The 49ers' 2020 NFL season didn't go as planned, to say the least. The "Revenge Tour" turned into the "Injury Tour" as numerous key players sustained serious injuries, and San Francisco finished with a 6-10 regular-season record. The 49ers failed to make the playoffs and now enter a crucial offseason.
While they came up short last season, three players stood out for their impressive play: Trent Williams, Fred Warner and Jason Verrett. All three players made Pro Football Focus' Top 101 players from the 2020 season. Williams and Verrett are slated to be free agents when the new league year begins next month, and locking up Warner to a long-term deal has to be at the top of the 49ers' to-do list.
Let's take a look at all three players.
Williams comes in at No. 11 overall, making him the highest-ranked offensive lineman on PFF's Top 101.
"Williams allowed 19 total pressures all season, but it was his run blocking that was a tapestry of peerless artwork that belongs in a museum," PFF's Sam Monson wrote about Williams. "Williams regularly buried defenders who tried to get past his block, opening up major running lanes for the 49ers' ground game."
Williams finished his first season as a 49er with a 91.9 overall PFF grade. He was dominant all season long, and well worth the two draft picks the 49ers traded for him. Now, general manager John Lynch must do whatever it takes to keep him in the Bay Area.
Warner is the perfect mold of a modern linebacker. He can go sideline to sideline as a tackling machine, but his real brilliance is in pass coverage.
"Warner earned a PFF coverage grade of 91.1, the best among linebackers," Monson wrote. "He allowed a passer rating of just 81.9 on throws into his coverage, more than 20 points lower than the average target into a linebacker’s coverage."
The third-year pro had an 88.6 overall PFF grade, and is No. 30 on the PFF 101. He was the highest-ranked linebacker on the list.
If it weren't for Alex Smith, Verrett would be right up there for Comeback Player of the Year. Finally healthy again, Verrett had a great season for the 49ers and wound up No. 98 on the list.
"He allowed less than 9.0 yards per reception and a passer rating of just 76.3, surrendering only one touchdown in coverage all year," Monson wrote.
Verrett played 13 games last season, his most since making the Pro Bowl in 2014. He finished with two interceptions, seven passes defensed and 60 tackles. PFF gave him a 77.6 overall grade.