Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Top 101: 49ers’ Dre Greenlaw has emerged as an excellent player

Feb 20, 2023 at 10:39 AM--

In September, the San Francisco 49ers signed Dre Greenlaw to a two-year extension, keeping the linebacker with the team through the 2024 season. Greenlaw played well for the Niners this past season, racking up a career-high 127 tackles to add to his three tackles for a loss, six passes defensed, interception, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown through 15 games. He added 26 tackles, two tackles for a loss, and a pass defensed in the postseason.

Greenlaw's efforts earned the linebacker recognition in Pro Football Focus' list of the top 101 players of the 2022 season, which factored in players' postseason efforts. Numbers 76 through 101 were revealed on Monday, and the 49ers defender came in at No. 86.

"Fred Warner is the superstar at linebacker for the 49ers, but Greenlaw has emerged as an excellent player in his own right alongside him," wrote Sam Monson. "Greenlaw earned above-average PFF grades in every facet of play over the year and made 71 defensive stops including the playoffs, just one behind Warner."

Greenlaw failed to earn a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl roster despite turning in an impressive 2022 campaign. It was an oversight that didn't sit well with his teammates or head coach.

"I think he's had a Pro Bowl year," Kyle Shanahan said after the Pro Bowl rosters were announced in December. "I think he's been great. I think he's played at that level, always, when he's played for us. He missed a little bit this year, not much, been able to stay healthy, fought through some injuries early on. When he's been playing healthy, I think he's played as good as anyone in this league."

San Francisco's general manager, a former NFL safety, wasn't as surprised by the Pro Bowl snub because he is very familiar with how the system works.

"I told Dre, 'Don't you worry about that,'" John Lynch said during a radio interview. "Usually, the flow with the Pro Bowl is the first year you really should make it, you often don't. But you send notice around the league, and I promise you, if Dre keeps playing like this, the Pro Bowl is going to be the least of his accolades. I mean, he is playing some tremendous football."

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