Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN ranks 49ers offensive weapons No. 18 in the NFL, last in the NFC West

Jul 13, 2020 at 9:19 AM--

Every team hopes to surround its quarterback with offensive weapons good enough to help lift a team to a Super Bowl win. Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers nearly accomplished that last season with the arsenal he has at his disposal.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently went through the NFL and ranked each roster's skill-position talent, while noting that he was not factoring in the impact of the quarterback, offensive line, or scheme. Just the weapons at the quarterback's disposal.

Neither contract status nor long-term values mattered because this is a ranking for each group's impact in 2020. Barnwell notes that he is also factoring in injuries, which impacted San Francisco.

"Deebo Samuel could be that guy (an impactful target) in the long term, but the Jones fracture he suffered in June is likely to limit his effectiveness in 2020," writes Barnwell.

How did the 49ers rank? The Kyle Shanahan-led squad came in at No. 18 on Barnwell's list, which was last in the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks came in at No. 15, the Los Angeles Rams at No. 11, and the Arizona Cardinals were the best in the division at No. 9.

The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, of course, came in at No. 1.

The top-level talent was valued higher within the ranking than strong depth. Barnwell notes that had depth been more of the focus, then the 49ers probably would have been closer to the top of the charts. The team is deep at running back and wide receiver.

"The Niners have one unquestioned star in tight end George Kittle," adds Barnwell, "who is the best all-around player at the position in the league, although I'd argue that Travis Kelce is more impactful as a pure receiver. At the same time, nobody who ran more than 200 routes in 2019 averaged more than Kittle's 3.3 yards per route run."

Barnwell goes on to say that outside of Kittle, who is a legitimate receiving target on his own, the 49ers threaten opposing defenses with consistent speed and the ability to extend plays after the catch.

With Samuel's injury, San Francisco will need young receivers like rookie Brandon Aiyuk and its second-round pick from a year ago, Jalen Hurd, to step up. Neither has taken an NFL snap.

"Guys like Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, and Travis Benjamin are better than most teams' fourth and fifth wideouts," adds Barnwell, "but it's unclear whether any or all of them will make the roster."

Finally, Barnwell notes that Shanahan can create a successful rushing attack with just about anybody in the backfield, which is relevant given running back Raheem Mostert's request for a trade due to a contract dispute.

"Raheem Mostert led the league in rushing DVOA and still haunts the Packers after his postseason performance," explains Barnwell, "but it's telling that Shanahan has only been willing to use Mostert as a true No. 1 back when Tevin Coleman has been unavailable."

Update: We've been asked multiple times what the ranking was for the 49ers' offensive weapons leading into the 2019 season. It was No. 24. The offense finished No. 2 in the NFL in both points scored and rushing yards, and No. 4 in total yards.

More San Francisco 49ers News

Peter King: A healthy 49ers team would be the best in the NFC West, could be the best next year

By David Bonilla
Nov 25, 2020

The San Francisco 49ers are far from the best team within the NFC West. At 4-6, they sit at the bottom of the division, looking up at the slugfest for first place between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. The Arizona Cardinals are in a close second-place spot. Of course, injuries have been a significant part of the 49ers' storyline this season. The roster has been decimated unlike any in recent memory, and the defending NFC champions look almost unrecognizable on the football field. A healthy 49ers team probably would be in the thick of things. That's what Peter King of NBC Sports believes. In fact, a healthy Niners squad may have once again been the measuring stick of the division. Unfortunately for head coach Kyle Shanahan and his

Read the Full Article

PFF ranks 49ers' Brandon Aiyuk as the third highest-graded rookie through Week 10

By David Bonilla
Nov 17, 2020

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk owns an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 79.0. That's good enough to rank him as the third highest-graded rookie through Week 10. Only wide receiver Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings and offensive lineman Michael Onwenu of the New England Patriots rank higher. "The Niners' first-round rookie was far from productive in his first five games in the NFL, generating just 0.94 yards per route run to pair with a 68.7 receiving grade," wrote Anthony Treash in a recent feature for PFF. "He's been red-hot as of late, though, raising his yards per route run figure to 2.63 and earning a receiving grade of 87.3 over

Read the Full Article

ESPN predicts 49ers will re-sign Trent Williams

By David Bonilla
Nov 20, 2020

The San Francisco 49ers are currently scheduled to have a lot of their players hit free agency next offseason. A lot. Thirty-four players are scheduled to become either an unrestricted free agent or a restricted free agent, according to Seven more are scheduled to become exclusive-rights free agents. One of the team's biggest names scheduled to hit free agency is offensive tackle Trent Williams, who has played just nine games with the team. San Francisco traded for the seven-time Pro Bowl selection in April to replace the retiring Joe Staley. ESPN's Kevin Seifert

Read the Full Article


More Featured Stories

Trending News

More News
Share 49erswebzone