Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Three 49ers appear on PFF’s list of 50 best NFL players entering the 2020 season

Jun 4, 2020 at 7:22 AM--


Three San Francisco 49ers players graced Pro Football Focus' list of the NFL's 50 best players entering the 2020 season. Two were defensive stars, while the third and highest-ranked is one of the best young stars in the league.

The lowest-ranked 49ers player is defensive end Nick Bosa, the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He came in at the No. 41 spot.

"He broke the PFF record for total pressures from a rookie that had stood since Aldon Smith's 60 back in 2011," wrote Sam Monson, "and Bosa even continued his dominance into the playoffs and the Super Bowl. It's just one year of play, but considering how good he was in college and the fact that his one season in the NFL was a record-breaking one, there is reason to believe that he is already one of the best pass-rushers in the game — and that he could get even better."

Bosa racked up nine regular-season sacks during his rookie campaign and added four more during postseason play.

You have to jump up to No. 14 to find the next 49ers player on the list. That would be veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who is entering his third season with San Francisco after a long stint with the division-rival Seattle Seahawks.

Monson called Sherman's 2019 campaign one of the best of his career.

"Sherman was a huge reason the 49ers were so successful last season," he wrote, "and showed that he could get back to his best play another year removed from his Achilles injury. He allowed a passer rating of just 45.3 when targeted, including the playoffs, and that was the first season of his career since 2014, where that figure dropped below 50.0."

Finally, you have George Kittle, who is due to become the highest-paid tight end in the game. It's been reported that the two sides remain far apart in negotiations. There is no doubt that Kittle has established himself to be one of the best at his position in the game — if not the best.

Kittle's Pro Football Focus grade of 95.0 from last season was the best since the analytics site has been tracking player data. He comes in at No. 5 in Pro Football Focus' list, behind only Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons, and Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts.

"Over the past decade, five of the top seven single-season PFF grades at tight end belong to Rob Gronkowski," wrote Monson, "but the grade George Kittle racked up last season tops any of them. Kittle, like Gronk, is an elite receiver at the position while also a rare blocker who becomes a matchup problem because he can dominate smaller players in that facet just as easily as he can win in the passing game."





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