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10 most impactful 49ers in 2021: C Alex Mack makes the cut

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jul 14, 2022 at 3:45 PM--

With the 2022 NFL season approaching ever-so-rapidly, let's take one last look at the San Francisco 49ers' 2021 season, ranking the ten most impactful players on a team that made an appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

The 49ers had several contributors on both sides of the ball, having a top-seven offense and top-three defense in yards and yards allowed per game.

With many deserving candidates, who were the ten-most impactful 49ers in 2021, and who just missed the cut?

Earlier this afternoon, I released the "honorable mentions" for the list, as two impactful players, a defensive lineman and a defensive back just missed the cut.

Now, let's start with the 10th-most impactful member of the 49ers' 2021 roster.

10. C Alex Mack

Veteran center Alex Mack was a significant player for the 49ers in his last NFL season, earning a Pro Bowl nod while manning the middle of the offensive line.

Mack started the season strong, allowing zero pressures, hurries, quarterback hits, or sacks through the first two games of the year on 125 pass-blocking snaps.

Mack finished the season as one of the better pass-protecting centers, allowing only two sacks on 680 pass-blocking reps and earning the 4th best pass-protecting grade amongst all centers.

In fact, Mack allowed zero pressures in nine regular season games in 2021, hence his highly-graded pass protection amongst centers.

Those 680 snaps represent Mack's durability, as he played the entire season, despite being 36 years old.

Mack was also a catalyst for San Francisco's running game, as his athleticism was commonly featured as a part of the outside-zone scheme down the field.

So, why does Mack come in at No. 10?

When purely talking about impact, Mack was the third-best offensive lineman for San Francisco by a slim margin.

Additionally, there were several skill position players who I believe contributed more to the overall success of the team, as well as a slew of defensive linemen, although Mack's consistency and above-average play cannot be disregarded.

With Mack's retirement being official, the 49ers will need center Jake Brendel, or whoever wins the job in training camp, to fill in and protect quarterback Trey Lance, who is likely entering his first season as a starter with the 49ers.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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