Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ Trent Williams, Fred Warner, Jason Verrett named to PFF’s top 101 players of 2020

Feb 9, 2021 at 6:15 AM--

With the 2020 season in the rearview mirror, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus wasted no time ranking the top 101 individual performances. Unlike some other rankings, Pro Football Focus' uses the site's analytics to determine the best players from the season, regardless of position. And it is based only on the 2020 season. It doesn't factor in any past performance or future potential.

Equally as impressive as the players within this ranking is that Monson offered up his thoughts and analysis for each of the 101 individuals on the list. Those comments are provided below.

At the top of the ranking was Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Saturday. The first San Francisco 49ers player appears 10 spots later. That would be offensive tackle Trent Williams at No. 11.

"Replacing one of the greatest players in a franchise's history is never easy," wrote Monson. "Trent Williams not only did that but actually provided an upgrade to the level Joe Staley was playing at when he retired — high-level play in its own right. Williams allowed 19 total pressures all season, but it was his run blocking that was a tapestry of peerless artwork that belongs in a museum. Williams regularly buried defenders who tried to get past his block, opening up major running lanes for the 49ers' ground game. His highlight reel this season is absolutely absurd."

The next 49ers player within the ranking is linebacker Fred Warner at No. 30. The 24-year-old defender just completed his third NFL season and earned his first Pro Bowl selection and All-Pro nod.

"This was the year that linebackers were torched the league over, so for Fred Warner to do what he did this season is all the more remarkable," wrote Monson. "The explosion of passing this season led to linebackers being victimized more than any other position. Still, Warner earned a PFF coverage grade of 91.1, the best among linebackers. He allowed a passer rating of just 81.9 on throws into his coverage, more than 20 points lower than the average target into a linebacker's coverage. Warner is a supreme athlete who has always been a good coverage player, but he elevated to a new plane this season."

The last 49ers representative is cornerback Jason Verrett, who just made the list, coming in at No. 98.

"Jason Verrett wasn't just one of the best comeback stories of recent seasons — he had a legitimately impressive season as well," wrote Monson. "He allowed less than 9.0 yards per reception and a passer rating of just 76.3, surrendering only one touchdown in coverage all year. Verrett played 803 snaps on the season, which was more than his previous four years of play combined."

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