The complete list of the NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2023" has been unveiled and the San Francisco 49ers were well represented in this elite group of playmakers. The red and gold had eight players make the cut, the most of any team in the league. The team even cracked the top ten of the countdown with AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa being voted in by his peers as the fourth-best athlete in the league.
The other seven of San Francisco's players featured in the 13th year of the countdown were All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams (No. 14), All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner (No. 15), Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle (No. 19), Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey (No. 35), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (No. 61), All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga (No. 78) and linebacker Dre Greenlaw (No. 79).
Here's a look at each of these players accomplishments during the 2022 campaign:
Bosa is coming off a career-best year in which he led the league in sacks (18.5) and recorded 51 total tackles (19 tackles-for-loss), a pass defended and two forced fumbles. He also notched 48 quarterback hits, and per Pro Football Focus, tied with Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons to lead the NFL in total pressures (90). Bosa earned First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors for his impressive body of work last season.
Williams is set to enter his 13th playing season (14th overall) in the league and remains one of the most highly regarded offensive players in the NFL. His ten Pro Bowl selections and two First-Team All-Pro honors help demonstrate his elite skill set and longevity in the trenches. In 2022, Williams anchored the 49ers offensive line, allowing just one sack in 17 starts on the way to the team's NFC Championship Game appearance. He closed out the year with a 93.0 overall rating from Pro Football Focus, the highest mark of all NFL offensive tackles.
Warner has frequently been referred to as the quarterback of the 49ers defense and is one of the driving forces of the league's reigning No. 1 overall defense. The linebacker closed out the 2022 campaign as the team's leading tackler and has been tabbed as the NFL's best linebacker by several outlets, including ESPN and Pro Football Focus. In 2022, Warner put together an impressive stat line, racking up 130 total tackles (three tackles for loss), six quarterback hits, 2.0 sacks, 10 passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble.
Kittle is coming off his highest-scoring season after reaching the end zone 11 times during the team's run to the NFC Championship Game in 2022. His 70 catches for 929 yards and 11 touchdowns earned the tight end his fourth Pro Bowl invite and All-Pro honors for the third time in his career. Kittle is set to enter his seventh season with San Francisco and is the most tenured tight end on the 49ers current roster.
Last season, McCaffrey amassed 244 carries for 1,139 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground and another 85 catches for 741 yards and five scores through the air. His contributions played a significant role in the 49ers late-season win streak and helped lead the team to its third NFC Championship Game appearance in four seasons.
In 2022, Samuel had 56 catches for 632 yards and two scores through the air and logged another 42 carries for 232 yards and three rushing touchdowns in his 13 regular season starts. His efforts helped San Francisco finish out the year as a top ten scoring offense (26.5 PPG).
Hufanga made a splash in his sophomore season with the 49ers, earning a starting safety position alongside veteran Tashaun Gipson Sr. The now third-year pro amassed 97 total tackles (five tackles for loss), four interceptions, a defensive touchdown, nine passes defended and two forced fumbles in the team's 17-game regular season slate. As a result of his contributions to the league's No. 1 overall defense, Hufanga went on to get his first Pro Bowl nod and First-Team All-Pro honors of his career.
Greenlaw is one half of the 49ers dynamic linebacker duo that also includes First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowler Fred Warner. The fifth-year pro is one of the most physical players on the roster, closing out 2022 as the team's second-leading tackler (127 total tackles). In addition to racking up the hits, Greenlaw tallied six quarterback pressures, a sack, six pass breakups, an interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in a career-best season. One of those recoveries resulted in a 23-yard scoop and score against the Miami Dolphins in Week 13. Following the conclusion of the 2022 campaign, Greenlaw made Pro Football Focus and NFL.com's top 10 rankings at the linebacker position.