Top 10 49ers Entering the 2019 Season: Pre-Free-Agency Edition No. 1-5

Bobby Horne
Feb 5, 2019 at 3:19 PM


Continuing the countdown of the top 10 49ers heading into the 2019 season, we will take a look at the top five players and some reasons why they are key building blocks to putting together a successful campaign. These five players embody everything that the 49ers organization wants to represent its team.

You can view the players ranking from No. 6-10 here.

During the 2019 season, these players will be relied on to make big plays when it's needed the most. So to finalize this series here are the top five 49ers players for 2019:

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


5) Robbie Gould:
There is not a whole lot to say when it comes to the 49ers kicker. He has been one of the most consistent kickers in the NFL since entering the league in 2005. Gould has a career field goal percentage of 87.5 and set the 49ers franchise record for most consecutive field goals made with 28.


The 49ers have their share of problems to fix in order to be successful in 2019, Gould is not one of them. He is set to become a free agent at the start of the new league year, but all signs are pointing to the 49ers resigning him or utilizing the franchise tag.

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

4) Joe Staley:

The longest tenured player on the roster is still one of the best. Staley has given the 49ers over a decade of solid play and in 2018 showed no signs of slowing down.

According to Pro Football Focus, Staley came in at No. 96 on its list of top 101 players of the 2018 season. He topped that by posting a top 10 overall rating among tackles with a grade of 82.2. 49ersWebZone's own David Bonilla has more information on his grades here.

Staley is a leader in the locker room and with the offense. His play speaks for itself and the 49ers would be desolate without him. Staley's consistency for 12 years has put him in the conversation of being a player worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

3) Jimmy Garoppolo:

Although Garoppolo has only started eight games for the 49ers, he has shown that when he is on the field he is easily one of the best players on this roster. His play has been nothing short of amazing but, unfortunately, he had his 2018 season cut short with a torn ACL.

2019 will be a very important season for Garoppolo as his team is coming off of a terrible year and it will fall on him to pick up the pieces. On the bright side, it's been reported that he has already started running and throwing. All signs are pointing to him being able to participate in all off-season activities. This is great news for 49ers fans. When he is on the field the rest of the team is elevated.

Garoppolo is a true leader both on and off the field and will be the face of this franchise for years to come.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

2) George Kittle:

This was not an easy decision, especially after the record-breaking year Kittle had in 2018. So look at this ranking as more of a "1b" than second. In 2018, George Kittle became a household name. Whether it's his off the field obsession of professional wrestling and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin or his game-breaking ability on it. People know the Kittle name.

Kittle broke the single-season record for yards by a TE, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's old record in 2011 of 1,327. Kittle finished with 1,377 and showed throughout the year that he is an elite athlete with a multitude of big plays. Kittle scored two touchdowns of over 80 yards, an impressive feat for any player let alone a TE. He was always a threat downfield and has arguably already become the best receiving TE the 49ers have ever had.

Kittle demanded double coverage near the end of the season, opening up the playbook for head coach Kyle Shanahan. Kittle's presence in 2019 is going to really bring life into this offense, with players like running back Jerick McKinnon and QB Jimmy Garoppolo returning from injury, things can turn around quickly.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

1) DeForest Buckner:

As hard as it was to choose between Kittle and Buckner, I kept coming back to Buckner and how dominating he has been. In a defense that was exposed for most of the year, Buckner shined. In 2017, he lead the NFL in QB hits with 19 and in 2018 he turned those hits into sacks, finishing the year with 12.0. That was good enough for 14th in the NFL.

14th in the league is middle of the pack, so what makes that dominating? The 4th ranked player in sacks was separated by a difference of 2.5 sacks, and out of the top 15, only two players rushed from the interior. DeForest Buckner and Aaron Donald, with the latter becoming the NFL's defensive player of the year. Buckner was double teamed consistently and still made 67 tackles. While these were the opposing teams' game plans for a player like Buckner, his presence is still felt on the field.

Buckner is a big part of the 49ers' future and has shown that he has All-Pro ability, he is one of the top interior lineman in the NFL and he has more to show. I fully expect Buckner to have a breakout year in 2019.
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.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers' Nick Bosa believes he is much-improved since 2019, 'still getting better'

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 8

After suffering an ACL injury in a Week 2 victory against the New York Jets in 2020, Nick Bosa has returned to the field, and has arguably looked even better. Bosa, who's accumulated four sacks on the season to go with 14 tackles, 13 pressures, and a forced fumble, has been the driving force on a 49ers defense alongside fellow edge rusher Dee Ford. In fact, just look at this chart. It's time for the first win rate plot of the year!Double-team rate at edge (x) by pass rush win rate at edge (y).(ESPN / NFL Next Gen Stats)



49ers QB Trey Lance assesses his first extended NFL regular season action as 'good and bad'

By Kirk Larrabee
Oct 3

The results were mixed for 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance after being unexpectedly called upon to play the entire second half during a 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Lance was inserted into the game to start the second half after it became apparent during halftime that starter Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't be able to take the field due to an assumed calf injury he sustained early in the game. Lance finished the game with 157 yards and two touchdowns on 9-of-18 passing while rushing for 41 yards on seven carries, but was unable to dig the 49ers out of the hole they found themselves in after the Seahawks scored two quick touchdowns early in the second half. The appearance marked the first extended action of the regular season for Lance, who had



Analyzing 49ers QB Trey Lance's rookie season so far

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 14

When the 49ers drafted Trey Lance at No. 3 overall, I thought that he was specifically for 2022, because I felt the inconsistencies with his accuracy in college just needed to be fixed, similar to Josh Allen when he came out of the draft. Well, the inevitable happened, as Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf strain in San Francisco's Week 4 loss to Seattle, paving the way for Lance to make his first career start. Up to now, Lance is 25-of-48 for 354 yards, with three touchdowns, and an interception through the air, while also rushing 27 times for 133 yards and a touchdown. So, where does that place Lance? Well, in the limited sample size, Lance has primarily been what was expected, and then some. Coming out of college, Lance was a player



49ers' George Kittle expected to play vs. Seahawks; Elijah Mitchell out

By David Bonilla
Oct 3

"I mean, I'm going to do everything I can to be on the field on Sunday," George Kittle told reporters on Friday. "And then, if my body says I can go, I'll be out there." It sounds like we can expect the San Francisco 49ers star tight end to be out there for the team's first divisional matchup of the season. Despite being listed as "questionable" for the game, per multiple reports, Kittle is expected to be on the field at Levi's Stadium this afternoon when the Niners host the Seattle Seahawks. "While officially a game-time decision, SF has optimism that Kittle will be correct," notes Ian Rapoport of NFL


Featured

More by Bobby Horne

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone