Six 49ers Land on PFF's Top 101 Players of the 2019 Season

Now that the NFL season has come to a close, Pro Football Focus, compiled its list of the Top 101 Players of the 2019 Season. PFF's list is based solely on 2019 play with an "all positions are created equal" mantra that bases each player's ranking relative to what is expected from their position.

San Francisco sits behind only the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints in the NFC with six players to land on their list, with one 49ers player holding the No. 1 spot. Here's where the 49ers landed on PFF's list.

It was another successful year for San Francisco's tight end, who earned the top spot on PFF's Top 101 Players list. Kittle reached 1,000 receiving yards for the second-consecutive season, registering 1,053 yards on 85 receptions and five touchdowns in the regular season. Kittle was recognized as the PFF's top player in the NFL regardless of position, owning the best grade of any player league-wide.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a passer rating of 114.6 when throwing Kittle's direction in 2019. The tight end dropped just two of his 91 catchable targets all season, according to PFF.

Kittle averaged 7.3 yards after the catch this season, the most among players with 50 or more receptions. He also broke 20 tackles on the year, which led all tight ends and wideouts.

Despite his success in the pass game, where Kittle truly excelled was as a run blocker. Kittle was a huge part in the 49ers success in the run game, finishing the season as the No. 2 ranked rushing offense in 2019.

Sherman was back to playing his best football just two years removed from an Achilles injury. The ninth-year cornerback earned PFF's Best Coverage Defender Award in 2019, allowing a passer rating of just 45.3 over the entire season, including his postseason performances. Sherman surrendered just 227 receiving yards over the entire regular season.

Sherman finished the season with 61 total tackles, two tackles for loss, 11 passes defended and three interceptions, including one pick six. He also recorded two interceptions in the postseason and a forced fumble.

#28 - Nick Bosa

Bosa exceeded expectations in his rookie campaign. San Francisco's No. 2 overall pick finished the season with the most total pressures ever recorded by a first-year pass rusher in PFF history (2006 – present). In the playoffs he added an additional 22 pressures over three contests. According to PFF, Bosa recorded an absurd 12 total pressures and a pass-rush win rate over 30 percent in Super Bowl LIV.

The NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year finished the season with nine sacks, 25 quarterback hits, 47 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, two passes defended, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

(Big brother, Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa, landed at No. 29 on PFF's list)

Armstead is coming off of a career season in Year 5 with the 49ers. Armstead ended the season with the fourth-best overall PFF grade of 89.8. Armstead led the team with 10 total sacks to go along with 18 quarterback hits, 54 total tackles, two passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Armstead is set to become a free agent this offseason, however the defensive lineman revealed that he is not averse to a franchise tag in order to keep San Francisco's revered pass rush intact.

"I'm from Northern California. I've been here my whole career. I would love to be here and continue my career here," Armstead said. "I feel like we have a special team that I want to be a part of and try to get back to the Super Bowl."

#54 - Jimmie Ward

Ward is coming off his first season playing at least 16 games including the playoffs after starting the 2019 campaign with a broken finger. Coming off of one his best seasons in Year 6, Ward topped an 80.0 overall PFF grade for the first time in his career this season while spending the majority of his time as a free safety.

Ward notched eight pass breakups on the season to go along with a sack despite not seeing the field until Week 5. Like Armstead, Ward is also scheduled to become a free agent next month, however disclosed that the 49ers have the "upper hand" in his looming decisions.

"This is a team I'd love to play for. They drafted me. I got injured a couple of years and they still gave me an opportunity to show what I could do. I ended up getting 16 games this year – it was a little different but I got it.

"But it's a lot of interest right now from both ways. But they get the upper hand right now because I do want to be in California."

#82 - DeForest Buckner

Buckner appeared in all 16 games and amassed 7.5 sacks to add to 2.5 in the playoffs. He also recorded 4 fumble recoveries on the year and three forced fumbles. He notched his third-consecutive season with PFF grades of 80.0 or higher in 2019. Buckner, who was voted as team MVP by his coaches, has recorded 50 quarterback hits since entering the league, ranking 10th among all defenders over that span, according to PFF.

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