Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


PFF power rankings: 49ers a contender despite lacking an ‘elite quarterback’

May 25, 2022 at 9:54 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers came in at No. 10 in ESPN's post-draft NFL power rankings. However, they did a little better in Pro Football Focus' power rankings, coming in one spot higher at No. 9.

Power rankings don't mean a lot in May—if they mean anything at any point. However, they offer fans a look at how analysts and the media perceive each team. While Pro Football Focus has the 49ers coming in ninth overall, they are the fourth NFC team listed, behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2), Los Angeles Rams (3), and Green Bay Packers (6).

One area of doubt appears to be the quarterback position. All of the teams listed above the 49ers have what many would consider more elite passers or up-and-coming stars leading the offense—names like Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert. San Francisco has second-year quarterback Trey Lance, who has just two starts under his belt and looks to prove himself in 2022. And the team still hasn't been able to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers have suggested that the veteran remaining on the team for his sixth season isn't out of the question.

"I expect him, at some time, most likely, to be traded, but who knows?" head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Tuesday. "That's not a guarantee, and it's been on hold [since his shoulder surgery] happened."

Still, Pro Football Focus analyst Sam Monson considers the 49ers to be contenders, no matter what happens at quarterback.

"One of the few teams that have a real chance of winning a championship without an elite quarterback, the 49ers have the ability to dominate because of Kyle Shanahan's offense and the playmakers within it," wrote Monson.

Not only does Monson believe Garoppolo may remain on the roster, he feels the veteran quarterback could once again end up ahead of Lance on the depth chart.

"Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the roster and may very well be the starter again this season," Monson continued. "His play has proven to be good enough for this team to win when he is healthy, and Trey Lance may represent the contingency plan for the likely injury to Garoppolo rather than the 2022 starter."

Where do the rest of the NFC West teams sit within the power rankings? The Arizona Cardinals come in at No. 14. The Seattle Seahawks landed dead last, at No. 32, after trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

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