Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers roster ranked 13th in the NFL by Pro Football Focus

Jul 1, 2022 at 4:32 AM--

Are their 12 teams in the NFL with better rosters than the San Francisco 49ers?

It doesn't seem like there would be, given the team's talent and postseason success in 2022. But in their recent roster rankings for 2022, Pro Football Focus has the 49ers ranked 13th in the league, behind most of last season's playoff field and even a few teams that didn't make the postseason.

Much has happened in terms of player movement since Super Bowl LVI, which has shuffled PFF's rankings to look quite a bit different than they might have at the end of last year. The 49ers are the lowest-rated of last season's final four playoff teams, with the Super Bowl champion Rams ranked fourth, Super Bowl runners-up Cincinnati Bengals ranked eighth, and AFC runners-up Kansas City Chiefs ranked ninth. Three teams that didn't make the playoffs -- the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, and Baltimore Ravens -- take up spots 10 through 12.

The 49ers look solid in many areas across their roster, but Pro Football Focus questions the state of their offensive line. Feature author Ben Linsey points out that uncertainties remain on the offensive line after two key offseason departures.

"San Francisco's interior offensive line will have to replace Laken Tomlinson at left guard after he followed Robert Saleh to the Jets in free agency," wrote Linsey. "Alex Mack's retirement after 13 NFL seasons opens up another hole at center. Given that right guard — manned by Daniel Brunskill and his 57.1 PFF grade in 2021 — was already the weak point of their offensive line last season, that's three potential unknowns and question marks on the inside."

Quarterback Trey Lance was listed as the team's biggest X-factor, with Linsley suggesting the offense could conceivably wind up being either better or worse than it was under Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021.

"The floor is lowered with Lance compared to a Garoppolo-led offense, but there's also reason to be excited about what the offense could look like with Lance's arm talent and rushing ability," wrote Linsey.

Topping the list are the Buffalo Bills, followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Other NFC West rankings include the Arizona Cardinals at 23 and the Seattle Seahawks at 29.

The guess here is that the 49ers will wind up being ranked higher than 13th when the season comes to an end, but the league also looks extremely competitive on paper this year. It'll be a dogfight for the top, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the 49ers -- or a number of other teams ranked below them -- prove to be better than the rankings they have here.

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