirement in 2017, but the tackle was relatively healthy in 2018. How many more years does he have left in him?

"I'll know when I know," Staley continued. "I'll know when my play is slipping. I feel I played solid this year. I feel like I can still play at a high level in the NFL. My body feels good.

"Last year, at the beginning of the season, it didn't feel that great. I was dealing with some stuff, but I haven't really had to deal with anything this year. So that's been a blessing, and I'm still having fun playing football."

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