Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Where PFF ranks the 49ers secondary

Jun 9, 2021 at 6:07 AM--

Pro Football Focus continues its rankings of position groups across the NFL ahead of the 2021 season. The latest involves all 32 secondaries. Where do the San Francisco 49ers rank? You have to scroll down to No. 20 to find defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans' group.

As for the rest of the NFC West, the Los Angeles Rams sit at No. 9, the Arizona Cardinals at No. 22, and the Seattle Seahawks at No. 26.

San Francisco was able to keep much of its secondary together this offseason after much of it hit free agency. The team lost Ahkello Witherspoon to the Seahawks but re-signed cornerbacks Jason Verrett, K'Waun Williams, and Emmanuel Moseley. The 49ers also brought back safety Jaquiski Tartt.

"It was very comforting, and I was very excited when we were able to sign back Verrett, sign back E-Man, sign back K'Waun Williams, getting Tartt back, you know, Jimmie ward, all those guys who have been here, played under our scheme in the previous years," Ryans said last week. "So it was very comforting to have those guys who you know are veteran guys who can handle a lot of things that we throw at them.

"And those guys have been awesome. And I just love them, not only as players but the way they've been taking the younger guys under their wings. I think that's the advantage you have when you get good veteran players who are not selfish and all about themselves, but they've done a good job of coaching the younger guys, helping the younger guys as much as they can."

The 49ers also drafted three defensive backs, adding Ambry Thomas in the third round and Deommodore Lenoir and Talanoa Hufanga in the fifth round. The only significant offseason loss was veteran Richard Sherman, who remains a free agent.

"Health will be key for this unit," wrote Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus. "Jason Verrett, Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt have all dealt with more than their fair share of injuries throughout their careers. Emmanuel Moseley and K'Waun Williams both missed time with injury in 2020. San Francisco's secondary isn't particularly deep, and especially not enough to deal with injuries next season. Moseley will be an X-factor as an expected starter outside after seeing his overall grade drop over 10 points from 2019 to 2020."

Verrett earned his best overall Pro Football Focus grade (77.6) since 2015, his last healthy season before 2020. Moseley saw a drop from 70.4 in 2019 to 58.3 in 2020.

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