Good Morning Faithful,
Here are the top 49ers headlines for Tuesday, May 25.
New and Notable
FMIA: NFL Power Rankings
As the 2021 season approaches, analysts are putting in their predictions for how they think the year is going to shake out. Sportwriter Peter King joined in on the fun, sharing his power rankings for all 32 clubs. Here's what he had to say about why he has the 49ers at No. 5.
"The Niners made the huge tradeup and Trey Lance draft pick because they couldn't trust Jimmy Garoppolo (last three years: 23 missed starts) to stay healthy. But there's something else, another reason for the urgency. The Lynch/Shanahan regime, highly respected around the league and by owner Jed York, has to be feeling some heat because of three losing seasons out of their first four on the job. I think they're fortunate no one offered a first-round pick to take Garoppolo off their hands, because that would have left them reliant on a top prospect albeit from an FCS school without much experience—and with no insurance policy worthy of a playoff run behind Lance. The 49ers will be good enough on offense. Will they miss departed defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, replaced by DeMeco Ryans? At first glance, the Ryans defense should look very much like Saleh's, with maybe more physicality in the five-yard bump zone by the corners, and the same playmaking greatness from emerging star Fred Warner at middle linebacker. The Niners need a healthy season from Nick Bosa to be a great defense. And a great defense would allow them to threaten the Bucs for NFL supremacy."
PFF's Top Edge Rushers
Using Pro Football Focus' play-by-play grading and advanced metrics such as pressure totals and run-stop percentage, the analytics site ranked the top 32 edge defenders in the NFL heading into the 2021 season. Here are the 49ers who made the list.
No. 5: Nick Bosa
"Bosa wasn't able to build on his impressive debut as a rookie thanks to a torn ACL that ended his year in Week 2, but this is a good place to remind everyone just how strong that rookie performance was. Bosa's 80 pressures were over 10 more than the next closest rookie season since PFF began charting back in 2006. And his 89.8 overall grade wasn't just tops among all rookies in 2019; it was second among all players behind only T.J. Watt. His return from injury in 2021 is massive for San Francisco's defensive line."
No. 21: Arik Armstead
"Listed at 6-foot-7 and 292 pounds, Armstead has shown he can play both on the interior and edge in San Francisco after moving past several injuries that limited him to fewer than 400 defensive snaps in each of his first three NFL seasons. Over the last three years, Armstead's 88.5 run-defense grade is a top-10 mark among edge defenders. His 140 pressures over that same stretch are nearly double the amount he recorded in his first three years in the league (76)."