Saturday, June 25, 2022

Key unit of the 49ers, referred to as the “balanced group” and ranked above the Champs

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As running-back friendly as the San Francisco 49ers are, is the wide-reception core ranked lower and higher by analysts?

Fans know that in the Kyle Shanahan era, the 49ers focused more on a dogged run-first identity — with their outside zone attacks and inside blast runs. However, Pro Football Focus listed the 49ers’ RB unit at No. 27 at the start of the season.

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Yet as deep and loaded on wide receivers as the Los Angeles Rams were, especially heading into the 2022 season with new wideout Cooper Kupp worth $110 million and free-agent acquisition Allen Robinson, not everyone believes that they are among the top 5 units. Especially by Pro Football Focus standards.

And that’s where the 49ers’ WR unit comes in.

Pro Football Focus released its rankings of the top receiving corps on Thursday, June 9, putting the 49ers ahead of the Rams, putting SF in 6th place overall.

But PFF writer Ben Linsey explained how that status comes about “assuming” things can work out between the Niners and their All-Pro wideout from last season:

There is this sign in the land of the 49ers: Samuel showed up on June 7 for the obligatory mini camp.

Linsey then added how three wideouts — one a resigned veteran, the other who delivered a high passer rating through his targets, and the other a fast, fascinating rookie — help this version of the 49ers’ receiving core for Trey Lance behind the middle to complete:

As for Jennings, such plays have left 49ers fans in awe — and look forward to his momentum this fall:

There’s also this promising update from Shanahan on Tuesday June 7th: Jennings and Aiyuk have put in some impressive offseason work via The Athletic’s Matt Barrows.

As for Gray, games like these from his SMU years stoke excitement for 49ers fans:

Why the seventh place for the Rams? Linsey wrote this statement:

Linsey and PFF base this ranking on Beckham’s status. His addition will clearly make the Rams even more expandable and explosive. But he’s still in the free agent market.

Other WR units that ranked ahead of the 49ers and Rams were: the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 5, the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4, the Miami Dolphins at No. 3, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 2, and the upcoming Cincinnati Bengals at Number 1.

Other WR units that ranked ahead of the 49ers and Rams were: the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 5, the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4, the Miami Dolphins at No. 3, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 2, and the upcoming Cincinnati Bengals at Number 1.



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