Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


49ers own PFF’s No. 9 ranked offensive and defensive lines

Jun 7, 2021 at 6:17 AM--


How good do you think the San Francisco 49ers offensive and defensive lines will be in 2021? Pro Football Focus weighed in, ranking each group across the 32 NFL teams.

Interestingly, both lines came in at No. 9 when ranked against their respective groups across the league. On the offensive line side, much of that is thanks to the re-signing of eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams. The veteran left tackle initially joined the 49ers last offseason via a trade from the Washington Football Team.

"Trent Williams showed no rust after missing 2019 and finished with the highest grade among tackles in 2020 (91.9)," wrote analyst Steve Palazzolo. "It's the third time Williams has graded at the top of his position, with his previous best finishes coming in 2013 and 2016. He is the best run-blocking tackle in the game and allowed only 19 pressures on 562 pass-blocking attempts last year."

Palazzolo notes that right tackle Mike McGlinchey has a similarly strong run-blocking grade (91.3 compared to Williams' 91.8).

"Since entering the league in 2018, McGlinchey has the third-highest percentage of positively graded run blocks, but he ranks just 35th in pass-blocking grade," Palazzolo notes.

"Left guard Laken Tomlinson is coming off a career-high 78.8 overall grade, 10th-best at the position. He'd posted consistent 66.0 to 69.0 grades in his three previous years as a starter with the 49ers, and his best work came as a run blocker, where he earned an 80.9 grade."

This offseason, San Francisco added veteran center Alex Mack, who has worked within head coach Kyle Shanahan's system before.

"Mack is an outstanding zone blocker and a great scheme fit, but he's coming off the lowest grade of his career (65.9)," wrote Palazzolo. "He may not be able to handle power players as he once could, but if Shanahan can tap into Mack's strengths, there could be a huge payoff."

The other guard spot remains a question mark, with Palazzolo picking rookie Aaron Banks as the favorite to win the starting job.

Ben Linsey notes that injuries drastically impacted the 49ers defensive line's ability to disrupt opposing quarterbacks last season. The team traded away DeForest Buckner last year and was without Nick Bosa and Dee Ford for most of the season. Bosa suffered a torn ACL while Ford was plagued with neck and back injuries.

Bosa, a former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, is on track to be ready for the upcoming season. The team hopes to get Ford back, too.

"Bosa and Ford's return to play alongside Arik Armstead could give the 49ers one of the best edge rotations in the NFL," wrote Linsey. "San Francisco will also need Javon Kinlaw (54.1 PFF grade as a rookie) to make a second-year jump to get back toward the elite group we saw two years ago."



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