Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries a concern for 49ers in ESPN’s offensive arsenals ranking

Jul 20, 2021 at 6:44 AM--

"San Francisco should be healthier on the whole in 2021, although it's impossible to project anybody on its roster to play all 17 games with any sort of confidence," wrote ESPN's Bill Barnwell in a recent feature for ESPN.

The writer was tasked with ranking the NFL offensive weapons for all 32 NFL teams. Perched at the top of the list are the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the bottom, as is the case with most rankings, are the Houston Texans.

The San Francisco 49ers dealt with a historic number of injuries last season. Not only was it the most in the league, but it was also the second-most injured over the past two decades. Only the 2016 Chicago Bears had their players miss more combined games in a single season.

While Barnwell ranks the 49ers at No. 12 on his list, a six-spot jump from last year and a 12-spot jump from two years ago, obviously, there is some concern surrounding San Francisco's ability to remain healthy through a now-17-game season.

"The only skill-position player to start 12 games for them last season was fullback Kyle Juszczyk," wrote Barnwell. "Tight end George Kittle and hyper-efficient running back Raheem Mostert made it through only eight games each, while 2020 breakout candidate Deebo Samuel managed seven. Rookie Brandon Aiyuk, who averaged more than 62 receiving yards per game while catching passes from backups for most of the year, missed four games. Jalen Hurd, a second-round pick in 2019, missed his second consecutive season, this time with a torn ACL. Tavon Austin and Jordan Reed joined the team and almost immediately went down injured themselves. It just wasn't meant to be for the 49ers last season."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan and company are hoping this year will be different. The team already lost running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and safety Tarvarius Moore for much of the season. Offensive lineman Justin Skule will miss all of 2021 with a torn ACL. San Francisco hopes those injuries aren't a sign of things to come.

The team should get back some key players. In addition to those named above, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and pass rusher Nick Bosa's availability could significantly boost both sides of the football. However, Barnwell's ranking focuses on offensive weapons.

"As explosive as Mostert and Samuel can be, the real differentiator the Niners have on offense getting them into the top 12 is Kittle, who is the league's best tight end when he's on form," wrote Barnwell. "Travis Kelce and Darren Waller are better pure receivers, but Kittle makes up the gap by being a (much) better blocker than either player. This team was able to field a functional rushing attack last season with just about anybody in its backfield, but there's no replacing Kittle."

As for the rest of the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks come in at No. 8, the Los Angeles Rams come in at No. 10, and the Arizona Cardinals at No. 18.

More San Francisco 49ers News

'He's the toughest on the list': 49ers' George Kittle tops ESPN's ranking of tight ends

By David Bonilla
Jul 15, 2021

Today, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler wrapped up his rankings of NFL players by position group. He capped off the series by ranking the league's top tight ends. Fowler's list is based on input from around the NFL. He surveyed over 50 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players to compile it. "The objective is to identify the best players right now for 2021," wrote Fowler. "This is not a five-year projection or an achievement award. Who's the best today? Pretty simple." The San Francisco 49ers made George Kittle a fifth-round draft pick out of Iowa in 2017, and he has emerged as arguably the league's

Where ESPN ranks the 49ers in NFL future power ranking

By David Bonilla
Jul 19, 2021

ESPN recently asked its panel of "experts" — Jeremy Fowler, Louis Riddick, Seth Walder, and Field Yates — to rate each NFL team's quarterback situation, remaining (non-QB) roster, drafting ability, front office, and coaching. Using those ratings, it then ranked all 32 NFL teams on how well they are positioned for the future, creating a power ranking based on projection over the next three seasons. The Kansas City Chiefs came in at No. 1 with an overall score of 88.5. The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers came in at No. 2 with a score of 88.1. The San Francisco 49ers were the highest-ranked

PFF lists 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo at No. 22 in recent QB ranking

By David Bonilla
Jul 13, 2021

Bruce Gradkowski of Pro Football Focus went through the exercise of ranking each of the 32 projected NFL starting quarterbacks ahead of the 2021 season. The two starting quarterbacks from Super Bowl LV — Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — came in at Nos. 1 and 2. You have to scroll all the way down to No. 22 to find the San Francisco 49ers' projected Week 1 starter — Jimmy Garoppolo. Much of that has to do with the veteran quarterback's track record regarding injuries rather than his ability to win football games. Garoppolo, after all, is 24-9 (including playoffs) as a starter since

Ranking the 49ers' top 5 scheduled free agents in 2022

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jul 19, 2021

Even though we are still in the midst of the 2021 offseason, it is never too early to look forward to the 2022 offseason. The 49ers were able to bring back several key players this offseason on one-year deals, but that means those players will once again be impending free agents. With that said, let's rank the top five 49er free agents in 2022 in terms of value. Honorable Mentions DT D.J. Jones Jones slots in as a honorable mention on this free agent list after returning to the 49ers on a one-year deal this offseason. Jones, a sixth-round pick in 2017, started every game he played last season, racking up 20 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, and three sacks. He makes this list as an


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone