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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers top PFF’s 2024 NFL roster rankings

May 29, 2024 at 8:27 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers are widely regarded as having one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and analytics site Pro Football Focus agrees with that sentiment. Contributors Jim Wyman and Dalton Wasserman recently assessed and ranked all 32 NFL rosters, placing the 49ers at the top of their list.

"San Francisco had three players who ranked inside the top two of their position in overall grade last season — Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle," the contributors explained. "They also had Deebo Samuel, who finished 12th among wide receivers in receiving grade. Simply put, the 49ers are still stacked with offensive weaponry."

The 49ers are coming off a Super Bowl appearance, where they narrowly lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime. The team hopes to return to the big game in 2024 and clinch that elusive sixth championship for the organization.

However, the 49ers' roster isn't without its flaws. No NFL roster is perfect, especially under a salary cap. Wyman and Wasserman highlight the offensive line, particularly pass protection, as the team's Achilles heel.

"The 49ers struggled to pass protect last season, culminating with Brock Purdy being pressured on nearly half of his dropbacks in the team's Super Bowl loss," the duo wrote. "Their 57.2 team pass-blocking grade ranked 24th in the NFL and was the only facet where they ranked outside the top 12. They need to improve their pass protection in true dropback situations in order to get themselves over the hump and win a championship."

Pro Football Focus also identified an X-factor for the 2024 season and a rookie to watch. The X-factor is All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga, who is recovering from a torn ACL but is expected to return to the practice field sometime during training camp.

Hufanga's return should provide a boost for the 49ers' secondary, with the Pro Football Focus noting, "Hufanga brings versatility and ball skills at safety and his recovery, along with Ji'Ayir Brown's development, will be welcomed at the position."

The rookie to watch is offensive lineman Dominick Puni, the team's third-round draft pick. Puni's "elite" 90.4 pass-blocking grade with Kansas in 2023 suggests he could contribute to the 49ers' inconsistent offensive line early in his career. He did not allow a sack in two seasons with the Jayhawks.

The two contributors conclude, "Despite their Super Bowl loss, the 49ers are arguably the most talented team in the NFL. They are loaded with playmakers on offense who provide the perfect environment for Brock Purdy to succeed. They consistently boast a top-five defense. Patrick Mahomes has twice been the primary obstacle in their quest for a Lombardi Trophy. There are no such hurdles, however, in their consistent regular season success. Twelve wins is the expectation for this team."

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