49ers left tackle Joe Staley recently received a well-deserved two-year extension through 2021. This was designed to make sure the 34-year-old will spend the rest of his career as a member of the team.
Good news for the 49ers.
And what's even better is knowing how he's being viewed as one of the NFL's best tackles by Pro Football Focus.
Cameron Pezet wrote in April about the guy who will enter his 13th season with the 49ers, and called him "one of their highest-graded offensive players."
"For starters, Staley’s career pass-blocking grade of 86.6 ranks 12th in the PFF era (2006-present) among left tackles with at least 100 career snaps," Pezet wrote. "However, it’s been run-blocking where Staley has truly excelled, ranking second in the PFF era with a career run-block grade of 92.4.
"He also owns the third-highest single-season run-block grade in PFF history by a left tackle, accumulating a mark of 92.4 over 19 games (including postseason) in 2012, and on a game-by-game basis, Staley’s name appears twice when looking at the top-15 graded games by a left tackle."
As far as examining Staley from year to year, Pezet noticed a fascinating turn in 2012. Don't get us wrong, his numbers prior to the season were good -- well, they were "respectable," but it was the Jim Harbaugh era where everything changed.
That's when Pezet writes he went from good to great.
[RELATED: How Staley, 49ers came together on extension]
"Staley broke out in the 2012 season by leading all tackles with a career-high 92.4 regular-season grade. He was particularly dominant in the run game that year, bulldozing his way to a 93.3 run-blocking grade that ranked first amongst all offensive lineman in the league. Staley hasn’t looked back since, as he now ranks first in run-block grading (93.0) and ninth in pass-block grading (89.5) among all left tackles with at least 1000 snaps played from 2012 to 2018.
"During that span, Staley’s overall grade of 94.2 ranks second only to former Cleveland Browns left tackle, Joe Thomas."
Joe freaking Thomas.
Staley's consistency is something that has separated him from the rest, and he's done it for a dozen years. As PFF writes, Staley entering this 13th season is when he will remain "as important as ever."