49ers McCaffrey, Warner claim top spots in AP’s NFL rankings

Aug 29, 2023, 1:30 PM

Offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill #60 of the San Francisco 49ers throws a block against against saf...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 01: Offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill #60 of the San Francisco 49ers throws a block against against safety Roderic Teamer #33 of the Las Vegas Raiders as running back Christian McCaffrey #23 of the 49ers carries the ball on a 38-yard run in the fourth quarter of their game at Allegiant Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 49ers defeated the Raiders 37-34 in overtime. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Time to add more 49ers to rankings lists.

A panel of nine AP Pro Football Writers ranked the top five players and coaches throughout the NFL and surprise, surprise, multiple members of the San Francisco 49ers have made the lists that have been released so far. First-place votes were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.

At the top is running back Christian McCaffrey. The former Carolina Panther bounced back from two injury-plagued seasons to get back to his stellar form from 2019 when he topped 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. A midseason deal to San Francisco provided a big spark and McCaffrey’s presence as a runner and receiver helped the Niners score 30.5 points per game in his 10 games as a starter. McCaffrey averaged 114.8 yards from scrimmage per game with 10 TDs in his 10 starts in San Francisco.

Also at the top is linebacker Fred Warner.

Warner has been the lynchpin of the Niners defense since arriving in 2018. Warner is stout against the run and can defend wide receivers deep downfield like he famously did in a playoff win last season against Dallas’ CeeDee Lamb. Warner has had at least 118 tackles in all five seasons and his 35 passes defensed since 2018 are tied for the most in the NFL for a linebacker in that span.

Not to be left out, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan ranked third among Associated Press writers for the top spot among NFL head coaches.

Shanahan is the only coach in the top five who hasn’t won a Super Bowl. He guided the 49ers to the NFC championship game last season with third-string QB Brock Purdy and led them to one Super Bowl appearance and two NFC championship games with Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan edged Tomlin for third place by one point. He was named on five ballots, getting two second-place votes.

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